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Is gaining PFAW worth it?.....

Feb 21, 2015
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I have fallen in love with my I1 and have for a number of years had a dream of starting my own video production company. I am a trained community worker and currently use my equipment to make small films with the young people i work with or sometimes do video workshops etc however i want to take the next step! As part of that i feel that gaining my PFAW may be worth it as i would like to be a responsible flyer and feel it may be an addition to any work that i might be able to attract in the future when i grow a bigger set of balls than the ones i currently own and take the plunge! :p What are people's general thoughts on this? Is there a market out there for aerial work? Do others use drones as part of their wider video production work or do they hire in a flyer? Just any general thoughts would be nice.....
I got a PFAW a couple months ago after about 6mths and £2.5k and then another £1k for insurance and launched my company at the start of this tax year.

Is it worth it? In £££ sense not yet, hopefully in the future, I have no family or mortgage so my needs may be different to others, I've flown a P2 as a hobbyist for a while and it was a chance to do something I love. In the learning sense, yes, getting the PFAW has been an experience, I'm glad I did it.

Some people are making good money, but it'll take time (this was my mindset), like anything, yes if you're really good, in the right location, or lucky, have the right equipment etc it all helps. Estate agents, for example are getting wise to people turning up with a P2, GoPro and no PFAW because it also generally means they're not insured commercially. And what the non-PFAW charge are too cheap to compete with, for me anyway.

But don't think estate agents for example are going to give you loads of work even with a PFAW, I1 or even an Octocopter, not in my experience anyway.

As for aerial filming, maybe, especially as you're in the business anyway, it's certainly an advantage and if you want to make "valuable consideration" you'll need a PFAW.

Flying and filming in and around built up areas are a minefield in the UK even with the relaxing of the CAOSC rules, so some companies may hire in pilot, but It'll be your PFAW and Insurance on the line.

IMHO I don't think a PFAW makes you a better pilot but it does make you more aware of your surroundings, weather patterns, no-fly zones, aviation maps etc etc

We all have duty of care whatever we fly, the CAA rules don't make it easy on this small island and it could be worse if someone starts banning whole parks, even English Heritage sites, the one I've visited anyway, seem to have sign up saying no aerial photography.

As mentioned on here before, enjoy it and fly safe. And best of luck!
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