A couple of weeks ago I successfully completed a week long course to obtain my Remote Pilot License (RePL).
The course was approved by CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) who are the safety regulator/operator for all Australian aviation (except Defence) and was conducted by the great team at Aviassist who are a CASA authorised training provider.
The training consisted of approximately 3.5 days of theory and 1.5 days of practical flying. At the end students had to successfully complete an 85 question exam to become an accredited Remote Pilot (RePL).
I had been considering doing the training for a while now but I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do the training through a work colleague so the decision was a no brainer really. Moving forward it will give me more scope for commercial work and opens the door for me to help people purchasing drones with workshops to help them fly safely and confidently.
With the RePL course there are three main parts or accreditations for a better word. The normal course allows you to fly drones up to 7kg in weight. An extra addition to the course I did was a sub 25kg endorsement which allows me to fly drones up to that weight. Part of the practical component associated with this we had the opportunity to fly the DJI Matrice 600. See the photo below and if you are interested in more info on this drone check that out HERE. To give an idea of scale the Matrice is about 1.6m in diameter.
The third part of the course was a radio operator accreditation for communications with control towers and other aircraft if required during approved drone operations.
So, what are the advantages of having a remote pilot license (RePL) and why engage with an accredited remote pilot?
1. It's an accreditation approved by the Australian Government and CASA that shows operators have conducted training to operate drones safely and efficiently within the aviation environment including knowledge of controlled and non-controlled airspace and also aeronautical knowledge.
2. Remote pilots are experienced pilots and have conducted training not only to fly safely but also what to do when and if things go wrong.
3. Remote Pilots can work with an approved holder of a Remote Operator Certificate (ReOC) to apply for approvals with CASA for non-standard operations like night ops or operations within restricted no fly zones.
4. Most operators and pilots have a structured business which includes public liability insurance and the like and will conduct safety inspections and risk assessments for drone operations.
So, in summary, I now have scope to perform some operations that normal drone operators cannot. I have access to an approved operator (ReOC) so can gain approvals (in most cases) for commercial work if required. If you know or hear of any businesses or organisations that are looking to engage a drone operator I would like to have that discussion with them.
Alternatively, if you know of anyone who is considering buying a drone or maybe someone who has already purchased but not confident with flying it, I can help them set it up correctly and give them the knowledge and confidence to fly safely and legally. I can also assist them to get the best photos and video from their drone.
This also allows me to purchase a bigger and better drone for my landscape work.
As usual I can be contacted by email HERE.
I hope you enjoyed this information about the CASA Remote Pilot License.
Happy photographing and also safe drone flying!