Commercial Drone Training Completed PfCO Course in the March 2018 Snow Storms

Commercial Drone Training completed a 5 day PfCO residential course over the recent snowy period.  The residential students were able to fly outdoors before the snow came then moved indoors into our indoor flying facility, one of the biggest sports halls in the South West.

With the site cut off the students ate in the Bistro as normal and carried on with lessons / workshops.

The CDT Hilux helped ferry students around site and led a Convoy of Vehicles out of the site on the last day.  Some students opted to stay a 6th day to allow the roads to clear.

Commercial Drone Training train team for Drone use for inspection work at Dounreay near Thurso

Commercial Drone Training trained the drone team that is now being used at Dounreay, the Scottish nuclear site for work that can involve a risk of injury and cost thousands of pounds to be done by staff / people.

The camera-equipped drone is being flown on inspections of Dounreay's highest structures.

Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) said it carries out about 50 such inspections succesfuly every year.

The nuclear power site on the north Caithness coast near Thurso is in the process of being decommissioned.

Commercial Drone Training train Devon, Cornwall & Dorset Police drone officers

Commercial Drone Training have recently completed the first wave of training / certification of 10 ARV / traffic officers of the Devon, Cornwall & Dorset Drone Unit

CDT won the tender both on quality of training and value, supplying a fully residential course, meals and flight training / testing from our 90 acre site which is our main base near Newton Abbot, Devon. 

We are training many organisations including the National Grid, Natural England & Dounreay offering an efficient fully residential training solution or training at the client site. 

Commercial Drone Training Police Drone Training

Drone Operations Manual Workshop

The completion of an Operations Manual (Vol 1) is a mandatory requirement for gaining your PfCO.  It is by far the most complex part of the course, being upto 40 pages long and usually takes a person with no aviation experience 30 hours to complete spread over weeks of spare time.

During the course CDT use an external consultant with over 15 years of aviation & operations manual experience to undertake a series a workshops, going through in detail each section of the Manual to the template in CAP722.  The Workshop in total takes upto 6 hours (with plenty of breaks & lunch / dinner).  Electronic copies of the template are given to students before the course and attendees are encouraged to bring their laptops into the workshop to fill in template sections themselves as the workshop progressess.  During the last 2 hours of the workshop students are left to complete the manual whilst receiving guidance from our external consultant if required.  

This method is the most straight forward & time efficient way to complete your Operations Manual and will literally save you weeks of guess work or lots of email exchanges as is the way with our competitors.  

CDT Offshore UAV Workshop

This practical and theoretical workshop supports Duty Holders and ISC Contractors to operate their own UAVs offshore in line with Oil & Gas UK Published Guidance.  Using over 30 years of Offshore Oil & Gas experience worldwide in Operations, Maintenance and Drilling,  this compliments our UAV services to deliver service excellence.  

Operating UAVs in-house offers a huge reduction in OPEX and CAPEX spending,  using core crew allows the UAV to be used for a range of tasks which would otherwise be done by a 3rd party specialist.  Technology advancements mean that UAVs are becoming far easier to use and allows greater flexibility in their use. We have already training personnel from one operator from getting their PfCO through to developing their operations manual.

  •  Training using ASCTEC Falcon 8 and Professional DJI Systems.
  • Operation of equipment in potentially Hazardous Areas
  • Planning UAV tasks, SIMOPS and ISSOW activities
  • Operations Manual and procedure development Support
  • Advanced flying techniques
  • Competency management
  • Specification of suitable systems and operational spares.

New guidelines for the use of drones offshore

A new publication to help guide the growing use offshore of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – also known as drones – has been published by Oil & Gas UK.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Management Standards and Guidelines were developed by a work group set up by the trade body, involving industry and aviation safety experts, plus UAS operators.

Mick Borwell, health, safety and environment director with Oil & Gas UK, explained: “A small but increasing number of oil and gas operators are using UAS for inspections predominantly, but also for aerial photography, surveying and security.

“The technology is particularly attractive for its use in improving safety. For example, sending unmanned aircraft instead of people into confined spaces to conduct inspections reduces risk, and is also effective and efficient.  We expect their usage to grow.”

The new guidelines aim to achieve consistency with the high safety and operating standards already adopted on the UK Continental Shelf for offshore oil and gas production and helicopter flight operations.

