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CAA Drone Training: Full Course (PfCO)

Get your PfCO (Formerly PfAW)
Code: caa-drone-training
  • £1,079.00 (inc. VAT)
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Drone Training to Secure CAA PfCO (formerly PfAW)

Heliguy is committed to providing unbeatable drone training for aspiring commercial pilots. Approved by the CAA as a National Qualified Entity (NQE), we provide everything you need to gain your Commercial Drone Operations Training (C-DOT) certification and to become a confident, fully qualified drone professional.

We have taken a unique approach to our drone training. While we cover all of the important components on the NQE syllabus, we also offer a level of experience-led industry guidance to prospective drone pilots that is unavailable elsewhere.

Please Note: Our drone training courses are available on interest free finance from £39.97 per month – call 0191 296 1024 or

Our course costs don't include any hidden fees, what you see is what you get. We offer a comprehensive support network to every one of our trainees from their initial Ground School course to Operations Manual production and even beyond the drone flight test with advice on renewals and additional permissions just a phone call away.

What to Expect When You Attend Heliguy's Drone Training

Our full CAA-approved drone course takes place over a 3-day period in locations across the UK and teaches you everything you need to know to become a proficient drone pilot.

The sections covered in our UAV training syllabus include:

  • Ground School: The theory section of our training gives you an understanding of the equipment you'll be using as well as safe drone operation standards and knowledge of UK air law. Our expert training staff will bring you up to speed with the latest advances in the drone industry and by the end of the Ground School, after successful completion of the theory exam, you will have the confidence to proceed to the final steps before receiving your permissions.
  • Operations Manual: The most important document for licensed drone pilots, the Operations Manual outlines how you intend to use your drone in a commercial capacity. We will instruct and guide you through the completion of your manual, providing insights into crafting a thorough document which meets CAA criteria. Upon completion of your course, this must be updated regularly in line with your business.
  • Drone Flight Test: The practical section of the training allows you to demonstrate the skills you have learned throughout our course. This includes control of the drone, completion of a real-world assignment scenario as well as carrying out all necessary checks and notifications just as you would on a commercial contract.
CAA Training Timetable
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Lesson 1
AirlawHuman FactorsOperations Manual & Flight Assessment Prep
Lesson 2 Airspace Operating ProceduresAircraft KnowledgeOperating Procedures
Lesson 3
Navigation & ChartsAirmanship & Aviation SafetyPlanning Exercises
Lesson 4SummarySummaryTheroy Test

Timings may change depending on the course, the location and to ensure that all topics are covered to the satisfaction of our trainees.

Day One
Heliguy CAA Training Ground School Day One

An introduction to drones for both new and experienced pilots. By the end of the day, you'll know your IMU from your ESCs, the difference between Course Lock & Home Lock, which drone suits you and how to fly it correctly and safely. You'll also learn the importance of airspace and aviation charts as well as being provided with an explanation of Air Law and instruction on the different categories of airspace. There are also in-depth sessions on Airmanship and the Human Factors of aviation.

Day Two

After taking a look at human factors, we move onto the Operations Manual, a document that every commercial drone business needs. It contains health and safety information as well as managerial and technical procedures specific to how you plan to operate. This is followed by risk assessments as well as pre-flight and on-site surveys and procedures.

Heliguy CAA Training Ground School Day Two
Day Three
Heliguy CAA Training Ground School Day Three

We begin with a planning exercise and a discussion about the importance of weather patterns before moving on to the theory exam (75% pass mark). Should you fail, re-sits are free but you must wait for ten days. Once you've passed the Ground School, you'll then complete your Ops Manual before taking the practical flight test. Finalising this document is the trainee's responsibility. You will then be able to secure a PfCO (previously PfAW) from the CAA as a form of drone licence.


How Does Our Drone Training Differ from Other NQE Providers?

Heliguy's course has been designed to give you the best possible start in offering professional drone services. Our course isn't available to take online as we believe that providing our trainees face-to-face support from expert course instructors is a lot more valuable than unguided remote working.

There are no hidden fees with Heliguy, what you see is what you get and we don't charge you for any retakes of examinations that are required, letting you focus on passing without the stress of additional outlay. This also includes Operations Manual support; our team are there to support you long after the course has been completed with insights and advice as we believe in building lasting relationships with our trainees.

While the majority of NQEs charge extra (up to £200) for the addition of night flying to your Operations Manual and subsequently your CAA application, Heliguy offers guidance and support on this absolutely free.

We also offer interest free drone training finance (from £39.97 per month) to help you get started on our course.

Having been built on the mantra that our clients are the most important thing to our business – we've brought this into our approach to training. We aren't some faceless organisation, Heliguy is here to help you from your initial inquiry right through to your first commercial flight and beyond.

If you want to learn more about what sets us apart from the competition – you can give our team a call on 0191 296 1024 or email with an enquiry.


Heliguy offers rewards for successful referrals to our drone training courses. If someone you've referred signs up to our PfCO training you'll get £50 credit in the Heliguy online store. Plus, your referral will get £50 off the total training cost.

