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Working without Certification (UK)

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Hi all,

I deliberated posting this in the certified pilots section, but I was unsure, so here goes..

I realise a lot of you, especially the certified guys, have some animosity towards "cowboy" pilots. However, although I think I already know the answer, I feel you guys are the best to answer this question.

The question is: Is there any work that can be done for financial gain using the inspire that can be done on 'half' a qualification?

The background: I have been laid off from the oil industry which, as some of you may know, has crashed dramatically in recent months. With the money I had in my bank, I bought a company name, equipment, website, course fees etc etc. With a view to becoming a fully fledged pilot in trading. ( I have an inspection background )

However, after passing my ground school and theory, I ran into some unexpected financial difficulties. Basically, I am now unable to pay for the practical and CAA application after.

I am doing everything I can but right now it looks as if it will take me at least 6 months to gather the funds on the minimum wage job I have managed to get. Loans, grants and all other options have been explored and denied.

So basically, as above, is there ANYTHING at all I can do with my craft (apart from selling it) in order to raise the funds to pay for my practical?

Or is it a case of just manning up like the rest of the population and getting on with it?

Fairly sure I know the answer already, but as you can imagine I am very disheartened and I want nothing more than to get my business off the ground, so to speak.

Many thanks
 

The Editor

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Hi all,

I deliberated posting this in the certified pilots section, but I was unsure, so here goes..

I realise a lot of you, especially the certified guys, have some animosity towards "cowboy" pilots. However, although I think I already know the answer, I feel you guys are the best to answer this question.

The question is: Is there any work that can be done for financial gain using the inspire that can be done on 'half' a qualification?

The background: I have been laid off from the oil industry which, as some of you may know, has crashed dramatically in recent months. With the money I had in my bank, I bought a company name, equipment, website, course fees etc etc. With a view to becoming a fully fledged pilot in trading. ( I have an inspection background )

However, after passing my ground school and theory, I ran into some unexpected financial difficulties. Basically, I am now unable to pay for the practical and CAA application after.

I am doing everything I can but right now it looks as if it will take me at least 6 months to gather the funds on the minimum wage job I have managed to get. Loans, grants and all other options have been explored and denied.

So basically, as above, is there ANYTHING at all I can do with my craft (apart from selling it) in order to raise the funds to pay for my practical?

Or is it a case of just manning up like the rest of the population and getting on with it?

Fairly sure I know the answer already, but as you can imagine I am very disheartened and I want nothing more than to get my business off the ground, so to speak.

Many thanks
Hi Oscen,

I'm afraid you already know the answer - "No".

It would be like saying ' Can I go out and drive now legally as I've got my provisional licence.'
Until the CAA issue you with your PFAW ANY kind of commercial work is a definitive no.

Was your NQE fee not inclusive of your flight test etc? - who did you use?

Sorry, but that's the way it is. Hope you get through your Ops Manual and flight assesement soon and can be up and running. :)
 
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Hi Editor,

Yeah I thought as much, jut clutching at straws I suppose.

No it wasn't I'm afraid, I went with Euro USC as they are local to me, one invoice for ground school and exam, another for ops manual and practical.

Cheers
 

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Hi Editor,

Yeah I thought as much, jut clutching at straws I suppose.

No it wasn't I'm afraid, I went with Euro USC as they are local to me, one invoice for ground school and exam, another for ops manual and practical.

Cheers
The more and more I hear about EuroUSC the less and less I approve of their business practices and they way they extract money out of people at every corner!

Hope you get qualified soon.
 
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The more and more I hear about EuroUSC the less and less I approve of their business practices and they way they extract money out of people at every corner!

Hope you get qualified soon.
To be fair to EuroUSC they state all their fees upfront.

And yes it does add up to quite a sum by the time you finally get your CAA PFAW emailed through to you but are they really that more expensive than the other organisations?

And in reply to Oscen.

Whilst you can't charge for paid jobs you will find numerous opportunities to both improve your flying skills and work in professional type environments through offering your services on a voluntary basis.

The proviso would be that the end video or stills are not used a commercial manner. An example might be if you were to contact your local archaeology group and see if they require any of their sites to be documented. I've done this and have now provided several archaeologists with aerial documentary material. You will however need to get some Public Liability insurance in place. I got a years £2million cover from John Heath for about £200 but I'm sure you could find a better deal than that. Again you will need to prove you are a UAV 'student' to get this insurance. As a customer of EuroUSC this will not prove to be a problem.

Another option which could actually earn you money would be to contact other CAA qualified pilots / UAV companies and offer your services as an observer / crew member?

Unfortunately this whole business places quite a demand on your wallet. Apart from the unavoidable costs of getting certified and even at the fairly basic level of owning a DJI Inspire ( relatively cheap compared to the more professional larger rigs capable of carrying broadcast spec cameras ) it all starts to add up by the time you've bought a few extra batteries, extra props, a decent case etc etc

Could you not find a family member or friend to lend you the funds to finish your training? Seems you'd be looking for about £500.

Good luck.
 
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Cyclops,

Thank you soo much for your advice, I am currently carrying out "mock inspections" wherever possible, with slight modifications to the rig, but not for any clients, just for my own experience. Best not to let on what the mods are in the public domain for fear of another qualified guy offering the service before I'm legally able to.

That being said, the suggestion regarding historical sites is an excellent one that I will look into as soon as I can. The problem is that I am working full time, and when not slaving, attempting to progress my business as far as possible in preparation for the day, if ever, I become qualified. This obviously leaves little spare time. Hopefully these guys work sundays.

You are absolutely correct regarding the cost, roughly £450 for the then the CAA PFAW fee. Unfortunately I have exhausted all possible funding options, and wrecked my credit rating in the process!

I will certainly try to find a cheaper insurance policy that gives them a little confidence, even if its just for a months cover to allow the voluntary work to be carried out.

Cheers again
 
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BMFA offer insurance for R&D that may help you out. Unfortunately most Government and Charity organisations are cottoning on to the drone market and cowboy startups and many like National Trust (which owns most of the County I live in, it seems!) now ask you to operate under their professional / commercial photography rules which normally incur additional fees, additional insurance and permission rules (£10mill liabilities, for instance), and even their own flight / safety assessments. Many historic buildings, archaeological monuments, industrial locations, power lines and renewables sites, quarries, etc are therefore off limits unless you have permission. (Yes, you can physically fly over them but chances are they will have a legal avenue to prosecute you, if they so choose). That goes for non-commercial, too.
 
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Hi Roger, thanks for your reply. Very interesting information. By R&D I assume you mean research and development? Seems a strange thing to have drone cover for?
 
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Great to live in the USA, where the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing.
 
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Hi Roger, thanks for your reply. Very interesting information. By R&D I assume you mean research and development? Seems a strange thing to have drone cover for?
Not really. We do R&D in the field / live situations. If we break it we'd need to pay for it. Castle's are expensive!
 
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Great to live in the USA, where the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing.
Dah! Media hype. The FAA, CASA, EASA, etc are all talking at the ICAO conferences. They are all working towards pretty much the same set of rules on pretty much the same timescales from what I can see. Sure, there are some localised minor differences but the overall framework largely appears the same. It has to be, at the end of the day.
 
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I would just say to be careful and make sure you are confident when flying and stay away from airports and crowds and you should be ok.
Just be aware about private property. Don't take off on private property. Take off from a safe place nearby and there is nothing anyone can do about flying over his/her property as airspace is public property as no one owns it.
 
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...there is nothing anyone can do about flying over his/her property as airspace is public property as no one owns it.
That myth is oft perpetuated and whilst true from the NAA's perspective these are not the only laws that can be applied in such a case. There are grounds for prosecution under IP, data protection, privacy laws, safety, local bylaws, etc and legal teams throughout the world are sharpening knives to launch prosecutions in these cases. Given that prosecutions have been upheld successfully for ground-based photography in the past I see no reason why they won't also be successful for aerial photography, particularly given there are potentially many more grounds for prosecuting an infringing drone operator. The alternative is probably more worrying - a massive public backlash against drone operators for breach of peace / privacy / IP... that results in much stricter controls on all drone operations and new criminal charges in the future.
 

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