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Getting a UK PFAW without spending thousands. What i found out and I have a few questions.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Malakai, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Malakai

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    So.. After some serious consideration on purchasing a drone and doing a ton of research into obtaining the PFAW from the CAA I think I might have found a lower cost method to get the PFAW rather than splashing thousands going the NQE route. Any input about what I have found so far, if you already did it this way or have any extra information that would help would be bloody fantastic.

    Looking at the Pilot Competency Critical Elements from the CAA's Acceptable Alternative Evidence:
    PCCE.png
    Section 6 BMFA 'A' or 'B' Certificates
    The only requirement for the PFAW including this certificate is the 2 hours logged flight time, completing your Operations Manual, getting insurance and finally applying for the PFAW.

    On a side note to the BMFA achievement, it states Helicopter certificate accepted for multi-rotors, however, they also now offer a multi-rotor BMFA 'A' and 'B' achievement. It appears to be the same BMFA 'A' or 'B' achievement except you take the test using your multi-rotor machine but get the same certificate, this is something I need to find out.

    So, when I get my phantom, I fly it recreationally and within the regulations set out by the CAA to gain my two hours+ flight time then book myself in for the BMFA 'A' Achievement. I have emailed the BMFA to find out how much it costs for the BMFA A tests and to find out if the multi-rotor BMFA A is the same cert as the helicopter one, I'll update when I find out.

    For the Operations Manual I think this might be where it gets a little tricky, its obviously something that you need to get right so it would either be nice to be able to talk with someone who has already done one or see someones completed manual for reference, the latter being almost impossible as its a personal thing. Understandable. Maybe there's provision for a business for someone who has experience in creating the Ops Manual's to offer a proofing service for a small charge.
    This is something I can work on while Im gaining my flying experience and from what I'm reading around the internet its almost self explanatory to complete with information available online for parts that might be difficult to do.

    For insurance, I found the BMFA offer members insurance and also another company, fpvuk.org offering public liability for £15 per year. Does anyone know if the cover they offer meets the CAA requirements?

    Finally the application, i noticed in the form there is a company name and number section, as I am going to register as an individual but I'm guessing I might have to register a business name. A quick search shows prices from about £15 but I could do with some clarification on this part.

    So far I'm looking at £30~ for the insurance and company name, £112 for the CAA permission and whatever the cost for the BMFA 'A' test.


    Links:
    Insurance
    FPV UK Store, Membership
    Members Insurance

    BMFA 'A' & 'B'
    Standards & Guidelines
     
  2. Malakai

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    Ok, thanks for the input guys :|
    Found out the BMFA and FPV insurance won't cover the PFAW as they only cover recreational use. I have to get commercial insurance cover. Time to look around.
    What companies for cover do you guys with the PFAW have?
    How much did it cost?
     
  3. Malakai

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    I made a new discovery, the reason I want my PFAW is to reduce the restrictions in place for me to do aerial photography but not for commercial purposes. Well, the BMFA offer an additional membership that meets the requirements for the CAA PFAW insurance cover but does not cover commercial use.
    There is this grey area between recreation and commercial and the BMFA are offering a solution which the CAA have approved but it hasnt made it into their literature yet. Its called Data, Demonstration and Development Flights. It covers the area I'm going to be doing. Photography and videography with the CAA restrictions reduced but not for commercial reasons but for myself.
    The best part is it only costs an additional £75 to the BMFA membership. This will give me both recreational cover and the cover necessary to apply for the PFAW. I also found out the BMFA 'A' Achievement is free to take. I will be contacting some local clubs to see if any are available for me to undertake it with them.

    So, now I'm looking at ~£220 for my PFAW.
    Obviously, if i intend on doing any paid work I would then need to take out commercial insurance but for the purposes I want the PFAW for it fits perfectly.


    Only thing left is researching the Operations Manual and finding if I have to register as a business or if I can apply for the PFAW as an individual.

    Links:
    Data, Development & Demonstration Insurance


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  4. Neil Myers

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    Hi Malakai,
    I love the way your thinking, I have had to leave my day job due to a back injury and so am unable to save for my target £2300 I expected to get my pfaw, please let me know how its going for you and if you managed to get help with the manual
    Regards,
    Neil
     
  5. Malakai

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    Cheers Neil, I'm still waiting for a local flying club to get back to me about booking the BMFA 'A' test. Im not rushing to spend any money yet just in case the CAA revise things. I have been working on my Operations Manual, its not too difficult really, just common sense, risk assessments and detailing everything about how i intend to fly and how to manage it. Ill post more when i get more information.


