Are all RPAS Courses Created Equal?
g’day, guys John here, chief instructor with fpv Australia today is the 24th of March 2017 and I thought I’d. Do this little video as there’s now quite a number of flight schools that drone flight schools that is popping up all over Australia, and I guess I’ll address the elephant in the room which is you know? What is the difference between all these flight schools that there’s a summer, two-day course three-day course five-day course 70 course you know what are the differences? What are you likely to expect as far as outcomes? What are you going to learn about all that sort of stuff, so I can try and give you an idea on what we do.
So I guess, first and foremost, I’d, like to start with the certification itself. It is issued by Katherine. It’s not issued by the flight school, so we don’t actually issue your licence. What we do after you come to us and see our training courses.
We give what’s called a recommendation to Qatar that they issue a certification to you, so we don’t do that. Secondly, they’ve, laid out the benchmark of what is required on the training course. I guess so.
When we started back in 2014, we had to present our current our course our course. Where to cats, are they look at it? They go. Yes, this meets all of the required criteria and the way we go, we’ve got.
You know demonstration flight demonstrations that we need to do that Katherine division, so it’s all aboveboard as far as catenaries concern, so there’s a level there that we all are supposed to meet.
But further to that, though, I guess is what the flight school wants to either value-add or shortcut. I guess is probably good way improvement. So what I’ll do. Is I’ll talk about what what we do on our course? I sort of can’t comment on what other, what other organizations do? I can only see what we do and what you’ll, get out of our five day course with the magic of video post-production.
We’re going to look at this is up as to what you will get and what what you’ll, see and what you will learn so, first and foremost day. One on our course pretty much starts with all of the terminologies that you’re going to find in aviation, because we we don’t talk in meters and climbing as much from when we talk ovations.
We have to change the way we think in our measuring is all done in the nautical mile. So if you’re, you know near an airport or near something near a helipad. It’s all measured in nautical miles. So we talk about that and how we work that out all that sort of stuff same as height we’re, not talking in in meters anymore.
When we talking height in aviation, we’re talking feet, so you’ll, hear a lot of 400 feet and then you might know it is 120 meters 400 feet. We start using feet, so I actually encourage people with all the DJI product to go and change to Imperial measurements.
They can get feet, not meters, okay cool, so we talked about that. We talked about some wind wind is in nautical miles or all the terminologies that happen in aviation. That’s. Where we start we, then we move into s based maps and frequencies.
Now this is probably one of the most critical things for a drone pilot is knowing where you are, what a space you’re in. So if you are having an airbender radio on your belt, what frequency should give you listening to to keep an eye on an area as cat as catechol of the court in aviation, maintain a listen and watch.
So we spend probably a good half-day or more just on those maps. What does much look like here’s one now, so this map is a what we call a VNC visual navigational chart. This one happens to be of Sydney region, so it’s, got Sydney and Canberra on board, and it shows us you can have a look at it.
‘s, got all these pretty colored lines and circles and dashes and look when you first look at it. It’s quite daunting, but when we get down to the nitty-gritty of it, it is really the starting point for a commercial drone off the OP.
The operator wants to know exactly what airspace is in and then we can move on from there because look at all the red zone restricted. So a lot of these zones require approval to fly in. Sometimes they’re on.
Sometimes they’re off. You need to know where to look that up. We go through the u.s. so how to look up what the Earth’s. Air is is an honor. It supplements big seeker book. We go through looking up the details for that who to contact how to contact, how to put the army applications in all that stuff, Sydney Harbor, for instance, another classic example to restricted airspace, is each side of the breach no-fly zones without approval.
So we do all that we spend virtually a good half-day on that alone. Just on Matson spaces, you can’t learn in half an hour. There is too much to digest way too much so that’s pretty much day one. We’ll, be covering all terminologies the airspace requirements and some other bits and pieces to tag on the end.
Second day, generally, we go out the morning weather permitting and we will fly. We spend a whole whole morning flying out of the field right up to lunch time. As I said, we’re, the printing. We aim for three flying mornings on our five-day course.
Back in the afternoon of the second day, we’re back into the classroom and, depending on the weather, we don’t often go in order of the book off until my students will go backwards and forth through the book.
We very rarely play the book out in order, but sometimes it is not convenient and they too might be taken up with the actual training around the multirotors themselves. So we start digesting all the information about the Phantom’s and then spies.
We start talking about mission planning, risk assessments, flight flight, checklists, all the stuff that goes around getting your drone from the box to the air, including stuff like lipo batteries and all that sort of stuff, and that pretty much will go for the entire afternoon.
So we cover all bases, not just the physical thing, about the drone, but the actual mission itself and all the threats and anything that goes with it. People and birds and dogs and cats, and whatever else might interfere with your drone operation, tagged on top of the airspace requirements that we went through in the day before so now.
At Wednesday morning, 3rd 3rd morning, back out in the flying field, weather permitting spend all morning flying again, we drag enough batteries around this country to fly all morning, so we have three aircraft in the air generally at any, given course, six guys on a course, one Aircraft up here, because part of the the practical flight stuff is also teaching the guy who doesn’t have a control or anything.