Operations Manual Support

You are responsible for preparing your own Operations Manual. However, Heliguy is here to advise you how to best achieve this. Our insider knowledge and technical expertise are at your disposal, helping you complete this important document plus you're guaranteed free lifetime support as your business develops.

The second section consists of Flight Reference Cards (FRCs) which contain details of your aircraft, site surveys, risk assessments, pre- and post-flight checks, and safety procedures. This must be completed before you are able to undertake the Pilot Practical Assessment.

Your Operations Manual is a key document that should be very carefully thought through, used regularly and updated in line with the evolution of your business.

Operations Manual covers: 1.) The nature of your business 2.) What you are flying 3.) Risk mitigation

Operations Manual covers: 1.) The nature of your business 2.) What you are flying 3.) Risk mitigation
Heliguy CAA Training Practical Flight Test

Drone Flight Assessment Test

The drone flight assessment will normally take place within 4-6 weeks of completing the drone training theory course dependent on good weather. You'll need to allow 2-3 hours for the test. The test is designed to check flight planning, safety skills and piloting ability. You'll be given an assignment which you'll have to research as you would for a commercial job. After receiving the brief you'll be expected to check the weather, flight charts, NOTAMS and, if necessary, contact Air Traffic Control before heading to the location.

Once you arrive, you're required to conduct a site survey and risk assessment. You'll then need to carry out the assignment while preparing for simulated emergencies. You'll then have to carry out simple manoeuvres in two flight modes - GPS and ATTI. It's definitely worth practising with the latter mode, not just for the test, but also to improve your overall skill as a pilot. For aerial filming, proficiency with ATTI can be vital when you're trying to achieve smooth shots.

Drone Training Locations


Please contact the team before booking at 0191 296 1024 or


Newcastle - Heliguy Headquarters

Unit 9, Jupiter Court, Orion Business Park, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE29 7SE


Newcastle Venue


Manchester - Shrigley Hall

Pott Shrigley, Cheshire, SK10 5SB


Shrigley Hall Venue


Farnborough - The Elvetham Hotel

Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, RG27 8AS


Farnborough Venue


See the drop-down menu at the top of this page for our drone training course schedule for 2016 / 2017. The maximum number of students is 16 per course.

Bespoke courses are available for groups of 8 or more. Please get in touch to arrange.

For more information on how Heliguy's training differs from the BNUC, RPQ, etc, please read this blog post.

Drone Training FAQs

What are the lead times on Heliguy’s drone training from start to finish?

The average candidate takes 1-2 months to complete the whole process. This varies on the candidate’s motivation available time to commit.

Can I take my drone flight test the same week as my Ground School?

You can as long as your Operations Manual has been approved by us in advance. However, it’s recommended that you take some time to absorb the information and use this opportunity practice what you have learned over the course of the week.

Are there any other costs after the Ground School?

The CAA charge for the initial submission, and then charge 50% of the submission fee for the yearly renewal of your permissions (These costs are subject to change – contact the CAA for the most up to date information).

What if I fail my drone flight test?

There are no additional charges – you can re-sit the flight test with our instructors for free.

Can I fly a drone without gaining my PfCO from the CAA?

You can as a hobbyist, but not as a commercial operator in the UK.

Why is Heliguy’s drone training course the best choice for me?

We don’t rely on distance learning. Our 3-day ground school provides the essential face-to-face contact to deliver the course syllabus and answer as many questions you may have. We also have no hidden fees and you’re guaranteed lifetime support for your Operations Manual from Heliguy.

Do I need to retrain or annually retake a drone flight test?

No, you simply need to renew your PfCO with the CAA. We can provide you with assistance when the time comes.

What if I need a larger drone and have already completed my PfCO?

We offer flight tests for 7-20Kg aircraft. Get in touch to find out more from our Training Team. If you’re changing the aircraft you’re using, you will need to amend your Operations Manual to reflect this.

Does passing Heliguy’s training course get me a drone license?

On completing the course and after the subsequent application process to the CAA, you will be awarded with Permissions for Commercial Operation which act as a sort of license and allows you to legally operate drones for profit.

Do I need to take a test to fly drones at night?

Not at all. Night Permission can be added to your PfCO for no additional charge. We will provide guidance on the process for integrating this into your Operations Manual, whilst outlining the risk mitigation and human factors aspect of flying at night.

Why can't I attend your drone training course online?

Heliguy is a CAA Approved NQE. In order to acquire your permissions, we will need to verify that you have the necessary knowledge to operate a UAV commercially. For us to do so, we need to work with you in the classroom to ensure that all that you have the knowledge, confidence and ability to fly in a safe way.

Showing 10 of our total 63 reviews, with an average rating of 5 stars. Read all 63 reviews for CAA Drone Training: Full Course (PfCO).
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Review Summary - 5 out of 5 based on 63 ratings.
November 10, 2017 | Robert Pogson
CAA training Course

Ben and Duncan delivered a really good course, lots to learn and take onboard, regardless of your level of experience.

