May Drone Update

An update on the progress of our Drone Training Program

Posted by Brendan O'Neill on May 01, 2019

As part of increasing Derby Mountain Rescue Team's drone capability, another two pilots (Nic and Sam) have begun their training program in conjunction with RUAS, as they work towards their 'RPQ-s' (Remote Pilot Qualification) certification. This will allow them to fly on our team operations and ensure they are fully conversant with all of the relevant air law and procedures to ensure safe drone flights.

Before undergoing their practical assessment, they undertake approximately 15-20hrs of 'Ground School' training where they cover a wide range of topics. These include Weather systems, airmanship, physics of flight, air law and regulations, navigation, airspace, and the technology involved in keeping a drone in the air. This is followed by a 90-minute written exam where they must achieve at least 75%. They can then progress to the practical assessment where they demonstrate the ability to produce a comprehensive risk assessment for their operations as well as being able to fly the aircraft safely. Pilots must then maintain a minimum of 2hrs logged flying time in the previous 90 days. Certification isn't the end of the training either given the role we have in mind for them! Given our particular use for the drones, we have ongoing training looking at how to best use the drones in different scenarios and keeping up with the rapidly moving technology in this area.


Photo: Nic Berry having his first flight on the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise.