Category Archives: PfCO

Ten Questions to ask when choosing a PfCO Course

Image of two drone pilots operating a drone

Ten Questions to ask when choosing a PfCO Course

Q: Is it for me?

A: We only think you should think about doing a PfCO Course if you are using, or plan to use, a drone for commercial activities.  If you are involved in the built environment, we think drones will become as essential as a laptop and smartphone.  Likewise if you are a commercial photographer working outdoors.  So our answer is definitely that you should, and we firmly believe that when we deliver this course from 3iC (NQE No. 0116/1625) and enhance it with our very practical Ground School it makes it the best that you can get!  Otherwise, unless you plan to earn money with your drone, probably not.

If you want to learn more about drones, but won’t be flying commercially, you are better joining one of our one-day drone workshops, or coming on one of our holidays!

Q: Will I be ready to apply for my PfCO the day the Course finishes?

A: On this Course, the answer is yes.  Because we include not just Ground School, but also loads of practical drone flying training, your Operations Manual written with you, and your Flight Test during the Course.

Q: How much actual drone flying experience will my instructors have?

A: Your Course Instructors have completed thousands of drone flights, in the UK, and across Europe, in their roles as instructors, and flying drones commercially.  They pour all of the knowledge they have accumulated from these flights, successful, and sometimes not successful, into their teaching on the Course.

Q: How long does it take?

A: We have Courses running from 2.5 days to 5 days, weekends and weekdays.  The Short Course covers everything you need, and nothing else.  The longer Courses include more of the stuff that will help you in future, as well as the stuff you need to satisfy the CAA.

Q: What is the maximum student : instructor ratio?

A: With us, the maximum is 4 : 1.  We keep it low in order to give everyone the attention they deserve.

Q: What is the pass rate?

A: Everyone who has attended this Course over the last two years has completed it successfully.  Not always first time(!).  But it is our mission to do everything we can to support you to succeed.  There is no charge for retakes, no matter how many are required.

Q: What resources do I get before the Course begins?

A: You get a comprehensive set of eight online videos.  Each one runs about an hour, and covers one of the eight modules you are required to learn in order to pass the Theory Test element of the PfCO.  At the end of each video, there is a multiple-choice test, which will give you a good idea of how well you have mastered the subject.  You can view each video and complete each test as many times as you wish.

Q: I don’t currently own a drone.  Can you help me choose the right one?

A: Certainly.  We pride ourselves on our comprehensive knowledge of the full range of DJI drones.  And we will never try to sell you something more than you need.  Indeed “do you really need that?” is something clients choosing a drone hear from us a lot.

Q: What happens if it rains?

A: We keep a close eye on the forecast throughout the Course, and adapt the Course programme accordingly, to take advantage of good weather to get outside and go flying.  We also have a waterproof Matrice 200 drone available, as well as some baby Spark & Tello drones that fly well indoors, so that we can continue flying in bad weather.  To date, we have always been able to complete all of the Flight Tests during the Course.

Q: How can I get my flying skills to the required standard?

A: We are all about transparency.  So as soon as you sign up for this Course, we send you a copy of the Flight Test manoeuvres you will be required to complete to a high standard to pass the Flight Test.  Ahead of the Course, we recommend if possible that you come for a two-hour practical one-to-one drone flying lesson.  During this lesson, we can talk through what the test involves, determine your current standard of flying skills, and identify the areas you may need to work on ahead of the Flight Test.

Q: Do I have to write my own Operations Manual?

A: The good news is that, no you don’t, or at least not on your own!  We write the Operations Manual with you, based on a template that we constantly amend and adapt to meet the CAA’s requirements, and information that we ask you to give us: the name of your business; the type & serial number of your drone etc.  To comply with the CAA’s expectations, we do test you on the key information contained in your Operations Manual during the Course.  But this is a breeze compared with the painful, sometimes months long process of writing it totally by yourself.

Q: What happens after my Course?

A: We will send you the Certificates you need to submit to the CAA with your PfCO application immediately you complete the Course.  During the Course, we go through how to complete your application, and we offer a free vetting service to make sure your application is in order before you submit it if you have any concerns.

Q: Do you offer continuing support?

A: Very much so.  Everyone who completes their PfCO with us becomes a member of our Phantom Pro Club.  This provides you with:

  • A private FaceBook group for Pro Club Members
  • Discounts on our full range of Drone Workshops and Masterclasses
  • 50% off membership of the Guild of Photographers
  • Regular informal get-togethers for Pro Club members to share ideas, discuss new opportunities, and keep abreast of the latest developments in hardware, software, and legislation

Q: Anything else I should know?

A: Our enhanced 3iC PfCO Course costs from just £995 + VAT. Get free extra training worth £200 when you book your PfCO before the end of April. CLICK HERE to email us, or call us for details on 01244 893 872

And the Winner Is……

Old Harry Rocks from drone

 

We have a WINNER of our Drone Photography Masterclass Prize Draw

Congratulations Naomi Youd, Wedding Photographer, from Wiltshire.  Your prize is a one-day Masterclass in the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Isle of Skye, or the Jurassic Coast in Dorset (you choose which!) with PhantomFlightSchool, led by a world-class Landscape Photographer and Drone Pilot.  Worth £249

In case you missed them, we have extended our SHOW OFFERS until midnight this Friday 22 March 2019

Don’t forget, we are also an Authorised DJI Retailer, and stock the full DJI range.  Buy a drone from us, and get a free one-hour one-to-one drone flying lesson worth £120.

