Hi Mia here from Aviation training, Drone training and Adventure Helicopters. I am one of the team here and I’m also a helicopter pilot giving you a quick explanation as to why we take drone students for an airspace orientation tour in one of our helicopters.
Now, we don’t just do this for fun. We actually do this for a very important reason. We’ve been training helicopter pilots long before drone training became a thing and so we know more than anyone else doing drone courses, how important it is for drone pilots to interact safely with other manned aircraft.
That applies both in and out of controlled airspace. We take you to areas in the helicopter to show you from a bird’s eye view rather than from a drone pilot’s ground up perspective the sort of situations you are likely to get into where your drone is going to be in the same airspace as manned aircraft or in a low flying zone.
There can be many situations where you are using the same airspace as each other. A couple of really good examples of this are right here in our local airspace, so you’ll get a really good understanding of what you’re learning in a classroom that you simply can’t get from sitting in a classroom looking at maps and doing theory.
It’s way more powerful seeing this with your own eyes from the perspective of a pilot who flies a helicopter but also understands drone law and what it’s like from your perspective as a drone pilot too.
We also do a control tower visit. And again, if you understand what the control tower guys need from you, what they deal every day, the language they use and who they’re talking to, there’s no better way to get an understanding of how you need to interact with them than actually going up to the control tower.
When you call them, because you want to do something with your drone at a later date, you can ask with confidence, they will have more confidence in your knowledge, and therefore be more comfortable giving you clearance to do something.
Our drone courses run over two days. The first day is theory followed by an exam and this is when we usually do our helicopter flight because it’s good to have a break from classroom environment plus it helps what you’ve learned bed in. Students often say how useful this is to them.
The second day, we teach the mechanical and aerodynamic aspects of the drones themselves followed by a flight test in the afternoon.
I hope that gives you an idea of why we do what we do differently and why it’s so important for you to get a bird’s eye perspective of what you need to know as a certified drone pilot.