So he or she is the ground crew, the spotter, the copilot. We actually have syllabus that we discuss them. What those roles are and what the responsibilities are for the person who doesn’t actually have the controller in the hand, and I’m just going to sit here and play Facebook.
Their job is as important as the pilot. The pilot gets what we call loaded and that is his or her attention is already stretched, keeping an eye on what’s, going on getting the shots flying the drone, keeping it out of trouble person.
Sending Exim also has an important job so that the third morning back into the classroom after lunch, and we’re back into the theory Wednesday afternoon, comprises of depending on the weather. Again we juggle around.
But it can be anything from looking at NOTAMs, which is a notice to Airmen. If you’re, not sure what that is, google, it look it up. It’s like a bulletin board system for us, pilots and and drone pilots as well.
We we may look at operational meteorology, which is understanding aviation base, weather forecasting and reporting. So not just looking up the bureau’s website and going out sunny in twenty five degrees.
We’re talking cats, terminal area, aerodrome forecasts and area forecasts and meteorological aerodrome reports will meant out. For short, you’ll, actually be taught how to read these highly abbreviated and somewhat the Fibonacci sequence; information that’s coming out of aerodromes and whatnot us about the weather, that’s happening in and around those those terminals And in where you are so not just really where the Willie weathers are great at don’t get me wrong, but it’s, not the be-all and end-all of what you should be doing as a drone pilot when it comes to Weather that will lead into the afternoon, which is a rock Wednesday afternoon.
We do a rock now, a rock for us is a big deal. It’s about three or four hours from start to finish, depending how quickly we get through it and it’s. Everything from not only using the air band, radio and understanding what it’s about, but understanding how to communicate with another aviator.
Remember at the end of our course, you are going to become an aviator in this world of aviation and you need to start thinking a viateur. We teach you how to speak on the radio. We teach you that you know the phonetic alphabet.
If you’re, not familiar with it, that’s, not too difficult, but we teach you how to talk to another aviator the phraseology you use and look let’s face it. If we want respect as drone pilots entering the aviation world, we need to respect the world that we’re walking into, and by that speaking correctly, on, a radio is important.
People’s. Lives depend on this air band that we talking picking the radio up breaker breaker 1-9 high on flying a drone, doesn’t work all right there. We go through that. Not only that we go through circuits around non-towered aerodrome there.
The aerodrome is where drone pilots are most likely to put their drone up it’s, not going to be near the towered ones. It’s near the non Taliban, and so we talk about circuits. What way the circuits run? How wide are the circuit either circuits? What a circuit actually is is how an airplane lands at a non towered aerodrome that I just fly in really nearly and put it down there.
There’s, actually a way that it happened. We talked about that. We talked about where you might be in the circuit and how to work out where you are in the circuit based on the radio calls you’re hearing, and then you’ll know exactly where you are in relation to where these Planes are operating in and around you, so we go through all of that and all that mumbo jumbo about where they’re, going to be how they’re, going to be there.
What Heights? What weeks, where? How, when you call them when not to call how to make broadcasts, we teach you how to make those broadcasts confidently and there’s, an exam at the end of it little a little exam.
I wouldn’t, call it an intense exam. It’s, a more like a quiz just to make sure you ‘ Ve got your head around things and that wraps up Wednesday Thursday morning back out in the field again, where the permitting drones in the air running through all the advanced stuff is drone flight attitude mode off axis.
Flying how to reorient take the aircraft in the air. All that stuff that goes with, oh, I’ve lost GPS or oh, my iPad has died. It got too hot in the Sun. What do I do now? Handing over to your spotter? If all of a sudden, you start and get a bit of heatstroke, you’re, not feeling with all the continue to remember that it’s many times before.
Aviation is sort of centralized around worst case scenario. So we did the same thing: where’s, kro scenario: what if the pilot becomes incapacitated for whatever reason – and you know then 600 in the end, I mean think about that right: emergency response to precision what happens if the drone crashes, who does what? Who goes where we & # 39? Ve got a whole bunch of videos that we go through in the classroom.
Things like lipo battery fires in cars – I’ve, got videos that are just insane people crashing in cities with drones. That should never have even been flying in and what they do and should have done, and didn’t do so all that sort of stuff comes into play.
Those are afternoon again depending on the weather or sorry at the end of that SAR, as in the third day’s session of flying, there is a practical flight demonstration where you are put through as a student, a demonstration that shows me that you Have an ability to control this aircraft to a level that casa has deemed appropriate? We sign off on that.
Should you get through that and we move on beautiful after lunch back in the classroom, where we will tidy up the last bits of the theory and they include things like fixed-wing, going through fixed-wing and aerodynamics, and housing sly in general, that that is important.
We’re, not just flying multirotors. Here we. If we’re going to walk into the world of aviation and Jones in general, then we really should have an understanding of how the other side, the dark side of drones, work the fixed wing for instance.
