Question: I’ve been told by other training organizations that I can do my Basic RPAS Pilot Certificate in 5 days at a cheaper cost.
A: No, there is a significant difference. You need to compare apples with apples. There is a major reason why a course maybe cheaper. There are now two (2) types of RPAS Certificate Courses, Restricted and Unrestricted. AUSA only offers the “Unrestricted” Course Syllabus to the public. The AUSA course is designed to deliver all components required by CASA to gain your unrestricted < 7kg electric VLOS license. If you do the Restricted Basic RPAS Pilot’s Course you are limited/restricted to operating the exact aircraft by type and name you are trained on. The Restricted course was developed to qualify pilots on “limited capacity RPA” only, by type. These are a class of RPA which once in flight have “limited capacity” for pilot intervention. The Unrestricted Course is designed around RPAS / UAS systems that can be re-tasked during missions with high functionality 3 axis navigation. If you plan to only ever operate the limited capacity RPAS that you are trained on, the restricted course will work for you (limited to VLOS < 400ft AGL operations). If you plan to operate an unrestricted RPAS / UA systems now or in the future you have to complete the unrestricted course. Also, if you plan to progress on to other RPAS to commence and conduct extended (Ex-VLOS) or beyond visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations you will need to complete the unrestricted course. It is important that you consider which approach you want to take. Moving to unrestricted operations will incur additional cost if you do the restricted course first.
Q: I have been advised there are different types of Basic RPAS Pilot Certificate Courses available.
A: Yes, CASA has advised that there are now two (2) distinct Basic RPAS Pilot’s Courses. Restricted and Unrestricted. AUSA only offers the “Unrestricted Course” Syllabus as standard. If you do the “Restricted” Basic RPAS Pilot’s Course you are only licensed to operating the exact aircraft by type and name you are trained on. If you plan to operate an unrestricted RPAS / UA system now or in the future you have to complete the unrestricted course. Also, if you plan to progress to more advanced functionality RPAS to commence and conduct extended (Ex-VLOS) or beyond visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations in the future you will need to complete the unrestricted course. It is important that you consider which approach you want to take. Moving to unrestricted operations will incur additional cost if you do the restricted course first.
Q: I already have a PPL or higher CASA piloting qualification and wish to obtain my RPAS certificate.
A: It is important to understand that the RPAS Pilot’s Certificate course is a CASA qualification, with a “fit” for purpose set syllabus. As a CASA Approved training organization for the RPAS Pilot Certificate courses, we must comply with the requirements of that syllabus. Now having said that, there are three (3) examinable subjects that need to be completed. The first is Air Legislation – specifically tailored to RPAS (unmanned aircraft) regulations, the second is Aeronautical Knowledge – again specifically tailored to RPAS (unmanned aircraft), but based loosely on the BAK-PPL. The third is the aircraft radio exam. If you already have either a CASA AROCOP or FROL you will not need to sit this exam.
The one (1) week practical side of the course involves learning to fly on an RPAS simulator, as well as practical flying of the RPAS training system. These simulator and practical flying activities expose you to skills that are required to achieve competency on an RPAS and accumulate the five (5) hours on type required to qualify for the RPAS Certificate.
There are a number of other subjects that are required for safe and sustainable RPAS operations, but are not examinable.
Q: I already have an RPAS qualification and am interested in getting my UOC ASAP. What do I need to bring?
A:The two day workshop has been designed to allow you to complete your UOC application ready for submission. Workshop numbers are deliberately kept small so that everyone gets the direct attention they require.
You need to bring the things we won’t know, for example who will hold the key positions in your company, and what your company is intending to do. Any supporting information on the aircraft you intend to fly is also required. Your lap top computer with your software submission is definitely required.
During the workshop you will work through your actual application, under the guidance of our staff. By the end of the workshop your application should be ready to submit, with the highest probability of being accepted on the first submission.
Q: Can I stay in accommodation off-site?
A: Yes. We do encourage you to live onsite as we do have early starts and late evening lectures however it is not mandatory. Being onsite will allow you to dedicate every spare hour to study or simulator training. You may also be able to secure extra tutorials if needed.
Q: How difficult are the exams?
A: You will need to undertake study before you arrive and study each night and over the weekend to pass. You are gaining a skill that will allow you to fly an aircraft so you will have responsibilities. The CASA recognized Certificate will not be issued unless you have achieved a level of proficiency required and can demonstrate control of an aircraft flying in airspace around Australia. There are 3 written exams and 2 practical tests.
Q: Do I have to speak fluent English?
A: It is a condition of V-TOL that all RPAS Certificate applicants speak and understand English. We may require you to undertake a test in this regard, if needed.
Q: Can I bring in my own food?
A: No. Lunch, coffee, tea and light snacks will incur a daily cost of $20. This policy is due to the licensing regulations that apply to Woodlands of Marburg.
Q: Where will the AUSA transport pick me up from (if needed)?
A: The AUSA will offer you alternatives, but typically one pick up Sunday pm before the course from Brisbane airport and or CBD and drop offs Friday, pm at end of course usually by 5pm.
Q: What if we miss our organized transport?
A: You will need to make your own way to the Academy at Marburg. This can be done by catching a train to Ipswich and then taking a cab to Woodlands.
Q: Is there parking onsite?
A: Yes, free onsite parking is available.
Q: Do I have to have computer skills to undertake the course?
A: It will help you greatly if you do have computer skills and knowledge of Windows software. If you don’t you will need to listen carefully and practice. Unfortunately the facilitators do not have time to tutor you on computer skills.
Q: Do I have to have had Radio Controlled Aircraft skills or experience before undertaking the course?
A: No, but such experience will assist in grasping the basic skills of manual flight operations.
Q: Am I issued with a Certificate(s) at the end of the course?
A: YES. A successful student will be issued with the CASA recognized V-TOL Basic RPAS Pilot Certificate of Attainment, the AROCOP (radio), and an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) certificate for the training aircraft type used on the course.
Q: What facilities are at Woodlands?
A: Different styles of accommodation, tennis courts, pool, walking tracks, beautiful views, manicured grounds, restaurants (and a menacing but beautiful peacock).
Q: Who books the accommodation at Woodlands?
A: We do. We will provide you details. AUSA has a block booking in the budget accommodation section of Woodlands.
Q: What if I have special dietary requirements?
A: Let us know in advance. You should also discuss this with Woodlands Staff when you arrive to confirm they have this item catered for.
Q: When are the courses run?
A: Over two week periods, contact us for latest course details and dates.
Q: How can I practice my flying and build hours after the course?
A: V-TOL has a program that will allow you to build hours where you live. Details will be provided during the course.