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CASA (Australian) UAV controller / operator certificate

Discussion in 'Commercial sUAS Remote Pilots Discussions' started by min0nim, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. Shelipso

    Shelipso Member

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    Posted by Shelipso, Jan 19, 2015 #41
    Thx dazzab. Will check with my training people. Have you guys bought a operation/repair manual from one of the providers or put that together yoyrself? I am wondering if it is worth to pay 2 grand to get the samples and help to complete the applications.
     
  2. dazzab

    dazzab Member

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    Posted by dazzab, Jan 19, 2015 #42
    I'm in the process of doing my OC now. I'm using a combination of creating my own content and getting advice from a consultant. I've heard some people have been knocked back by just submitting an obvious templated document and others have been knocked back for not having the correct contact. I think at the end of the day spending money on a consultant will be good value but I'm sure different things work for different people. Given that I haven't finished the process yet I can't really offer any advice on what has worked and what hasn't.
     
  3. Rentakill

    Rentakill Member

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    Posted by Rentakill, Jan 19, 2015 #43
    I will be getting mine done as the extra cost and delay from CASA could set you back months.
     
  4. Rentakill

    Rentakill Member

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    Posted by Rentakill, Feb 4, 2015 #44
    So how are our UAV operators going, plenty of work?????. Is the industry big enough???? are you flying mostly automated or manual.
     
  5. dazzab

    dazzab Member

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    Posted by dazzab, Feb 7, 2015 #45
    @Rentakill@Rentakill - I'd be interested in knowing what you think the answers are to those questions in relation to Sydney. I suspect I'll be doing more work in your area than down here in Canberra with some luck.

    I'm still waiting for my OC so I can't add too much about the scene in Canberra but so far I really don't like what I see. There are two certified operators here and two more about to join in the fun. They don't appear to do business in the traditional manner that I'm used to in that they all work in other jobs and don't seem to care how much money they spend or if they actually make a profit. The rates they charge (when they actually charge) will never cover their expenses so I'm not really sure what is going on there. I've been called old fashioned for thinking that running a business to generate a profit is important. I sure wish my bank would subscribe to that thinking. Life would be so much easier if they didn't insist that I pay for my house.

    But I have met some nice people and of course, flying is great fun. I'm sure that eventually good things will come from all the contacts and work that I've done. But for the moment it's a bit foggy for me. :)
     
  6. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Posted by Vortex, Feb 8, 2015 #46
    Dazzab, there is a lot of what you describe going on everywhere at the moment. I spent 3 years getting our systems up and running to a standard I was happy with and by the time we had our UOC there were another 4 licensed operators in the same area. Now what's happening is some of the other operators are flying so cheap I doubt they will survive but by the time that happens the harm will have been done and there will undoubtedly be more of the same to fill their ranks.

    And then there are the guys flying without Operator's Certs and UOCs.........The future of the fledgling industry should be rosy but it isn't. Don't be disappointed when you finally get everything in order and you're ready to commence business, that you'd be hard pressed to earn enough to pay your Insurance premium!!
     
  7. Rentakill

    Rentakill Member

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    Posted by Rentakill, Feb 8, 2015 #47
    Just got my UAV pilots license after more than 2 months lol. Sydney at the moment has lots of non licensed operators risking everything for the free shot. This seems to becoming from the real estate industry reportedly.

    When it comes to work I have made contacts while flying that want various types of jobs done, and these jobs cant be done with dji phantoms and go pro cameras. Done my fair share of freebies so our work can be exposed.

    All my work will be of the highest quality using the proven equipment and technology with over 40 hours flight time. I feel the industry is just starting to get direction. Professional operators will flourish while the non trained operators will make us look good.

    I've spent far to much time and effort chasing this one, just remember our direct competitor is the helicopters, other options for work are the
    EBee uav's. Industry is killing it with the Ebee, I prefer my UAV and the manual flying skills.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2015
  8. Rentakill

    Rentakill Member

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    Posted by Rentakill, Feb 8, 2015 #48
    Dazzab we should meet up one day, I'm down the road at Campbelltown. Seeing the industry is so new we need to establish sound foundations like pricing etc. All the qualified UAV pilots will get work being able to fly in restricted areas and being proficient when submitting area permission request forms.