So we’ll, go through that and then we’ll walk into an entire job from start to finish. A full job safety assessment of full mission plan go through the whole box and dice so that you, as the students, know what’s required the minute.
You hang the phone up from your client that says hey. I want you to come and put a drone up over somewhere the entire process from job safety assessments, risk assessment. Looking at the airspace can I fly here? Who do I call? Who do I contact? Where do I get the approvals? If need be? How do I do all these bits and pieces threaten error management? Getting the crew on board, who you’re going to need? Where is it is at high risk all that stuff that’ll? Take up the rest of that day Friday morning, the plan, if it all goes there goes well, is we do recap? We go through all of the stuff we went through during the week.
We pull the maps back out again we have a look at the maps. We talk about NOTAMs and meteorology and whatever it is that you know some people might have had for weather. There is because, let me tell you there’s, a fair bit of information that gets pumped into your brain between Monday and Thursday.
So Friday’s, a bit of a recap, Friday mornings, a bit of a recap, get your head back around it again get back in the game, and then we hit you with an exam prior afternoon. The exam is a written exam of a hundred one hundred points, so it’s, not just a ten question: tick and flicks.
It’s, a fairly serious exam, and it takes about two and a half to three hours to complete, depending on your experience level, so that’s, it in a nutshell. I guess that’s. What happens on our five-day course a lot of organizations sort of play, their cards close to their chest and that’s? Fine, but some we keep getting asked the same question.
What am I going to learn? What are we well there? It all is in in technicolor for you that’s. What happens on our court? We spend five good days training. Can you get that in a two day course frustrated course? I’m, not sure how there is a fair bit to get through meteorology alone is an entire section in our chat in our book now, thankfully, moving forward that’s, going to be style back a little bit too there’s a lot of information in there – probably not quite relevant, so we actually go through and dig out the stuff that is relevant and we run you through that because some of it is important.
Note and operational meteorology threaten their management, human factors. They’re, all important things and they’re there’s. Sort of stuff that we sort of need to have is my opinion. You need to have an instructor at the front of the classroom who can actually convey this stuff with you.
It’s very similar to the manned aircraft world. It’s, the same threat to the same Ares EPS, where human factors are the same. There’s, not a lot of difference. The only difference, I guess is not sickness.
I’m, a manned aircraft pilot now going through that, as you well know, and it really is hand in hand. So I hope that gives you some insight. Look doing your research. Do your homework just know that it’s.
Casa that set this set this benchmark, so we as flight schools are supposed to meet that benchmark and then those of us to choose to go above and beyond that benchmark do so and that’s. What we aim to do we aim to go above and beyond the benchmark there’s, nothing in the syllabus.
I remember that talks about running through job safety assessments and doing a whole mission and planning it out, but we do that as a responsible thing for our student, because it’s important we don’t want to just send you out There and go right there: the rules, the Reg, your path to exam off you go.
We want to try and give you some real-life experience so that you understand what you’re, going to have to do once you step outside the classroom and you’re being given your certification, and this is a thing that sort of Scares me as an instructor once you’ve got that certification.
There’s, no more checks and balances other than the audit that happens on the OSI every three year that there’s. No, it’s, not like a driver’s. License where you ‘ Ve got to go back down and renew whatever you and they give you an eye test there’s, nothing, your riffle as it’s now called remote pilot’s.
License is perpetual at this point, so I want to make sure it’s instructor that you’re, leaving as prepared as I can possibly make you. If you’ve got any questions. Please feel free to fires on the way john at fpv.
Australia is my email. Just i’ve, got sort of tags of saying it all too quickly. On the last video, so john at fpv, australia, comm w is my modest WWE, fpv, australia, ops down the bottom of the screen.
Oh comm, do you is our website? If you want to call us you can you can call the office here on 0 to 6? Double one to eight double five one or you can email training at fpv, Australia, comms on I use so there’s.
All the ways that you can ways is you can get in touch with us. My only advice to you all if you are seeking to become certified now it doesn’t matter. If you’re going to fly sub 2 kilo, or you want to fly the bigger machines, if you are thinking on becoming certified, I really implore you to do your research ring around ask around email around, take your time to find out what and Who is best for you? There’s, schools in every state.
Now, and just like many, I travel the state on in every state as well, so chances are there. It’s somewhere close to you that you can get trained by just because it’s. Close doesn’t mean it’s. The best.
Do your research ring around talk to people online? Who’s already been through training schools and get their opinion? I guess that that’s, the best way of doing research – you don’t, take my word for it.
The weather best don’t. Take someone else’s word for it find out for yourself who is the best for you, so you got the questions. Let us know. I hope that’s, clear that up for you. I just give me a bit of an insight on what happens in a busy week on a training school.
It’s a fairly busy week. It’s fairly tense. It’s, intense for us as trainers, and it’s intense, for you guys our students. This is a serious course, and I don’t know how you can knock it out in a few days that’s, just my opinion.
You make up your own until next time safe skies for all through our flying a drone. Please do so responsibly, [, Music, ],