Heliguy’s Ground School: A Visual Guide

Heliguy’s Ground School: A Visual Guide

Heliguy Insider have created a visual guide to their CAA approved Ground School course to achieve permissions to become a commercial drone pilot.

Last updated: Mar 11, 2021

4 minute read

Heliguy’s Ground School: A Visual Guide Let’s face it, the process of commercial drone operator training can be pretty confusing. Even for those who have plenty of experience piloting drones, gaining your permissions isn’t as straightforward as it may initially seem. Here at heliguy™, we aim to make the process as easy as possible for you to follow and help you understand what’s required at every stage. We have created the third and final visual guide to the CAA PfCO process through heliguy™ to help you understand what’s required in the three stages of the process. This post is based on the Ground School, what’s included in the three days of lessons and the exam at the end of the course.

Check out our previous visual guides on the Operations Manual and Flight Assessment.

Ground School

The three-day Ground School takes place in one of our venues across the UK; Newcastle, Manchester and Farnborough. The Ground School covers a variety of different topics surrounding flying your drone safely in a commercial capacity. Check out the below visual guide to see what’s covered:

Operations Manual

Following the Ground School, you must produce an Operations Manual based on your individual operations. For standard operations, a two-volume manual is required. The first volume is based on how you intend to use your drone, covering aspects such as your organisation and general company and drone operation. The second volume covers your individual aircraft and its various systems. Your Operations Manual will be sent to heliguy™ following its completion who will provide areas of improvement if required. Following the approval of the manual by the heliguy™ Training Team, you can progress to the final stage of the PfCO process and book your Flight Assessment. For more information of what’s included, head to our previous visual guide here. Planning Exercise - Ground School

Flight Assessment

The final stage of the PfCO process is the Flight Assessment. Like the Ground School, your Flight Assessment can be taken in either our Newcastle, Farnborough or Manchester venue. In the Flight Assessment, you will be provided with a mock brief with the location of the assessment. From here, you will have to plan your flight in accordance with your Operations Manual. In the assessment, you will have to demonstrate your piloting competency by showing various manoeuvres and appropriately responding to various scenarios. If you’re unsuccessful in your assessment, a free of charge resit can be arranged after a period of up to seven days. The period will be set by the flight assessor who completes your initial assessment. For more information of what’s included, head to our previous visual guide here. Following the successful completion of your assessment, you must submit all documents to the CAA. This includes your certificates for the Ground School and Flight Assessment, Operations Manual and all other corresponding documents. Once approved by the CAA, you will be issued your permissions. Flight Assessment

heliguy™ Training

In addition to the heliguy™ PfCO course, several alternative training courses are available. These include the following:
  • New Pilot Event – A free of charge training day from heliguy™ in collaboration with DJI. This monthly event gives those new to drones and hobbyist pilots an insight into the DJI range, commercial drone operation and a chance to get some hands-on experience with a drone in our flight cage.
  • Drone Video Editing – This course provides a beginners’ guide to capturing and editing aerial footage from your drone. The course covers making sure you have the right drone settings before takeoff, right up to the finishing effects on your videos.
  • Emergency Service Training – Custom-made training for any emergency services operation. Each session is based entirely on the needs of the operation.
  • PfCO Adoption – If you’ve completed a section of your PfCO process elsewhere or have a pilot’s licence, we will cover everything you need to receive your permissions for commercial drone operation.
heliguy™ New Pilot Event


The Ground School is not only a requirement for obtaining your PfCO but also a huge learning experience for drone pilots of any experience. Choosing heliguy™ as your NQE allows you to access one of the best NQEs in the country. We have a wealth of experience, a knowledgeable team and adaptable teaching method to suit each student's needs. This has resulted in a 100% satisfaction rate for all courses in 2018. Our Training Team will not only cover what’s required to become a qualified drone pilot but make it their aim to help you become the best drone pilot you can be with the best business possible. For more information on our training, head to our dedicated page here.
To discuss any information from the above post or any DJI or Freefly product, please give one of our team a call on 0191 296 1024 or email us at info@heliguy.com.
Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more announcements, insights into drones and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

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