Free Workshop worth £150 when you book a drone flying holiday

Reserve your place on one of our drone holidays and come to one of our workshops (Normal Cost £150) absolutely FREE.

Go to our 2019 holiday programme

£300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.  Book your Holiday and then use the following discount code to claim your free workshop:  DISCOUNT CODE: Photoshow150

Free two hour lesson worth £200 when you book a PfCO course

Reserve your place on one of our PfCO Courses and get a two-hour one-to-one drone flying lesson (Normal Cost £200) absolutely FREE.

Go to our 2019 PfCO programme

£300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.  Book your PfCO and then use the following discount code to claim your free workshop:  DISCOUNT CODE: Photoshow200

20% discount on all one-to-one drone flying lessons, flying lesson vouchers and one-day Workshops

Protect Your Investment, Learn to Fly with the Experts. Get More Out of Your Flying.

Book a Lesson

Use this code to get 20% off until midnight on Friday.  DISCOUNT CODE: Photoshow20

 

The Photography Show

The Photography Show logo

 

 

SPECIAL OFFERS for The Photography Show 16 – 19 March

We hope to see you at the Photography Show this weekend.  It’s at the NEC, and we are on Stand K131.  We have some very special offers for people visiting us at the Show.

Then we thought, that’s great for all the new people we expect to meet at the Show.  But what about our loyal customers who can’t get there.  Shouldn’t you get the same great Offers?  Of course you should!

So, even if you are not able to attend The Photography Show we are offering the following discounts to everyone between 16th – 19th March 2019.

FREE Workshop worth £150 when you book a drone flying holiday!

Reserve your place on one of our drone flying & photography holidays and choose to attend one of our many workshops for free. For more information on our 2019 holiday programme click here.  We’ll send you a Code to claim your free Workshop as soon as you reserve a place on one of our holidays.  £300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.

FREE 2 hour lesson worth £200 when you book your PfCO course!

Get your PfCO with the UKs longest established and most popular Practical Drone Training Organisation. 3 day Course, every month in Chester and Maidstone for more information click here.  We’ll send you a Code to claim your free Lesson worth £200 as soon as you reserve a place on one of our PfCO Courses.  £300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.

20% discount on all one-to-one drone flying lessons, flying lesson vouchers and one-day Workshops

DISCOUNT CODE: Photoshow20

Protect Your Investment, Learn to Fly with the Experts. Get More Out of Your Flying. For more information or to book a Lesson click here.

 

I got them all flying circuits!

DJI Phantom 4 Drone

Having just delivered Phantom Flight School’s first bespoke on-site PfCO course I have to say that I’m really pleased with how it went and more importantly the high calibre of the Remote Pilots at the end of the course.

In this instance we had a corporate client who had invested in a DJI Phantom 4 Professional Obsidian and wished to have 3 members of staff covered on the same PfCO in order to carry out photographic and video inspections along with the generation of Point Clouds through photogrammetry.

It therefore made sense to deliver the classroom elements in a meeting room at the client’s premises and to conduct the hands-on flying training and Practical Flight Assessments at a Flying Site within a short drive from their location.

The Course kicked off with a revision session covering the eight modules that comprise Ground School, that had already been studied by the Course participants online.  It was clear all three had invested sufficient time in advance of the Course to really absorb the information available to them. This meant we were able to devote time to drilling down into areas of the syllabus of particular interest to them, which is what it is all about. All three went on to score very well in the Theory Test.  Indeed, one of them got 99%!

We then went out for our first Flying Session, where I was able to assess everybody’s standard, and formulate a plan for just what training and practice was required over the remainder of the Course. Happily, I observed no major issues here but it was very cold, with some snow on the ground, so we finished our day by making a start on jointly authoring the Company’s Operations Manual.

The next day, while we waited for the temperature to rise above freezing, we looked at a Pre-Deployment Site Survey and a Risk Assessment before venturing outside.

At this point I decided to replicate my early PPL experience and I got them all flying circuits.  Not quite the Cessna “touch and go’s” that I had had to repeat ad nauseam, but rather, a “standard take-off” followed by one of the required “squares” and then a “standard landing”.

Flying in opposite directions we were able to fly two P4Pro’s at the same time, rotating pilots and really drilling best practice into all three. After 10 batteries everybody was significantly more confident and competent with their flying, so it was time to get back into the warm, put the batteries on charge, and spend some more time on the Operations Manual as well as looking at Mission Planning using some real-life scenarios.

Day three we were out flying again first thing.  Then it was time to finalise their Operations Manual, revisit Pre-Deployment Surveys, Risk Assessments (Initial & Dynamic) and have another look at useful apps & websites such SkyDemon, Google Earth/Maps, NATS, UAV Forecast, Dark Sky, MetOffice, etc

Lunch was followed by the Practical Flight Assessments, which all went very well, and then a final classroom session going over how to complete their SRG1320 application for their PfCO. All of which meant that at the end of three days, all three were in a position to submit their PfCO applications to the CAA.

Comparing that with the months it can take people to get to the same place with other training organisations, Clive (one of the candidates) said “We have been so impressed with the way PFS delivered this Course. It has been interesting, thought-provoking, rewarding, and incredibly well organised. I can’t recommend PhantomFlightSchool and their Radically Better PfCO Course highly enough”.