November 10, 2017 | Nigel Crooks
PfCO Course

Clarified and filled gaps in my theoretical knowledge perfectly. Instructors were knowledgeable, insightful and likeable. Great course... thank you.

November 9, 2017 | Juliette M
Very profesional and friendly team

Passing the PfCO with Heliguy has been an useful and great experience for me even if I had already knowledge in UAVs. They exceeded my expectations!

October 26, 2017 | Nerijus
Experienced, knowledgeable and super friendly team

Study material is somewhat really hard to grasp, but Heliguy team members made it so easy to understand, I received support and advices at every step of the process. Highly recommended and would definitely use their services in the future. Shout out to Ben, Tom and Duncan - you guys are the best!

October 10, 2017 | PHA
Flight Assessment

I completed the flight assessment along with a colleague and were both impressed with the serviced we received. I would both use Heliguy again and recommend them to others.

October 6, 2017 | Joey O'Connell
World Class teaching. Best 3 days.

Ben and Duncan were excellent instructors for a course which could be made very tedious. Engaging and fun with all candidates passing their theory first time. Great learning environment with all the drones in the industry to look at and ask questions about. Very accommodating for all the people on the course and ensured that any questions were answered immediately and with professionalism. Highly recommend Heliguy for their drone courses, technical support and purchasing equipment as an endorsed DJI seller.

October 1, 2017 | Chris Payne

Amazing detailed course ! i had very little knowledge of how to fly my drone let alone understand any air law , basics of flight . The Heliguy training team guide you through everything you are required to know in a easy logical format . Ben & Duncan our instructors were brilliant ,every topic of the course they taught , they would recap on and any learning issues i had they were on hand on a one to one to go through them with me

September 29, 2017 | Ruben Martin
A real must-do

I was a bit overwhealmed and terrified when read through the course materials absolutely. But both Duncan and Ben have been amazing tutors throughout the venue and their vast experience has proven to be very helpful to comprehend the details of how becoming a good drone pilot.

September 28, 2017 | Gavin Armstrong
Heliguys PfCO training

Can't say enough good things about the training team at Heliguy. Tom, Ben and Duncan provided a brilliant course. After sales support has been excellent. Couldn't have wished for a more interesting and informative course. In fact so far everyone I have dealt with at Heliguy has been outstanding. It's obviously a company staffed by people who enjoy and excel at what they do. Thank you.

September 15, 2017 | Mark Trainor-Hayes

From my first contact with Heliguy right the way to completing the course, has been one of the very best courses I have ever done. Nothing is too much trouble and they make sure everyone has some time to spend with them. They are a company that want to have long term relationships and it's not just about the money. A fantastic course and people. Thank you Heliguy's for getting me this far so far.


Great service would highly recommend

November 15,2017


I got all the information i needed to make the right decisions before purchase, the face that they are DJI UK agents went a long way to helping me make the right choice to buy from them 5***** service

November 12,2017


i got all the information i needed to make the right decisions before purchase, the face that they are DJI UK agents went a long way to helping me make the right choice to buy from them 5***** service

November 12,2017


I was having problems with the courier it didn t give to me my pack I had to go to pick it up at their main building

November 10,2017


My go to place for all things Drone related. 1st class service and advise for free.

November 8,2017


Really fast delivery ! Great online experience! No fuss :)

November 7,2017


Always great customer service and the guys are happy to help with any questions.

November 7,2017


Good professional service which is lacking in a lot of companies these days, nice to receive a good service and quick delivery.

November 4,2017


Good professional service which is lacking in a lot of companies these days, nice to receive a good service and quick delivery.

November 4,2017


I spoke with Matty who helped me buy a Mavic Pro bundle. Unfortunately the security system wouldn't accept my credit card? However Matty was fantastic. Really professional and helpful. I also spoke to somebody else who called me to let me know that my order hadn't gone through. He was also fantastic. I eventually used a different credit card without any problem. A superb experience! Thanks for your help!

November 4,2017





From: Adrian Smart


Great customer service




From: Christopher Sayles


DJI INTELLIGENT FLIGHT MODES - Another great write up, covering DJI Intelligent Flight Modes. Well done Heliguy





From: Rohan Holt


Excellent feedback to solve a problem. Wouldn't have known where to start but with your advice completed a quick DIY repair on the I2.




From: Guilherme


Commitment and seriousness!




From: Colin Clark


Found this company by pure chance, and the prices compared favourably with the DJI store. Took a gamble that they were supplying genuine product and placed an order. The stuff turned up the next day as promised, the courier messaged me with a 1 hour delivery window (and allowed me to tell them where to leave the package if I was out). Delivery was made 2 minutes into the 1 hour window, original product well packaged. At this price and service level I won't be shopping anywhere else!!




From: Kyle richardson


Super quick!




From: Matevz Verlic


Quick and detailed answer.




From: David Longmoor


Great people, great job. Thanks guys!




From: Tim Simpson


Prompt, clear and concise feedback to my question.




From: Johnsmeatom


All the information was clear and precise, why shouldn't you get a smile.