How to get your CAA PfCO: What's involved & should you do it?

How to get your CAA PfCO: What's involved & should you do it?

**As of 2021, PfCO is now replaced with the A2CofC or the GVC, both offered by UAV8 **

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Happy flying guys…. Ian


  1. Adrian Stewart on August 19, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    You helped me to make my mind up , thank you for that .
    I’m just a CAA registered hobbyist with 3 party liability insurance also all my work is voluntary.
    Would you think I would still have to get a PFCO ? .
    Thank you Adrian

  2. Lynn Beynon on August 19, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    The government of our country love to control every facet of our life and their making serious money out of this beurocratic soup they’ve created .

  3. R3craig153 on August 19, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    Hi Ian , doing my flight assessment soon. Would you recommend the additional training they offer prior to the assessment? Thanks

  4. paradad999 on August 19, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    A very good article thanks, but it has put me off doing the course even though I love flying my Fimi X8 and would like to make some money but I’m not sure the work is there to justify the cost.

  5. Michael Andersen on August 19, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    Did the people who made up those crazy rules have to pass the test themselves. 😜

  6. Pradeep Gurung on August 19, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    Great video i ever watch. 👍👍👍👍👍
    I am planning to buy Skydio2 from USA. And reship to the UK because they don’t ship outside of the USA & CANADA and also is not certified by UK. I was wondering if i reship to the UK is there any chances to confiscate the drone at UK customs? I am happy to pay tax and duty charges. If you give me some information regarding these i would be really appreciated. Thank

  7. Seamus Glas on August 19, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Can do this in the USA for half the cost.. UK way to expensive and tricky.. An honest reportage from Ian, restored my faith.

  8. Stephen Quick on August 19, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Just say it. Scum want to control everything.

  9. Adrian Stewart on August 19, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Sorry have you done a video (how to ) do a written operation manual? Thank you

  10. David Andrews on August 19, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Hello my friend, watched your video on the pfco as I was thinking about it. As you stated if you are doing a job that requires it then yes its worth doing. I myself just have a normal 9 to 5 job and just fly for fun and it’s my hobby I feel that doing the pfco. It does seem like a lot of money if you are going to be doing a job that requires it. Me personally I will continue to fly for fun within the rules and regulations. I found your videos informative and thanks for your time in doing it. Happy flying my friend and stay safe )

  11. Michael Houghton on August 19, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    Bit of a piss-take that it is 700 quid… I want to get this for a FPV drone. Would the process be the same?

  12. Louie Jake on August 19, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Is the drone in flight exam on ATTI mode?

  13. TangoWhiskey Bravo on August 19, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you Ian. Very informative! Much appreciated!

  14. iain smith on August 19, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Great insight into what to expect. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

  15. SO-UK: Music on August 19, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Great video. As somebody who is about to sign up to a course and build a business I’m glad I have seen this.

  16. Middle aged MTBer on August 19, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Here’s a silly question. if I what to have my own YouTube channel ,just showing parts of scotland off .Do I need to take this test ,as I’m just a hobbyist and don’t want to be fined or get grief from the CAA .cheers mate .

  17. Philip Robins on August 19, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    so there is a cottage industry of caa training courses who operate in neo liberalism profiteering , ie : law legal requirements to fly a commercial operation . and as Ian commented he may not even be making that money , £185 renewal annually hmm . we have you now drone pilot

  18. Simon Wade on August 19, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    Thanks for that Ian, great video 👏👍

  19. Simon on August 19, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    The problem with this, and I’ve looked into it too, I feel the costs, paperwork and ongoing costs will put people off and they will fly "illegally".

    A simple practical test after the drone registration exam is really all that is needed, along with some reference material.

    I can see a lot of people knocking on doors offering a 10 minute roof survey without taking this overblown exam.

  20. Clifford Kirby on August 19, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    What a scam and a rip off, anything to make money out of people who want to enjoy their hobby.

  21. Ricky mullane on August 19, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    very helpful video mate

  22. William Kennedy on August 19, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks for the information, for myself as I don’t use my drone that often as I am disabled and in my golden years it is silly for hobby, a bit paying load of cash just because I want to take a photo that might be unusual for hobbies, mine sits at the bottom of the cupboard waiting for good weather conditions and to be flown in a safe manner, the CCA are taking things to far it is not an people carrying aircraft just a camera that flies for a little more than its battery will allow rant over.

  23. David Harle on August 19, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    Very informative and now more relevant with the new laws coming in on 31 Dec 2020. Sadly I own a Parrot Anafi and so it affects me. Not sure what I’m going to do about it because I fly just for fun (safely). I’ve only owned for a couple of months and it looks like I will have to sell it because of this. Anyway thanks for the video I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  24. Blue angels Gta on August 19, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Can the police catch me if I don’t register my mavic mini when I can purchase it

  25. Mr C Pegasus on August 19, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks Ian, once again a straight talking well presented video telling the facts, I am a keen photographer and do it as a hobby.
    I am to retire soon and my plan were to purchase a drone to give me new ways of getting picture I couldn’t before.
    I have been researching and trawling what drone I should purchase and what new skills I need.
    Plus what courses are required I now find that there is a avalanche of new rules and regulations coming out from the CAA over the next 18 months that will make it ridiculously hard to fly a drone anywhere in the UK unless you have a PFCO or something similar.
    I dont believe in the statement "you cant teach a old dog new tricks" however after this video I think the cost and the intense highly detailed none practical course is not for me. I’ll take my money and spend it on something that will make me laugh rather than something that will be constantly getting more restrictive and costly not to mention bureaucrats knowing your every move.
    Once again Ian thank you for you straight talking videos.

  26. Norm Stephens on August 19, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    Good video and very much as expected. A course that should probably be a day at the most by the sounds of it.

  27. mah203 on August 19, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    Very insightful, excellent eye opener thank you. Been considering improving drone skills in prep for commercial

  28. Perry Wheeler on August 19, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    i totally agree with what you said. Over complicated. I want to put the drone 20 feet in the air and take pictures of houses. wont fly in high winds and wont fly in bad weather.. With what you described you learnt you’d be qualified to fly a 747!

  29. Paul Loader on August 19, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    Great insight, thanks Ian…..still feel the same way and have you done much commercially?

  30. Ian Davie on August 19, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    After you sat your theory were you asked to do a pretend job where they gave you a location and brief description etc and you had to fill out your pre deployment planning from your ops manual before they would let you book your practical?

  31. mcdjacedad, Sean Finch on August 19, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    hi Ian, i built my own drone, for a kit, and yes you should know everything about the drone, the ins and outs, from what type of motors you are using, ESC , make shore your firmware up dated, and flight controller to, just like a car, i also built a car to from scratch, the weather plays i important part of flying, that is why they put that in the exam, i haven’t done that type test yet, i just fly as a Hobby only

  32. Ian Gourlay on August 19, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks very for this one Ian, somehow missed this one at the time. Rather disappointing really, although my working life is well gone now I’d wondered if doing this might be a shortcut to greater expertise in the air, as well as broadening my awareness of all those "don’ts" that bedevil this leisure activity. Plaudits to you for making this video to better advise us all…
    Currently a little concerned about the nonsense proposed by the FAA in the US. Lots of worried operators over there lest those proposals might get passed in whole or even in part. And if the US goes that way, how long for our CAA to align us with them? The hardware additions involved seem likely to effectively ground all my miniature drone squadron. Once legislators get a bit of control, seems all they ever want is more and more.
    Thanks again for all your useful videos!

  33. Martin Cole on August 19, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Ian – doing my PfCO at the moment through COPTRZ on line cos of COVID. I am nearly completed with the modules and I will be doing my OM as a sole trader. i got the Mavic Air 2 so will be doing my practical test with tha drone. Are there any test exam questions out there??

  34. Mobile Freelancer on August 19, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Can i not make video for my YouTube channel? it’s very unfair to pay all these fees and you cant fly a drone for your own videos? It too expensive if i made videos for stock and used some pics for Instagram it’s going to cost more than the drone and over £200 to renew after a year i mean wtf lol

    Thank for this though glad i saw it and it came up on my recommendations!

