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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 )
  • Was £1,599.00
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Drone Training to Secure CAA PfCO (formerly PfAW)

Heliguy is committed to providing unbeatable training for commercial drone 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) and to become a confident, fully qualified multi-rotor drone pilot.

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

Here's what to expect each day on Heliguy's C-DOT course:

Day One
Heliguy CAA Training Ground School Day One

An introduction for both new and experienced pilots. By the end of the day, you’ll know your IMU from your EMCs, the difference between Course Lock and 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 take the Pilot Practical Assessment before completing the Ops Manual. 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.


Operations Manual

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.

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
Heliguy CAA Training Practical Flight Test

Practical Flight Assessment Test

The Practical 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. For example, it could be a loss of transmission or another aircraft entering your flying area.

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.



  Philip Bloom





Drone Training Locations


Please contact the team before booking: Call 0191 296 1024


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 training course schedule for 2016 / 2017. The maximum number of students is 16 per course.


Closed 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.

UAV Training Courses in the UK with Heliguy

Heliguy offers a holistic approach to UAV and drone training approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). With a focus on machine-specific instruction and a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace, we can instruct you on everything from the basics, to successfully joining the commercial drone sector with a professional drone pilot qualification from the UK CAA. It doesn't matter whether you have aviation experience or not - Heliguy will guide you through the basics of UAV flight towards a commercial knowledge.



What to Expect from the Course

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 operation standards and knowledge of UK air law. Our expert training staff will bring you up to speed with the latest advances in the 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.
  • 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 craft, completion of a real-world assignment scenario as well as carrying out all necessary checks and notifications just as you would in a commercial scenario.


CAA Training Timetable
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Lesson 1
AirlawAircraft KnowledgeRecap & Weather
Lesson 2 Maps & ChartsHuman FactorsOperating Procedures
Lesson 3
Airspace ClassificationOps ManualPlanning Exercises
Lesson 4
Airmanship & Aviation SafetyFlight Test PrepTheory Test

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



Learn More

Now that you've seen what you can expect from the content and scheduling of our UAS training course, click the 'INFORMATION' tab to learn more about how Heliguy can help you along the pathway to permissions.



Why Can't I Take My Training 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.

Will I Get a Licence at the End of the Course?

After completing our CAA Approved course, you'll then need to apply for the CAA for permissions, which we will recommend. After your practical flight test and the submission of your operations manual, you will get a permission from the CAA to fly your UAV for business. It's not a 'licence' as such, but it will allow you to operate commercially.

Showing 10 of our total 15 reviews, with an average rating of 5 stars. Read all 15 reviews for CAA Drone Training: Full Course (PfCO).
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Review Summary - 5 out of 5 based on 15 ratings.
January 13, 2017 |
Full Course ( PfCO)

Amazing 3 day course. Tom and Dan are excellent teachers and the other students were very good company. I'm glad I chose HeliGuy for this course. You definitely need 3 days to cover everything in detail. Well done all.

December 21, 2016 |
drone course

very thorough. great guys. if you want to pass then heliguy is the first choice.

December 17, 2016 |
PfCO course

I attended a free one day new pilots course with Heliguy back in October, I got a really good feeling about the company and the guys that work there. I have just attended the PfCO course (written Exam) and it was well worth it, I bought my Inspire 1 v2 from Heliguy, I now have a team of experts with the knowledge of SUA's that I can call anytime I have a problem. Heliguy is the one place I buy all my drone kit from.

December 16, 2016 |
Perfect introduction to drones

Great course, nothing but help from all of the staff would definitely recommend this course if you are looking to fly drones for commercial use.

December 9, 2016 |
Above and Beyond

For me, coming from a non-flying background, Heliguys Full PfCO course was an extremely thorough and supportive experience. The trainers were professional and very knowledgable, taking the candidates through the detailed and comprehensive information in a very accessible way, whilst going above and beyond in their efforts to support each candidates needs and experience level. I cannot recommend them and their Full PfCO Course highly enough.


December 7, 2016 |
CAA Drone Training: Full Course (PfCO)

The course instructor has very good knowledge and practical experience. The whole team are support in both ground school and in preparing the Operations manual.
The course would improve by having some hands-on flying instruction to introduce some good practice and techniques at an early stage of flying the craft

December 1, 2016 |
Great course and great team

It was a pleasure to attend the course. Delivery from all the training team was very clear and easy to understand. Everyone at Heliguy go above and beyond to help you in any way they can. Can't recommend them enough!

November 29, 2016 |
Excellent attention to detail and genuine care for service

Overall we are extremely happy with the value, quality and excellent service we have received. The whole course has really set the standard for our operations going forward. Special thanks to Tom and Dan for there commitment and hard work in assisting us throughout the process. Looking forward to keeping the relationship with Heliguy going for many years.

November 22, 2016 |
Flight Assessment

Nice quite location (near a golf course on the outskirts of Macclesfield)

Tom, from Heliguy paced the test well, was very knowledgeable and gave some good tips along the way. A good experience.

November 21, 2016 |
Fly high (well too 400ft) with Heliguy!

It’s not often that you attend a “training course” and immediately feel at ease with your instructors. Too many courses these days are run on imparting information from a boring PowerPoint presentation and that is it…no real life experiences! Our instructors Dan and Tom were very helpful in all the questions asked not just by myself but by the whole group. It’s been long time since I’ve had to sit in a classroom and learn something. I particularly liked their approach to “thinking outside the box” for the situations that may present themselves to you in the “real world” It also helped that the location was top notch – the food was fab ! If you are thinking of taking your PfCO then I would without any hesitation recommend Heliguy. I’m looking forward to a long relationship with both the training and sales teams from Heliguy.

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