Manned Pilot Conversion Course

The Manned Pilot Conversion course is a two-day course aimed at people who already hold some form of CAA Pilots licence. There is no CAA requirement to pass any theory exam if you hold a current CAA licence however by joining day 2 of the ground school course you will have the option of taking the exam as a knowledge refresher.

Day 1 is a practical one looking at UAV operations by means of case studies, therefore you will need to be conversant with all areas that other candidates will have studied, in particular, Air Law and RPAS specific Principles of Flight. It also goes through flight planning exercises and risk and site assessments.

Day 2 is then saved for the Flight Assessment and this is exactly the same as any of the other courses. It is to be conducted in accordance with the Flight Assessment Handbook provided by UAVAir or procedures provided by the individual candidate and should last no longer than one hour.

On signing up for the course you will gain access to our online learning portal, which gives you access to:

  • Welcome Pack

All the details you will need to arrive in the right place at the right time and be fully up to speed on what will be expected of you to complete the course.

  • Course Study Manual (CSM)

All the theoretical knowledge is in this document. Although not a requirement, as an aviator we would expect you to prepare appropriately and that you have read this document and have a good working knowledge of the contents.

  • UAQ Ground School Course

Here we have broken the sections of the Course Study Manual down into subject lessons so it is easier to digest. Where relevant there are supplementary videos to aid learning. At the end of each lesson, there is a quiz that has a selection of questions in the same style as those in the final exam for exam practise.

  • Quick Reference Handbook

Contains some useful tools, tables and reference charts that will help you not only with the course but also into your piloting careers.

  • Exam Reference Material

All the material you will need to reference to complete the exam is contained in this document. Please note, the exam is closed book aside from the reference material we provide.

Ground School (1 day)

The course starts with one day of ground school. During the ground school stage, we will go over the important areas and ensure that you are fully prepared for both the Theoretical Exam and the Flight Planning Assessment.

The ground school phase will be facilitated by two instructors, usually one with a primary background in manned aviation and one from a UAV operational background who is current and working in the industry at the highest levels. This combined experience ensures you receive the best instruction available to help you gain your UAQ and PfCO.

The emphasis during this stage is practical application through case studies and discussion. We will see how the theoretical knowledge is applied to the real world operations you will be carrying out on a daily basis.

Through a series of flight planning exercises, we will bring together all the theoretical elements and ensure that a good understanding of how they work ‘in the field’ has been achieved.

The ground school stage culminates with the Theory Exam (optional) and the Flight Planning Assessment. It is our objective to have a 100% pass rate of both these exams and we will do our part to help you achieve the required standard.

Flight Assessment (1 Day)

As the Flight Planning Assessment has already been completed, the focus of the last day is totally on the Flight Assessment. This can be done with reference to the guides we provide, or candidates can choose to bring their own Flight Reference Handbook or Flight Reference Cards should they prefer. Each candidate will be fully briefed so they know exactly what to expect and all efforts will be made to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere so as to bring out the best performance in each individual. The Flight Assessment should last no longer than one hour.

Upon the successful completion of the Flight Assessment, the candidate will be awarded the UAQ and will have the option to use it as a stand-alone qualification to apply to work under a pre-existing company operations manual or to combine it with their own operations manual and apply for a PfCO.

Operations Manual

As part of the course, UAVAir will provide an Operations Manual template that the candidate can use as they see fit. There will be a section, during the second day, that will cover the operations manual and how to write one. The CAA has stated that it is an essential part of the qualification process that any company wishing to work under a PfCO must write the Operations Manual themselves. UAVAir will help anyone going through this process where required at no further cost.

Course Requirements

  • A drone supplied by yourself
  • Min 2 hours logged flight time*
  • Insurance*

*Before completing the Flight Assessment, you must ensure that you have logged a minimum of 2 hours flight time on the type of drone you are being assessed on, within the previous 3 months. You must also take out applicable drone insurance.

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