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Frequently Asked Drone Training Questions

Last updated on

February 28, 2020


    We recently caught up with our head of training Dan Wilson to cover some frequently asked training questions and the upcoming CAA legislation changes.



    Q: Can I still use my PfCO after legislation changes?

    The legislation changes on the 1st July 2020, and the one thing I want to make completely clear is that if you hold a PfCO it is valid from the date of issue to the day that it expires. You will not suddenly become an illegal operator from the 1st July 2020 when the legislation comes into effect. You can continue to renew it and keep the benefits of the PfCO. It will change name and the format may also change slightly down the line but the PfCO will remain valid for the entirety of its lifespan after the legislation changes.


    Q: I’m on a PfCO course with you in the next few weeks. how will you support me when the new rules come into effect?

    We are currently working through the changes with our internal training team within Coptrz in order to transition to what is being called the RAE’s (recognized assessment entities). Once we have gone through this process, we will be able to offer the full suite of courses (The CoFC and the GVC). For those of you interested in the A2 CofC because it gives you a bit more flexibility on how close you can fly to things we will be offering a free A 2 CoFC certificate to anyone who booked onto our PFCO courses from September 2019 up until the transition date comes into effect. Once we have our RAE’s in place we will be offering conversion courses for those who have not quite finished the process or would like to change their PFCO for a GVC


    How long does it take to get a PfCO?

    PfCO courses currently take three days – You have two days of theory finished up with a multiple-choice exam. You will need to achieve a 75% pass mark. Once you’ve done that if your operations manual is complete you can then sit your flight test. This is usually on day three of the course but can be rescheduled for another day if the weather is inclement or you don’t feel ready to commit to that flight assessment. In addition to those three days you’re looking at maybe 10-15 hours work outside of the training course. We have a lot of pre-course reading for you which will help you to achieve a successful outcome on the theory test. There is a lot of guidance and advice on writing your operations manual. We can’t get you in for the flight assessment unless your operations manual is in place.


    Will I have to reapply for my PfCO after two years?

    Currently the PfCO format is annual renewal and this will continue to some extent if you have your PfCO and you want to keep this valid once the new legislation comes into effect. It will change slightly, but once we have been informed of these changes, we will offer more guidance.


    What is the pass rate for our PfCO courses?

    This is dependent on how much time you invest before your theory test and your flight assessment putting things into practice. We have a great suite of resources that you can make use of; we have pre-course reading and expert tuition throughout the course to ensure that you have a successful outcome. You will have to achieve a minimum of 75% in the theory exam. If you do not achieve this, you will have to re-sit the exam. For the flight assessment we have some guidance in place to ensure that you can undertake the manoeuvres that we may assess you on and some more guidelines on the emergency procedure and how you might deal with them. But again, you need to put the practice in. If you need any further support, we are here to help.


    What are the benefits of having PfCO over CoFC/GVC?

    This is an interesting one, but ultimately it will come down to what sort of flying you do and what sort of equipment you’re using. In a nutshell; some of the benefits of the PfCO are that the distances are classed as a bubble since it’s not specified as a horizontal distance. If the pilot was satisfied that the flight could be undertaken safely, they could overfly something that was not under their control. You do not have that option with CoFC or GVC.


    Do I need to do additional training after 1st of July (if I have PfCO)?

    The only additional training you might need is if you want to take advantage of some of the new options moving forward. If you want to take advantage of some of the dispensations of the A2 CoFC you would need to meet the requirements for that. If you want to make use of the EV loss module of the GVC you would also need to sit those elements.

    PfCO training

    More questions? Take a look at our Training FAQ’s.



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