“The intention is to encourage offshore operators planning on using this emerging technology to think about the whole operating and safety system offshore and not just the air vehicle,” said Mr Borwell.

“The guidelines have evolved from lessons learned in recent years and provide information about best practice, procedures and the certification needed to be compliant with UAS regulations. They are an important piece of work addressing the application of a new technology to the offshore environment which will help to ensure operations on the North Sea remain as safe as they can be.”

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Management Standards and Guidelines can be downloaded from the Oil & Gas UK website  and are free to members and £60 to non-members.

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. For more information contact Communications Adviser Jennifer Phillips on or 01224 577279.


Safety test proposal for drone users

The BBC has reported 'Anyone who buys a drone in future in the UK may have to register it and take a safety test'

CDT has found out this may be the outcome of a new government consultation on strict uav safety rules.

Also there may be tougher fines / penalties for anyone who flies a drone / UAV in a no-fly zone, with the possibility of being charged with a criminal offence of misuse of a drone.

Drone use has become huge in the past few years, with drones / UAV available in high street shops.

The government says drones have massive economic potential and are already being used by everyone from the emergency services, marine, survey, conservation groups, energy companies and transport firms.

The Aviation Minister, Lord Ahmad, said while the vast majority of drone users were law-abiding, "some are not aware of the rules or choose to break them putting public safety, privacy and security at risk".

Drone UAV UAS Night Rating Overview

Drone UAV UAS Night Rating Overview

A night rating is a perfect way to increase revenue over the winter months, CDT are offering a full day of training and night test for £149.  See timetable and course overview below.   If you fancy getting here the night before and doing some group night practice in our 92 acre estate with one of our instructors, accommodation and breakfast is available from £20 per night. 

Commercial Drone UAV Training in Aberdeen - Scotland

Commercial Drone Training in Scotland

Commercial Drone Training Ltd and Cabro Aviation Ltd have announced that courses are being run in Aberdeen to provide commercial drone uav pilot flight training, ground school and testing for unmanned aircraft operation, commonly known as drones.  The course will report back to the Civil Aviation Authority that students who pass the three day course have demonstrated the capability and to operate unmanned aircraft of under 20kg.

The Civil Aviation Authority have published guidance on operating drones, and providing such approved courses contribute to airspace and the public’s safety by ensuring they are flown by competent pilots.

CDT are a CAA approved training provider based in Devon ad Cabro Aviation are a flight training facility based at Aberdeen International Airport.   

Drones are being used for a wide range of commercial activities such as oil rig, power line and structural surveys, to commercial photography and video production. With the increase in demand for such work, the requirement for competent pilots will be in demand.



Drone Insurance

Insuring unmanned aircraft systems is going to be complicated By: 

An unmanned aircraft flies over a raging forest fire, alerting firefighters to where the blaze is most dangerous; another hovers over a construction site conducting a building inspection; and a third sweeps through a neighborhood taking photographs that showcase the exterior and interior of a home listed for sale.

While this may sound like some sci-fi movie scene set in the future — it’s not. The use of flying robotics in the form of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones, is not only happening now, its commercial growth is predicted to significantly increase over the next 10 years.

However, in implementing these new UAS-related business opportunities, a multitude of insurance liability and coverage issues must be addressed, ranging from personal injury and invasion of privacy to aerial surveillance and data collection.


South Korea fires warning shots at 'N Korea drone' over DMZ

South Korean soldiers have fired warning shots at a suspected North Korean drone flown across the heavily fortified border.

Yonhap news agency cited officials saying that soldiers fired about 20 rounds before the craft turned back.

Earlier, South Korea's president urged China to impose the strongest possible sanctions against North Korea, following its apparent nuclear test.

Pyongyang claims it has tested a hydrogen bomb.

That claim is doubted by experts, who say the blast, though probably nuclear, was not big enough to have been a thermonuclear explosion.

Drone Training South West

CDT carry out 3 days of drone training & testing in one residential setting enabling us to report to the CAA that a student has demonstrated the capability to operate safely such aircraft within the under 20kg (small class), and that the student meets the three critical elements* that comprise acceptable evidence of pilot competency.

 * The three critical elements are the successful completion of:

                - Ground School & General Airmanship Theory Examination               

                - Practical Flight Assessment

                - Operations Manual Approval (to CAP 722 Template)

The above elements can be completed in 3 days in our rural residential training school near Exeter.

