Martin Pawlett Photography | Starting the PfCO journey

Starting the PfCO journey

April 04, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Drones have become hugely popular over the last few years, being used both by professionals and hobbyists and so I thought I'd write up my journey into the world of using drones for commercial operations, from a wedding photographers point of view. Please note through these blogs, all views are my own.

1. Starting the PfCO journey

Back in November 2017 I decided that after purchasing a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone six months earlier, I could see a great opportunity to use this in my Wedding photography business to add an extra element. The Phantom 4 Pro is an amazing piece of kit once mastered, and the integrated 4K camera produces stunning results. Being a professional photographer image quality is key, and thats why I decided to go for this particular drone out of all the ones currently on the market. Those who know me well, know how much research I do into anything!

P4Pro-1P4Pro-1

After spending a few hours researching exactly what was required, watching youtube videos and reading blogs etc it turns out you need permission from the CAA (not a license as some people think, as this doesn't actually exist) if you wish to use a drone for commercial purposes, or in fact if you intend to make money or any kind of reward. This permission is called a "Permission for Commercial Operations", or in short a PfCO.

In order to get the PfCO, you need to be assessed by an authorised training provider (NQE's to give them their correct name - National Qualified Entities). You'll see a lot of acronyms whilst training!

Some people may prefer to study themselves, but I decided to do the training via an NQE and so the next step was to research nearby NQE's. Luckily there were quite a few training locations nearby from various companies - Knutsford, Chester, Uttoxeter to name a few. After comparing lots of NQE's taking into consideration price, location, course dates and more importantly feedback from previous students, I was swaying towards Uplift Drone Training who had a training location near Knutsford. Perfect for me, as it is only 25 minutes drive away. I had a couple of questions, and decided to use their online chat facility - to which Lyndsay replied instantly and helpfully answered all my queries. Having good support was a big plus point for me in choosing the right NQE.

The decision was made...

Uplift, although not the cheapest or most expensive seemed to offer everything I wanted, and proved helpful when I had a query - and so with all this in mind and a training location nearby I bit the bullet and booked onto their Fast Track PfCO Course there and then via their online booking system. This particular course consisted of 2 days of ground school, a theory exam, assistance writing the Operations Manual, a flight test and support before, during and after. The date was set for March 2018.

Things were now getting real!

 

Next time blog post number 2. PfCO Training
 

 


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive