All of our pilots are hugely experienced, and have undertaken rigorous drone flight training.  We carry £5m of public liability insurance.  We are proud of our zero-accident record.  No drone flown by us has ever caused any harm or damage to any person, animal or property.

We are leaders in the field of drone safety.  We created the first comprehensive set of checklists for safe drone flying, which we have always made freely available to other drone pilots via our website.  We are pleased to say these checklists are widely copied and used across the industry.


Alan Proto
Pilot - Chester

The founder of PhantomFlightSchool was among the first people in the UK to complete his Remote Pilot Theory Certificate and Operations Manual for the CAA, and is acknowledged as an accomplished drone pilot, having secured the highest marks to date in his Flight Test with the leading NQE, RUSTA.

Prior to founding PhantomFlightSchool, for twenty years he was involved in the education sector. It is his unique perspective that has provided the inspiration for our focus on helping people learn how to fly the DJI range of drones safely and enjoyably, and on taking drones to flying sites around the world through our one-of-a-kind holidays programme.

For several years, Alan lived in the mountains in Chamonix, France, and still maintains his passion for skiing.


Andy Coulson
Pilot - Edinburgh

Andy has been a photographer since he was six, and a light-aircraft pilot since he was 17. He obtained his PfCO during 2020 with Phantom Flight School. Being able to combine flying with photography, along with a love of travel, landscapes, and general tech gizmodery makes Andy very happy !

There are a number of locations Andy flies drones from east of Edinburgh. Beach and shoreline flying give wide open spaces and easy flying conditions – we are often the only people on the beach.


Simon Smith
Pilot - Maidstone

Simon accumulated a wealth of practical and managerial experience in the fields of Automotive Engineering and Construction before being bitten by the drone bug.

When not flying he fills any spare time with slowly rebuilding the family’s Victorian farmhouse deep in the Garden of England.

Calm, methodical and analytical by nature, he really relishes helping novice pilots get off to a safe and enjoyable start in their drone experience as well as helping more experienced pilots to polish their skills in readiness for their PfCO Flight Test.

Sadly, Simon is another non-skier, being much more of a “petrol head”, maintaining a lifelong love of fast cars, bikes and karts, although more recently he has added kayaking to his extracurricular activities.


Steve Lowery
Pilot - Bradford

Steve has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to Photography, Videography and editing having been in the industry for over 35 years.

Having served in the RAF for 11 years as a propulsion fitter on gas turbine engines, he has a love of all things aeronautical.  When he’s not flying you’ll usually find him in his own studios in Yorkshire.

Steve lived in Spain and speaks fluent Spanish, making him an invaluable member of our Spanish Drone Flying Holiday crew.

Steve has been flying drones for several years now, and undertakes commercial drone-flying projects in the UK and in Spain, alongside running his photography studio.


David Stewart
Pilot - Bristol

David has always had a passion for photography and lighting, studying theatre production and design and simultaneously learning Black & White photography using the college’s enormous dark room – yes, he’s old enough to have used film!

Since then he has gone on to work in stage lighting around the world, living in Italy and India, touring with Paul McCartney, Oasis, to name a few. David was also part of the Montruex Jazz Festival Broadcast team for 5 years, and the Closing Olympic Games in Barcelona 1992. For the past 14 years he has been working as business development for lighting manufacturers utilising his photography and filming skills to capture spectacular lighting on stage.

After a life changing period in 2005, David setup as a Pro-Photographer in weddings and portraits, including college balls, using his people skills to help translate client requirements. He loves his gadgets (his wife will attest to this!) and when he saw his first drone he was fascinated with the possible application in both entertainment and photography. David qualified for his PFCO CAA licence in 2016. Based in Gloucestershire where he appreciates the lush landscapes and all things West Country!


Paul Barker
Pilot - Askrigg

Paul’s background is as a press photographer going back to the days when there wasn’t even any colour in the newspapers and digital cameras were a distant dream. He now works as a professional cameraman for Sky News and AFP, as well as being an independent film maker and adventure cameraman. Besides drone flying his big passions are caving and rock climbing which he also instructs and films. He is also the founder of the Yorkshire Dales Photography School which teaches all aspects of photography amidst the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales. “From the ground the Dales is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. From the air it is beyond breathtaking, and it is a delight to share it with new drone pilots.”
With such a strong background in photography and video, Paul is well placed to assist pilots who want to take their aerial imaging to new levels, as well as novices taking to the skies for the first time.


Rob Lamont
Pilot - Llandudno

Rob has been in the Information Technology industry for over 40 years. Having gained programming and systems experience with IBM, he then went into teaching at a North Wales college as a lecturer of Programming, Networking and Multimedia. He has always had a strong interest in photography and videography and recognised the potential of digital imaging in its early days. The use of drones to capture aerial images was the next step, and Rob started flying a DJI Phantom at the end of 2015 as a hobbyist. He obtained his PfCO early in 2018 and started his own company producing aerial photography/videography in North Wales. His editing skills in digital media have been gained over many years of lecturing and practical application, and he is able to offer finished product as well as raw footage to his clients. As a teacher at heart, he loves passing on his knowledge to new ‘dronies’.


Tony Jackson
Pilot - Watford

Tony moved into the world of drones when he retired after 36 years as an Air Traffic Controller and Flight Operations officer in the Royal Air Force. He had always been a keen photographer and looking for new adventures where he could combine his skills and knowledge he took on a commercial drone course and obtained his PfCO in 2015. Since then he has flown throughout the UK, Northern Spain, Malta and Norway. His knowledge of aviation and airport operations has allowed him to fly at some demanding locations and is ‘one of the few’ pilots to have flown a drone legally at Heathrow Airport and has conducted surveys for Gatwick Airport. When not flying he enjoys travel, cooking and walking.


Paul Draycott
Pilot - Macclesfield

Paul has a 37yr background in flying; both in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and commercially, initially as a Flight Engineer (FE) and then as a Pilot. He began his flying career on the Hercules C130 and then became a training engineer on the AWACS B707 aircraft after instructing ab-initio FEs at RAF Finningley for 5 years. He made the move to commercial flying by joining Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd as a FE on the B747 Classic aircraft, whilst also training as a pilot. Initially piloting the Airbus A320, he’s since flown the A321, the A330 and the A340. And now… he loves flying Drones. He’s also keen to help others learn how to fly them, using the PFS flying techniques, which are closely allied to the commercial airline world and include standard operating procedures and aircraft checklists, and put flight safety first. Paul is now very happy to be able to continue that tradition of professionalism and help others to become safe and competent UAV pilots.


Alan Copson
Pilot - UK Masterclass Co-Host

Alan is a travel photographer with 25 years’ experience, circling the globe in pursuit of the perfect image. While he has loved photography since being allowed to use his father’s camera on childhood holidays, it was while travelling around Europe as a teenager he was inspired to follow a career in travel photography.

Having initially worked as a picture researcher at a number of London picture libraries, he went freelance in 1995. His first commission was from a tour operator to photograph Bruges in Belgium. Since then, he has worked for a wide range of clients, as well as shooting personal work around the world in around 50 countries, resulting in his prized collection of front cover images on guidebooks including Lonely Planet and Rough Guides.

Always in search of that elusive new angle, Alan was drawn to drone photography, becoming professionally qualified with Phantom Flight School in 2018. Aerial photography is now part of most of his photo-shoots.

Today, Alan is keen to share his experience as he co-hosts Phantom Flight School Masterclasses and online seminars.