Inside a UAQ Ground School Course

For the past three years Simon Felix has been working for a maintenance company based in the East midlands. Recently, it occurred to Simon’s bosses that they could start to use drones to conduct roof inspections. Realising it would be more beneficial to run operations in-house, they sent Simon along to UAVAir so he could become qualified to apply for the company’s Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO). We caught up with Simon just after he completed the UAQ Ground School, and asked him how it went.

Did the Ground School meet your expectations?

“Well now I understand why UAVAir call it their Fast-Track course. I’m really surprised at how much I learned over the two days. The instructors were brilliant all weekend, lots of interesting anecdotes about working in the industry, advice about how to look after each model of drone, and lots of food for thought about going into a difficult market.”

What was your favourite moment?

“Playing on the flight simulator during the lunch breaks was fun! But the best moment was probably getting my exam results, and realising I had passed! Steve, one of the instructors, had some minor concerns about what I’d written on my flight planning form, so he gave me a few extra bits of info when he de-briefed me. It was also really great to share my success with the other students, you could feel there was a collective sigh of relief when we realised we had all passed. Even though it was only over two days, there was a bit of camaraderie between us all by the end, and that certainly made the course memorable.”

How did you find the exams?

“I don’t like to admit it, but I’ve always found it hard to read coordinates on a chart! But Robert, the instructor who taught Navigation and Charting, could see I was struggling and came over and gave me a couple of extra tips, and that really helped when it came to the tests. I was so nervous beforehand, and scared I was going to forget everything I had learned over the two days! But it was fine, they were more manageable than I was expecting.”

What would you say to anyone who is thinking of taking the UAQ?

“I’ve been flying for a while, but the experience really taught me a lot about safety. When I think back to the flights I made before I was trained, I can’t believe some of the things I did. Some of what I was doing was dangerous, and I didn’t even know it. In the long run doing this course has probably saved me time, money and perhaps even my reputation. I’d recommend it to anyone who is looking at applying for PfCO.”

To date UAVAir has trained almost 900 pilots, and its courses continue to set standards that the rest of the industry follows. Having recently been registered as ISO 9001 compliant, it is one of a small minority of drone training providers that is quality assured. Get in touch today to discuss your drone requirements.