Hear what Jody had to say about our UAQ course.
Jody Easkiovitch, recently completed our UAQ course at Plumpton Racecourse in Brighton. Jody opted for our fast track course, which includes two days of ground school and a flight assessment, which takes place over three days. We are pleased Jody had an enjoyable experience and are excited to share his thoughts below...
After some careful consideration the time had come to take the plunge and look seriously at a career using RPA’s or drones, UAV’s SUA or any number of other acronyms you can think of to describe a drone.
So what was I looking for? And what was the process? After looking long and hard at how to break into the industry, it seemed that there were a number of companies offering courses which would give me the credentials needed to be able to go forward and allow me to work with my drone. Here came my first stumbling block, every course was called something different such as Bnuc-S or UAQ. So what's the difference? All of these courses essentially amount to the same thing, demonstrating your understanding of drones, safety and legality.
So why did I opt for UAV-Air? For a multitude of different reasons. Firstly and probably most importantly they offered a three day fast track course which is run on 3 consecutive days (weather dependent on the flight test day). Now ask anyone who has used another training company and they will say they did 2 days ground school, then went away did their ops manual (don’t under estimate how difficult the ops manual is either) then they arranged a suitable day to do their flight test, this seems to be the trend for other training companies (known as NQE's). To me this just seems to drag the process out. Knowing I could get my 2 days ground school and flight test done in a short space of time seemed an opportunity I could ill afford to miss.
Another key part for me was the integration on social media with the people from UAV-Air. Both in terms of technical expertise and a clear up to date understanding of the industry, why was this important? Simply put it just allowed me to ask questions in real time and hold a conversation though social media, without having to write long messages to get a long reply that then leads to another message etc. You get my point though, social media is quick and easy to obtain information you require.
So my choice was made. After signing up and registering with UAV-Air I got access to distance learning material, a number of documents and a welcome pack. This is where the realisation kicks in of what lies ahead. But don't let me put you off as the information provided is well laid out. It is explained in the initial welcome pack what is expected of you and some helpful pointers on what order to do things in. If you’re thinking of signing up give yourself at least 2 weeks prep time to go through the distance learning process. I'm not going to spoil it for you but believe me the more familiar you are with the material provided the easier it will be for you in your ground school!
The morning of ground school it's fair to say I was a little nervous, but after initial introductions nerves disappear.
Right from that very first point it's clear the instructors have a wealth of knowledge about the industry and deliver the course in a professional yet approachable manner, which is no easy task!
Throughout the day there are a few teething issues as this is the first time the course has been run at the Brighton venue. However it really wasn't an issue, the instructors just found their way past the obstacles and maintained a professional approach to delivering the course. Which confirmed that I'd made the right choice of training company.
Day 2 was the dreaded theory test! Not something I looked forward to, but a necessary evil if I want to pursue a career in this industry. For me the second day was more valuable than the first, as it centres on practical aspects of flight planning and charting, (spoiler alert!) which is something that's not covered on the distance learning material for obvious reasons. Then it's test time! Which in fairness is nowhere near as bad as your thinking! If I can pass it I'm sure you can to.
Day 2 done but that just leaves day 3 for flight test. If you speak to anyone regarding the flight test it seems to be the circles everyone gets tied up with and continually practices, in reality I think what's being looked for in the flying aspect is control. So try not to beat yourself up about the flight test, it's nowhere near as bad as you think! What you must do, and what I did was follow procedures and checklists. I can't say this enough, the flight examiners are not robots and don't expect you to be either. They clearly understand the stress you’re going through, and do all they can to keep you calm, and where they can (remember this is a test so there are limits) nudge you in the right direction!
A pass!!!! I've passed the relief, happiness and all that stress disappears! A few days later I receive an e-mail template for the ops manual. I felt completely overwhelmed by what I had in front of me, some 100 pages of guidance! In reality though the document is something that assists you every step. You just have to break it down bit by bit. Before I knew it my first draft was complete, then I sent it to UAVAir for review. After a week it's returned with clear comments on where I've slightly missed the mark, but the comments are constructive which help's immensely to resolve the issues. Don't expect the first draft to pass as I don't believe anyone has to date managed that. I took 3 reviews, but was elated when UAVAir were happy to recommend me for my PFAW.
So where am I now? Well a few weeks ago I received that all important piece of paper from the CAA I’m now trading as AirView. I have the website up and running (shameless plug but www.airviewuk.co.uk). I am currently finishing off my show reel video and following up requests from a number of sources. I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life, it’s not going to be an easy ride, but it will be one I have a degree of control over.
So if you’re looking for an NQE I can't recommend UAVAir enough. They have a support system from the moment you make contact to way beyond gaining your PFAW and are professional and approachable.
Thanks again for the great feedback, Jody. You can check out Jody's latest piece of work below...
We look forward to keeping in touch with Jody and being updated with the work he carries out with AirView. Good luck for the future Jody.