CDT enhance pilot safety by offering 2 days of practical training elements (not compulsory) into the training course on day 4 and 5, based on real world scenarios including planning, setting up and undertaking two full drone operations during the course.  

During practical exercises one of the team will take high quality photographs of you operating in your corporate clothing for you to use on your website (examples are shown throughout this website).

The outline course timetable is shown below.  The coloured boxes show the minimum course attendance to leave with the documentation to apply to the CAA for your licence.  In the evenings we actively encourage you to socialise with us and your fellow students, the course staff will dine with you in our on-site bistro and stay on site.  An instructor will be available every evening until 11pm in the library to answer queries etc.

Evaluating Operational Factors For SUA Flights Within Congested Areas

In order to fly a SUA in a congested area, SUA operators must establish safety and operational control measures that prevent the SUA from endangering the general public. Operators are advised to ensure that their existing risk assessment and operating procedures address the enhanced measures required for congested areas.

The procedures should address all relevant aspects of the congested areas they intend to operate within, taking into account any special circumstances or local conditions. Such measures may include but not be limited to:

Segregation. Segregating the activities from public interference by placing physical barriers and cordons, or using other built/natural features that effectively separate the SUA operation from the general public.

Crowd control. Marshalling or other active crowd control measures that restrict access to the area within which the SUA is operating.

Utilisation of other agencies. Liaising with the Police, local authorities and other controlling agencies/organisation to gain official road closures, traffic cessation or site access restrictions.

Note: These measures should ideally be proportionate to the risk posed by the SUA, bearing in mind the limited flight times and size and weight of the aircraft. Temporary restrictions may suffice in some cases. Restrictions that would be suitable for a full-size aircraft such as a helicopter in most cases would not be applicable to a SUA.

Wind and turbulence. Taking account of changes of wind strength and direction at varying heights above the surface. Windshear, ‘rotor’ and ‘curl-over’ effects may be present at any point on the planned flight path caused by interactions between buildings and strong winds or when transitioning from flight over a land to a water surface.

Radio Frequency (RF) interference. Pilots should take account of the possible reduction in operating range in an urban environment due to the heavy use of communications (mobile telephone, WiFi etc.) equipment and other sources of electromagnetic spectrum/RF interference. Mitigation for the consequences of weak or lost GPS signal due to masking by buildings should be considered along with the general RF saturation level. The use of a spectrum analyser is recommended to assist in assessing the level of local electromagnetic and RF congestion in the 2.4 GHz or 35 MHz frequency range.

Emergency procedures. SUA emergency procedures planned to be implemented during controller/transmitter/loss of GPS guidance failure modes should be able to be put into effect without breaching the minimum separation distances or flying directly overhead persons/vehicles. An automatic ‘Return-to-Base’ feature should not cause a hazard to anyone off the nominal flight path; this may limit the SUA to mainly vertical flight paths directly above the launch point.

Test flights. It is desirable to conduct limited test flights (hover controllability check) and other systems tests at the launch point before committing to the full flight profile. The integration and correct set-up of the camera and gimballed-mount should also be checked at this time to avoid unnecessary calibration flights.

The procedures and limitations on the use of the SUA that will be used to establish these control measures should be stated in the SUA operators’ operations manual.



Small Unmanned Aircraft: Congested Areas Operating Safety Case (CAOSC)

CAOSCvmeans Congested Areas Operations Safety Case. Its an assessment that considers all elements of the comapanies drone operations in congested areas (including airworthiness).

All CAOSC assessments will be conducted by the CAA.

The CAA make it clear that the CAOSC does not replace the requirement to hold an Operations Manual and any significant changes to the Company’s CAOSC will require further assessment.

Also, operators should ensure that any changes to their Operations Manual do not significantly affect the CAOSC.

Where changes to equipment, company policy or operating environment (within the period of a current permission) significantly affect the CAOSC, a new application for reassessment must be made.

Article 167 - Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft

Article 167

  1. The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph (2) except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA. 
  2. The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are: 

    a)over or within 150 metres of any congested area;

    b)over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons;

    c)within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or

    d)subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.

  3. Subject to paragraph (4), during take-off or landing, a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person.  
  4. Paragraphs (2)(d) and (3) do not apply to the person in charge of the small unmanned surveillance aircraft or a person under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft. 
  5. In this article ‘a small unmanned surveillance aircraft’ means a small unmanned aircraft which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition.