How to hire a drone pilot

I made a video recently on what to look for when hiring a drone pilot for your project. You can view it on YouTube here or watch below. 

In short, if you’re hiring a hobby drone operator for a commercial job, even if you don’t pay them, then you are potentially liable to prosecution from the police. Also, in the event of an incident, they won’t be insured. At all. 

The safest route to take is to hire a PfCO (Permit for Commercial Operation) holding operator. Google is your best search engine for this as most will have up-to-date websites.  There should never be any doubt as you’ll find that nearly all PfCO holding operators will make mention of holding a CAA permission (some say licence but there’s no such thing) and those that advertise the service without holding a PfCO will never mention the permission. 

Holding a PfCO means that you can be certain that the person or company you are employing has undertaken in ensuring the flight will be safe, legal and that they are insured. 

As a guide, to gain a PfCO (there are a few other routes for remote control pilots etc) a person will in general have;

  • Attended a ground school for a couple of days to learn all the theory
  • Written an Operations Manual detailing to the CAA their procedures and safe operating practices
  • Undertaken and passed a flight assessment to ensure they are a safe pilot
  • Taken out appropriate insurance

Once they have these things in place, they can then apply to the CAA for a PfCO. 

If you ever have concerns as to whether a person or company holds a permission, you can check the CAA’s own list here. It’s updated every month or two so unless they’re a new holder, they will be on the list. If in doubt, ask for their number. Mine is 4343.

So follow my advice and you’ll always have an operator who is safe, insured and legal. Fly safe.

 

 

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