Frequently Asked Questions
Is your Flight School open during Lockdown?
We are very much open for business! Our Flight School is providing live, lecturer-led online theory training for students attending our Remote Pilot License (RPL), Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) or Controlled Airspace Training (CTR) courses. In order to participate in our online training, students are required to have a stable internet connection and camera enabled tablet or laptop to support video conferencing. For detailed costs and programme durations, please visit each individual course page directly. Exams and practical training is available at our Flight Schools, where we have implemented strict Health and Safety measures in place for students and staff alike.
What is the difference between RPL and BVLOS?
RPL stands for Remote Pilot License. An RPL course is the initial drone license and is VLOS ( Visual Line of Site ) – where the drone is operated in a pilot’s line of sight. BVLOS (Beyond Visual line of Site ) is an endorsement on your RPL license which allows you to fly beyond your visual range. Pilots will be required to complete additional BVLOS training to obtain such an endorsement.
How long is the RPL Training course?
Part 1: Theory training consists of five days of ground school (9am – 4pm) followed by another three to five days of exams and other proficiency tests. These times may vary slightly for online training courses. Part 2: Practical flight instruction can take between 2-8 weeks to complete, based on student’s practical competency and prior flight experience. Lessons are booked individually online according to student, instructor and venue availability.
I have a valid Commercial manned aviation licence. Do I need to do this course to operate a drone?
You will still need to complete the Remote Pilot Licence course; however as you should already have your Restricted Radio Certificate, you will not be required to do that part of the course. Equally, there will be certain subjects that you would have already covered and therefore you will qualify for a fast-track or condensed theory course of approximately three days, instead of five. Contact us at email@example.com for information on discounts that apply based on your current CAA licensing.
I have a Private Pilot license, what credit do I get?
You will get a credit for the Restricted Radio license and will not need to sit the lectures or exams for that. Similarly, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on discounts that apply based on your current CAA licensing.
Do I need to own a drone to do this course?
No, you do not need to own a drone to complete the course. In fact, you will not be allowed to use your own drone in the practical component of your training, as we are required to train on registered air craft only. All equipment used in the course is property of UAV Industries and is appropriately registered and insured for training purposes. That said, there is great value in being able to fly on your own as a hobbyist to practice and improve your skills.
Can I operate commercially with an RPL?
With an RPL alone, in South Africa you are eligible to work for any drone company that has an ROC (remote operating certificate). A list of accredited companies appears on the SAA CAA website; click here to view. If you wish to operate alone, you will be required to apply for your own company ROC and ASL (air service licence); more details on the SA CAA can be viewed here.
How do I insure my drone?
If you are looking to insure your drone for recreational purposes only, you can get an online quote from our partner, Drone Covered here. Drone Covered offers cover in flight and on the ground and has third party liability of up to R2,5 million.
If you are looking for commercial insurance, this will already be covered under your ROC once successfully approved by the SA CAA.
Do you have a payment plan?
If you’d like to discuss financing your training, please email email@example.com with a motivation to be considered.
If I get my RPL, are there opportunities for employment?
There are currently 27 ROC holders in South Africa (full list here) and this number is growing steadily as the year passes. As an RPL holder, you are eligible to work at any of these companies. Globally, the demand for drone technology and drone pilots is also growing rapidly and we believe that within South Africa, the career field is going to open up dramatically in future.
Why do I need a medical?
This is one of the licence requirements as set out by the SA CAA. Note that the “self-evaluation” medical is no longer accepted.
Are the restricted radio and language proficiency qualifications included?
Yes, they are included in the total course cost.
What if I am colour blind?
In some cases, being colour blind might mean that you are not able to obtain your medical certificate, which would translate to you not being eligible for an aviation licence such as an RPL.
What costs are not included that I need to be aware of?
Should you fail any exams, there is a rewrite fee that is not included in the initial course cost.
The Class 3 medical cost is not included.