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Greetings from Herefordshire (UK)

Planeview

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Herefordshire not really known for much other than SAS and Cider !

An incredible area to fly (as long as you avoid some important NOTAMs), very picturesque and sparsely populated.

I've been flying paid work for years using the old BMFA 'B' certificate but I'm doing the PfCO later this month. I have two customers who've sponsored the course for me, one of who will be doing the PfCO later in the year if we can prove a business case (agronomy use).

This is very much an interesting sideline for me - I can't actually see commercial drone flying making a serious living for anyone in the UK, there are too many people doing it and the cost of entry is getting lower all the time, plus ever increasing legislation and general public negativity towards drones will kill off the small operators.

I'd like to be proven wrong - time will tell?

Adam
 
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AH-1G

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Herefordshire not really known for much other than SAS and Cider !

An incredible area to fly (as long as you avoid some important NOTAMs), very picturesque and sparsely populated.

I've been flying paid work for years using the old BMFA 'B' certificate but I'm doing the PfCO later this month. I have two customers who've sponsored the course for me, one of who will be doing the PfCO later in the year if we can prove a business case (agronomy use).

This is very much an interesting sideline for me - I can't actually see commercial drone flying making a serious living for anyone in the UK, there are too many people doing it and the cost of entry is getting lower all the time, plus ever increasing legislation and general public negativity towards drones will kill off the small operators.

I'd like to be proven wrong - time will tell?

Adam
It's a tough road, unless you enjoy eating noodles it's still fun. If you can find a niche, you may be able to find sponsors? Don't let the cheap guys keep you from moving on, market yourself as why your better and it will take time.
 
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LuvMyTJ

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Hello,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the CommercialDronePilots forum.
I hope that you will be able to use the forum to further your safety knowledge, for the exchange of innovative ideas and as a resource for current developments in the commercial drone field.
Enjoy!
 

The Editor

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Herefordshire not really known for much other than SAS and Cider !


I've been flying paid work for years using the old BMFA 'B' certificate
Then I am afraid you have been operating illegally for years. How did you acquire commercial public liability insurance without holding a PFAW/PfCO?
The BFMA insurance certs do not allow you to operate commercially and the CAA do not recognise BFMA certificates.

They simply mean you can 'fly' with a level of competency they do not legally allow you do undertake any sort of paid work.

In fact, the BFMA's own website states (under Q11) that a candidate must not fly any commercial operation unless permission has been granted by the CAA - In other words you must hold a PfCO.

I'm sorry but I have no idea what gave you the impression you could operate commercially under a BFMA cert.
 
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Planeview

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BMFA 'B' did give you the ability to get sports/commercial insurance back in the days before PfAW - I used a company called Perkins Slade for insurance (£5M or £10M, can't remember), they required BMFA B certificate (they did actually check) and a copy/example of process document that you undertook before/after flights. The recommendation for Perkins Slade came from someone already doing chargeable work.

BMFA 'B' can also be used to skip parts of the current PfCO course which can save time/money (this information directly from a UK based CAA NQE training centre)

Adam

Then I am afraid you have been operating illegally for years. How did you acquire commercial public liability insurance without holding a PFAW/PfCO?
The BFMA insurance certs do not allow you to operate commercially and the CAA do not recognise BFMA certificates.

They simply mean you can 'fly' with a level of competency they do not legally allow you do undertake any sort of paid work.

In fact, the BFMA's own website states (under Q11) that a candidate must not fly any commercial operation unless permission has been granted by the CAA - In other words you must hold a PfCO.

I'm sorry but I have no idea what gave you the impression you could operate commercially under a BFMA cert.
 

The Editor

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BMFA 'B' did give you the ability to get sports/commercial insurance back in the days before PfAW - I used a company called Perkins Slade for insurance (£5M or £10M, can't remember), they required BMFA B certificate (they did actually check) and a copy/example of process document that you undertook before/after flights. The recommendation for Perkins Slade came from someone already doing chargeable work.

BMFA 'B' can also be used to skip parts of the current PfCO course which can save time/money (this information directly from a UK based CAA NQE training centre)

Adam
Correct - The BFMA does allow certain criteria to be covered in lieu of PfCO. However, it does not give you the permissions needed to undertake any kind of commercial activity whatsoever.
The CAA would need an approved ops manual lodged with them together with proof of applicable insurance cover compliant to EC785/2004 which Perkins Slade (Part of Howdens) cannot supply since they are a recreational/sports coverage provider.
You would also need to be undertaking site surveys and risk assessment before each commercial job and keeping a cumulative flight log which has to be submitted to the CAA showing the correct number of logged hours in the preceding 2 months prior to renewal.
I'm sorry, but I have been commercially operating UAS for many years now, am a beta tester for DJI as well as a long term moderator over on Inspire Pilots, and I am fully conversant with exactly what is required.
I'm not trying to be confrontational, perhaps you were/are unaware of the legalities/rules in place but can assure you you are not and have not been operating legally.
 
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X5snapper

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As you mention, you share your county with “the Hereford Hooligans”. Perhaps they could lend you some of their covert gear, then you could fly anonymously.
 

Planeview

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So, I completed the PfCO course - very much tougher than I had presumed. You really need to pay attention on the course.

My advice to anyone considering PfCO training is to get your flying standards up as slick as you can - I've been flying since 1999 and flew quite poorly on my flight exam (especially in ATTI) but it was good enough on the day. Make sure you can fly in ATTI and can draw accurate patterns (8s, boxes, etc) and can handle the wind, landing in ATTI, flying nose-in,etc. Make sure you know all the features of your quad and the software/settings.

The 'ground school' part of the course is totally fascinating if you're interested in general aviation.
 

Planeview

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I think you have 90 days to complete the flight exam once you've passed the ground school theory part. I'll check and report back.
My course was 3 full days plus flight exam (about 1 hour simulated client role play and flight competency). There was evening reading and some homework to do.
 

AH-1G

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I think you have 90 days to complete the flight exam once you've passed the ground school theory part. I'll check and report back.
My course was 3 full days plus flight exam (about 1 hour simulated client role play and flight competency). There was evening reading and some homework to do.
I have a headache just thinking about it.
 

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