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CAA Drone Training: Full Course (PfCO)

Get your PfCO (Formerly PfAW)
Code: caa-drone-training
  • £1,439.10
  • (FREE UK Delivery On Orders Over £99 )
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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 47 reviews, with an average rating of 5 stars. Read all 47 reviews for CAA Drone Training: Full Course (PfCO).
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Review Summary - 5 out of 5 based on 47 ratings.
August 16, 2017 | Rob Bolam
CAA Approval for Wrexham Glyndwr University

We are delighted to have finally submitted our UAS Operations Manual and SRG 1320 application form to the CAA. Throughout this process the training team at Heliguy have guided us in a very professional manner and provided excellent advice and support. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend their services to any organisation wishing to apply for CAA Permission for Commercial Operations.

August 12, 2017 | Jeremey Cleine

Really enjoyed the course! I struggled with the Operations Manual but the lads helped me with everything i needed. Would recommend Heliguy to anyone that wants to pursue a future flying drones commercially

August 7, 2017 | Steve Perkins
Only what you need to know and delivered in a clear and engaging manner

Highly recommend this course to UAV pilots looking to take their skills into a commercial setting. Lectures were clear and relevant with no padding to fill the time. The trainers are engaging and approachable and deliver their lectures in bite sized-chunks that allow the candidates to digest the new information fully. If nothing else, this course opens your eyes to the legalities and complexities of flying in U.K. Airspace that most new UAV pilots would never be aware of otherwise. Plenty of decent coffee, tea, snacks and soft drinks to keep you on the boil throughout. Thoroughly enjoyed my three days at Heliguy and recommend this course wholeheartedly!

August 4, 2017 | Matt H
Excellent team, top class facilities

Can not speak highly enough about the quality of training and venue provided by Heliguy. I had already purchased my aircraft through Heliguy, so was accustomed to the excellent customer service they provide. But I was genuinely impressed by the standard of teaching, and the layout of the course & venue(s). Both Tom & Duncan made the lectures very engaging, happy to answer any questions, and the course material soon became actual knowledge. Also, Matty was extremely helpful in helping me make arrangements for travel & accommodation, as I wasn't local to the venue. Would happily recommend the Heliguy team to anyone wishing to gain their PfCO. 10/10

August 4, 2017 | Rodd Hills
Full course (PfCO)

The course was excellent start to finish very professional & at the same time great fun. The knowledge of the Tom & Duncan was second to none always making themselves available to answer any questions even before or after class. I would highly recommend training with Heliguy

July 30, 2017 | Andy Lyons
PFCO Course

First class course from start to finish and onwards with continuing support - not just a grab your money and run company

July 28, 2017 | Tony Coldwell
Intensive 3 days with top team

Extremely well organised course in very comfortable surroundings. With another aviation qualification behind me the instructors gave a new twist to old knowledge and opened up a new world of SUA flight knowledge. Also a supportive team spirit was built up with fellow candidates.

July 21, 2017 | Jonathan Jones
Flight Test

Lets just say everything went according to plan on my flight test. The weather was amazing the examiner Duncan was easy to talk too and it went very quickly without any issues. I can't thank Heliguy enough for all the training, advice and service they have supplied. Great team. Thanks again Heliguy.

July 14, 2017 | Will H
CAA PfCO training

Having flown drones for the last 2+ years, I decided to peruse flying commercially. After spending some time looking at the different companies offering PfCO training, I decided that Heliguy looked the most professional and reliable.

After completing the ground school, my initial thoughts were confirmed. Duncan and Tom provided a well instructed and detailed course. Providing all the knowledge needed to gain a PfCO and also answering queries outside of taught content. The guys also made the course enjoyable and interesting.

Would recommend to all looking to fly commercially.

June 29, 2017 | Justin Woods
Heliguy should be your first choice provider!

After successfully completing the ground school phase of this course today, i cannot recommend the training team Ben, Tom and Duncan enough!. A new subject for myself, fully supported by these guys for the duration of the course both in class and post lessons each day, every effort made for every delegate.
The delivery of training is excellent and very well presented. Thanks guys for a great course in amazing venue and surroundings.


As usual, excellent!

August 13,2017


Good fast service once hiccup with credit card payment sorted. Very pleased with delivery courier.

August 11,2017


Great company to order from, helpful staff happy to help when you need advice, would definitely order from them again and would highly recommend them.

August 10,2017


Brilliant.hassle free.they kept me informed all the Way.nice work from the gang at Heliguy.

August 9,2017


Great service as always, almost instant delivery!

August 9,2017


Goods as described. Rubbish courier as usual!

August 9,2017


Friendly and helpful staff helped make my purchase a smooth one. Recommended

August 9,2017


Came next day like said. Was the product ordered not a cheaper version like some companies do. Will most likely use again.

August 7,2017


Kept me up to date with my order by email and text, brilliant

August 6,2017


Great customer service. Quality products. Fast delivery.

August 4,2017





From: Irving


Very quick response.




From: Irving


Very quick response.






Hi There - my name is Bev Parker and the service and help I received from Matt and as well some other chaps in the team was AMAZING! I rang that often, they used to say Hi Bev just from me saying hello - they recognised my voice! I was helped through on every aspect in secretly buying my husband a new drone, they were very patient with me and I have to say - A Joy to deal with. When I was deciding who to buy from I remembered my husband speaking very highly of you guys. Keep up the good work... Kindest Regards to you all Bev :) :) :)




From: Les Jacobs


answered all my questions / concerns at the time and made it very easy for me make a big decision easy, thanks, looking forward to the training.




From: Steve Evans


REP246274 - I forgot to take photos of my damaged drone for the insurance company and Heliguy kindly agreed to take some for me at no extra cost! Brilliant customer service. Thank you.




From: Richard Austin


Thanks for the quick positive response.




From: Alan Satterthwaite


Thank you for your prompt reply I will be more confident to buy my DJI Mavic from Heliguy if I can rely on your support if I have any problems with my product in the future.




From: Alyson Colman


As always you are brilliant even though I am a pain in the!!!




From: Andy Habin


I dealt with Sam throughout the process of buying an Inspire 2 setup and all the extras. He could not have been more helpful getting me organised with the correct accessories and putting my mind at ease knowing I was doing the right thing. He could not have been any better to deal with. I would highly recommend Heliguy, Sam and his team to anyone looking to purchase UAV kit.




From: Steve


Once I get my delivery ... hopefully Wednesday ... I'll be even happier :)

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