  35. WayneSnr on August 19, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Many thanks indeed. As somebody completely new to all this, I found this video very helpful from start to finish. Thankyou Ian 👍🏼

  36. Ian in London on August 19, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    So, way more involved than you might think and pretty expensive too. Interested to hear your thoughts on what’s involved and the costs. Do you think it’s right and worth it? Cheers, ian

  37. Ian Davie on August 19, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Stupid question but when u flew to 400ft without the use of your screen did u wait until you were alerted by your controls to know you were at that height?

  38. mark richardson on August 19, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Very interesting, as you say great if it’s work related but for me who going to start flying drones for pleasure and a hobby it’s an expense I don’t need, but great insight into what’s required for the PfCO, thanks 😊

  39. Jeremy Potter on August 19, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Well done mate

  40. Anthony Batty on August 19, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    CAA Just Cashing in keep to the rules just fly a a recreation pilot £9 a year is enough of a rip off

  41. marcandsebe on August 19, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    I came by you video because I have failed the exam twice. It’s multiple choice answers with some that can be just a or a, b, c & d and anywhere in between. Out of 40 questions I got 25 on the first paper right and then 23 on the second. 😔

  42. Matt Lee on August 19, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    Hi ian. If I were to shoot my own footage and edit it to a piece of my own music and upload it to YouTube would I need a commercial licence? I have my operator ID and strictly use it for my own purposes. Thanks.

  43. danny on August 19, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    I’m new to drones but I want to be able to earn money from drones what shall I do? I’m new to flying drone does this course teach you how to fly it?

  44. Simon on August 19, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Hmm so hasn’t many aspects of training changed now? new legislations coming in Nov?? or something.

  45. Paul The Grump on August 19, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Ian
    Watched this video a few days ago .
    Thought I would have to comment well a rant really.
    I can honestly say what a load of rubbish that course was it’s just an other excuse for taking money . Like you said you don’t need to be able to build a car to drive it .
    Learning about weather 😂😂😂.
    The experts can’t get it right how many times have you listened to the forecast saying its going to be fine and looked out of the window and it’s pouring with rain.
    As for the cost of the course total rip off .
    I have flown model aircraft which I have built myself including camera drones from the ground up over the years and self taught I might add .
    And I can honestly say I have never had a safety issue or put any body or properly in danger the forty plus years I’ve been flying .
    Yes I’ve had crashes but I have been well away from putting people and property in danger.
    And as forc weather I look out of the window listen to the forecast but take it with a pinch of salt. if it changes I pack up and go home .
    And fly an other day .
    The course would have been better actually teaching you to fly safely and a lot more hands on and in depth flying technique on how to actually to get great video and pictures safely .
    With obviously some class room work to back it up.
    Then a small test at the end of it to see if you picked up the information.
    What really gets up my nose is the so called experts .
    And how did it start , did some body one day stand on his pedestal and decree I nominate myself as chief
    Teacher and expert .
    And every body will pay me for permission and certification. To teach others to fly .
    There is a saying that clever and talented old boys I use to know many years ago. educated idiots was there saying .
    You can teach someone as much as you like .
    But if they haven’t got common sense well you can guess the rest.
    PS I still love your videos.
    You have made mistakes and shared them with ourselves and hopefully we wouldn’t make the same as you .
    Stay safe Ian .
    Will be looking forward to the next video .

  46. Ben's Aerial Photography Services on August 19, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Just watched this Ian. I’m currently doing my A2 C of C and i must admit it is a little like what you described here. I think the CAA / EASA should have spoken to guys like you when designing this course and maybe not made it for commercial people. The A2 C of C should be for normal people like me to help you fly better

  47. i4ci4c on August 19, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Excellent Ian. Opened my eyes. I certainly won’t be taking the course. Thanks……..

  48. Dave Talbot on August 19, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks Ian

    Doing my pfco next weekend with UAV8! Was a little worried that the lack of Atti mode on my Mavic 2 zoom would be an issue until I saw yours! Also read your comments on the subject. Really useful video, thanks!

  49. Steve C on August 19, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Who gave the CAA authority to say you can’t sell your images,
    When we buy a phone or a camera, no one says we can’t sell them

  50. Mr FairyCake on August 19, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    Great and useful video Ian but what a load of tosh

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