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In late June, GRM geologists Dr Tim Rogers (a former PPL holder and experienced photographer) and Alistair Walker (a current glider pilot) attended a training course run by Flyby Technology (Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved assessors) in Essex to learn how to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) safely and legally for commercial operations.

The training started with two days in the classroom covering subjects like air law, meteorology, navigation, operational planning and pilot skills, followed by an exam, which both Tim and Alistair passed with flying colours. Days 3 and 4 were outside learning to fly the drones in a professional, safe and legal manner; to add to the challenge it got a bit windy. Day 5 was the flight test which took place on an active airfield with vintage aircraft (Tiger Moths and Harvards, for those interested) flying around, together with the local birds of prey taking a close interest in the drones. Tim and Alistair both passed the test.

With the course completed our Operations Manual and other paperwork have been submitted to the CAA with our application for a Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO).

Once GRM receives its PfCO we will be offering a wide range of services ranging from aerial photography and videos, to aerial mapping (producing detailed photomosaics and preliminary topographic surveys) and inspections of roofs, chimneys, flare stacks and other hard to get places.

Alistair honing his skills with instructor Graham.