Remote Pilot Certificate

Hi Guys,

Just wondering if anybody here has done there remote pilot certificate (fixed wing & multirotor) and can recommend an company in Australia? I am located in Perth but am happy to travel. 

I see that these licenses also include and manufacture specific training part with most of them using DJI gear. Will these affect my ability in the future to fly with self made items using APM/Pixhawk as the flight controller? 

Also in regards to an operators certificate has any one have experience in applying for this themselves? I see you can pay companies to help you out but it doesn't look like it would be to bad to do yourself as long as the job is done properly. 

Many Thanks,


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  • Hi Ben,

    I've just completed my RPC training and am awaiting processing by CASA.

    I used TotalRPA from Victoria whom travel all around AU delivering their course. I don't have anything to compare it to but felt that the breadth of the course was good (covering basic aerodynamics, meteorology, safety, human factors, basic maintenance, navigation, mission planning and few hours of flight training as well as the AROC).

    However it was expensive (at around $3.5K for 5 days with only around 5 contact hours a day). This, unfortunately, seems to be about the going rate from the brief research that I did.

  • My business partner and I have gone the route through the controller certificate and operators certificate, and I must say it was quite easy. It does take some time, but is well worth it.
    In regards to manufacture training, all you need to do is sign a stat dec saying that you built the frame your self. You obviously need to show proof that you can fly the aircraft your applying for. You fill your 5hrs of log books in, get a certificate from your business saying that you have passed the training, andand that's that.
    There is a website that explains all the steps in detail. I think it's something likE uavsms or something.
    • Hi again Nicholas,

      What about getting an Operator's Certificate when you have built your own. Is there a significant amount of work needed to produce flight and maintenance manuals for CASA for something you have built yourself?



    • It's fairly straight forward. CASA gives you a pretty good starting point, you just modify it to suit your own requirements.
      Things like the flight manual and risk assessments are a bit more complex, but if you've been flying for a while it should come natural.
    • Hi Nicholas,

      Cheers for the reply! Why did you decide to do the controller certificate instead of the remote pilot license?



    • the first reason is that it's a lot cheaper.

      Also, the certificate can be based on any type of platform. You can do all the theory training for the PPL and radio operator etc, then complete 5hrs of practical training on any aircraft and then your certified. As long as you can produce a certificate from your trainer (your own business) that says you've completed your training.

      Now that I am certified, I don't need to go through the whole theory again if i want to upgrade from <8kg multirotor to a >8kg multirotor, or to a fixed wing, i just need to do the in-house training. CASA may want to observe you piloting these aircraft, but that's not a big deal.

      The only down side is that it takes time doing it this way. From when you first starting to do you controller certificate, to when the business has got the operators certificate, it will be minimum 6 months, but you should allow about a year.

      The documentation that you need to supply as the business to be granted an operators certificate are basically all given to you from CASA. You just need to add/modify the parts they tell you to. They even told my business partner not to change too much, otherwise it takes longer to check it over and approve.

    • Hi Nicholas

      Interested in your comment about how long it took. minimum 6 months.

      Was there a particular part of the process which took a chunk of the time? I already have a GA pilot's licence so that would cut out the need to PPL theory.



    • Once you have all the training and you tick all the boxes for the controller certificate, you then lodge that info with CASA. They then take some time to review that documentation and approve it. The do say to allow up to 3 months.

      It is the same thing for the operators certificate.

      If you already have some of those requirements for the controllers certficate, the intial process will be a lot quicker.

      You can then work through the operators certificate while CASA are approving your controller certificate.

  • I'm also in Perth, but I went to Canberra to do my RPAS with FPV Australia (run by John Fleming who also has the Mongrel Gear retail website). I can totally recommend John and Roger the instructor - he's an ex Army pilot so he's great for the practical aeronautical knowledge and airmanship.

    They offer the usual DJI type-training but my approach (which is yet to be validated) will be to get my UOC for DJI gear running Pixhawk, then when I have some experience and street-cred with CASA I will add in some custom built aircraft.

    Before you go for any RPAS course see if they include the Aeronautical English Language Proficiency test (ELP) which you need for your AROC. If they don't do it as part of the course then the Royal Aero Club of WA at Jandakot will do it for $65 which is a bargain.

    • Hi Joel,

      Thanks for the reply!

      Will get in contact with them and go from there. Might ask you a few other questions in regards to UOC when I get to that stage.



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