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  6. Shadow 81

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    Hi Malakai - any update on this?
     
  7. Malakai

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    not yet, i have now tried to contact a few local clubs about the test and so far none have got back in touch but its only been a few days since i banged out a few emails. I spoke to two guys from a local club on tuesday, they took my details and said they would ask for me and get back to me but again, its only been a few days. Im probably going to start ramping the speed up on this as soon as i have saved enough to pay for the BMFA extended membership then ill need to save again to pay for the CAA PFAW.


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  8. Shadow 81

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    This is way way complicated isn't it. I approached my local model flying clubs but got a very cool response - they have a fixed wing and a helicopter section but didn't seem to want anyone with a quadcopter. To join the BMFA you have to be a member of a club - round in circles or what !!
     
  9. Malakai

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    its not that complicated, its a case of finding a club that have multi rotor support for the BMFA test. there are a few in the midlands that do allow multi rotor that i have contacted but these people have lives too. i wasn't expecting instant results. I think the Operations Manual, although its all common sense and an outline of what you intend to do with your PFAW is the part that might take a little time to get finished off.


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  10. Shadow 81

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    The operations manual looks the most simple part to me - but I do a similar thing at work so no problem there - how competent a pilot do you need to be and any idea what the tests involve ?
     
  11. Malakai

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    You still need to be a competent pilot, you still have to demonstrate you can safely fly your aircraft covering everything from pre-flight to post-flight. The BMFA 'A' test is just to make sure you can safely control your aircraft. You will still need further evidence to the CAA of pilot competency such as the pilot having logged at least 20hours recorded flight time or taking the BMFA 'B' as well as logged flight time. You also need to know the BMFA guidelines and rules of the air inside out as they ask questions on this as part of the tests.

    https://bmfa.org/DesktopModules/Bri...ttachment&language=en-GB&PortalId=0&TabId=220


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  12. Shadow 81

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    This looks interesting - wouldn't mind practising these procedures sometime - don't look too complex but guess they have to be almost faultless - bit like your driving test
     
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  13. rockydog

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    You can join the BMFA without being a member of a club....an individual can join as a "Country Member" and still receive all the benefits of membership.
     
  14. Malakai

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    Still heard nothing back as of yet from local clubs. Going to try further afield. As rockydog says, you can join the BMFA without being part of a club, you get the benefits of having £25,000,000 public liability cover too. Being one of those things that its better to have and not need than need and not have, especially as its just under £40 for the year.
    You can later extend this to the extended insurance that covers the Data, Development and Demonstration. This insurance cover fulfils the requirement of insurance during application of the PFAW.
     
  15. grip

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    Nice job with all this info, thanks


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  16. Shadow 81

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    This is good info thanks. Visited a local club today but they don't seem keen to encourage quads at all - they didn't say no directly but the reception was hardly 'warm'.
     
  17. Malakai

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    Thats ok, I only require them to provide someone who can allow me to take my test. If they want to be funny about the fact that I fly multi-rotor that's their business. Just means they miss out on another membership.
    The one feeling I'm getting from these clubs is they are very picky about who they let in. It would help a load if there was a member here who is already in a club. Get a bit more information out of them.
     
  18. Shadow 81

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    Yes it would - or is it possible to start a new club? Maybe thats too difficult - not sure - but I agree they seem very selective. Saw some lovely model aircraft today - huge and very impressive - and some amazing helicopters - but no multi rotors on show. Always amazes me why people don't band together in an activity and accept that there are a range of interests
     
  19. Karlos1234

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    Any more news on how you are getting on with things?
    We fly a lot of quads at our club in Ashbourne, not really a problem with having new members joining to just fly quads..ect.. There was a lot of talk about this a while back and now no problem, think we had someone join last week, just to fly Multirotors, but they might get the bug and fly other things as well...
     
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  20. Malakai

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    Things hit a bit of a stop at the moment. Haven't had a lot of time to get a move on with things but come July I should have a bit more time to get back on it. As you are in a club Karlos maybe you could help, or someone in your club could help. Whats the procedure for requesting the BMFA 'A' helicopter or multirotor test? Do you have members that are able to provide this test and if so, how would I get a booking to take it? Any info would be fantastic.
    :)