Captain's Table

Mark Austen

2020.03.10 - Permission for Commercial Operations

Back in January I decided to bite the bullet, as the saying goes, and registered myself on a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) course with Britain's first 'Recognised Assessment Entity' (RAE), paid my money and the attended the two-day theory course in late February. I passed and I now approach the second part of the four-stage process of gaining my PfCO and that is the flight test.

This involves taking a two-part test, the first part being a job and the second part a series of flight manoeuvres. The 'job' part of the test is set out as though it were a real job and you have to plan and fly as though it were a paid job, along with all the attendant paperwork.

The third part of the process is completing my Operations Manual and the last part is submitting the paperwork from the RAE, my operations manual and a fee to the CAA and hopefully the result of all that will by my PfCO.

Hopefully all this will be done and dusted by the beginning of April.

After that and friend and I plan to make some money from flying drones and this should be interesting. Right now there are many ways of using a drone that can aid industry but not many people know that it can be done. We plan to use the drones for data collection, a catch-all term that covers mapping, surveying, inspections, modelling to name but a few. There are not that many PfCO holders in Britain so there is plenty of work to go round, the problem is finding it. This is where my friend comes in since he is good at marketing and quite willing to go 'knock on doors' to find work.

Should be interesting.