    Still got my invite to Royal Canberra GC, rained and snowed last time I was at Canberra.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2015
  9. dazzab

    dazzab Member

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    Posted by dazzab, Feb 10, 2015 #50
    They use top equipment and lots of it. It's not all doom and gloom though. And remember there are two sides to every story. This is just my perspective and I'm sure there are some who would say I'm full of it and don't know what I'm talking about. Interestingly enough the most successful company is run by some very smart and clever people who are totally open to working together with others. They have been most helpful and I really enjoy working with them. I just don't understand why they aren't doing it full time as they have a lot of interesting projects going. I've done numbers for my business operations and it looks to me that as a sole trader it will take me three years to recover my investment. Then I'll have to deal with depreciation which is going to be a real killer given how expensive the equipment is and it's relatively short life span. What has me so concerned is there really seems to be a belief that the best strategy in this sector is to make sure your primary income comes from another source. That just goes against everything I've ever learned or experienced. I just don't see the point of establishing a business and then going off to work for someone else 9-5.
     
  10. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Posted by Vortex, Feb 12, 2015 #51
    Already we are finding there are licensed operators undercutting to win jobs for way below what the work should be paying. I guess they are under pressure to get some cash flow but it isn't doing anything positive for the industry and for the long term. Responsible operators who have a business plan and are appropriately insured know what they need to charge to make their business viable and prosper . I guess in time the operators who are undercutting to simply get work will ultimately fade away but they will be replaced by others who will do the same thing and the cycle will continue.

    It will be interesting to see what happens if and when CASA introduce the Sub 2kg class!!!
     
  11. dazzab

    dazzab Member

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    Posted by dazzab, Mar 31, 2015 #52
    Anything multi rotor related going on in Sydney over the long weekend? I'm going to meet up with some friends on Sat and will probably be doing a demo flight with a friend using an Inspire somewhere around Bonnyrigg on Sunday morning if anyone wants to join in or get a cuppa etc. Send me a PM and I'll give you my mobile number.
     
  12. gsp

    gsp Member

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    Posted by gsp, Apr 29, 2015 #53
    Will be doing my UOC assessment in a few weeks. For those that have been through the process do you have any advice?
     
  13. dazzab

    dazzab Member

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    Posted by dazzab, Sep 30, 2015 #54
    I noticed you posted this in April. How did your assessment go?

    I just completed mine today. My first attempt a few weeks ago was a disaster as I had hardware failures on both my Octocopter and Hexacopter. I won't bother you with the long story. But since then I've been waiting for the weather so I could retest. They really expect quite a high level of skill IMHO which is fine but nerve racking. I've done the exercises many times just fine and have years of experience but still I found it a bit difficult. I'm not totally sure why because it's really not that hard of a test.

    I was actually going for my <20Kg certification so I can use my 9.5Kg SkyJib commercially. I also was applying to do mapping with my hexacopter so I had to fly it manually and demonstrate an automated mission and prove that I could take manual control during that mission and then return to the automated mapping. That went great thanks to having a lot of knowledge about the Pixhawk, and practice.

    But I deferred the fixed wing test as I only have a few months of experience with planes. The test has to be done totally manually, no stabilisation help from the autopilot, which is just a bit too much for me right now.

    My advice to others is to ensure you know the test exercise in advance and to practice it over and over before the test. Now that I'm flying both multi rotors and fixed wing I can see that the inspectors are coming from a fixed wing perspective. They still speak in terms of rudders, ailerons, circuits etc. I won't even be attempting the fixed wing test again until after I have my MAAA Bronze wings. The test they give is essentially the same as the MAAA Bronze wings test and the expectation is that you will be able to do those exercises well demonstrating full control of the aircraft and an understanding of all safety procedures.
     
  14. Fat Corgi

    Fat Corgi Member

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    Posted by Fat Corgi, Sep 30, 2015 #55
    Great write up dazzab. Any tips for the documents? Submitting mine next week.
     
  15. dazzab

    dazzab Member

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    Posted by dazzab, Sep 30, 2015 #56
    I can't be of much help there as I paid for assistance in preparing mine to another OC holder who is also a commercial airline pilot and a flight instructor for UAV operators. At the time I looked at the templates and thought I'd rather job it out so as not to not possibly slow down the process of obtaining the OC. I'm fairly sure just working through the templates will get you a result that CASA is happy with. They mentioned to me several times that they are happy for people to do them that way.

    Remember that anything that ends up in those manuals legally binds you to it. So if you say something like you only use batteries for 50 cycles and something goes wrong while using batteries that have 60 cycles on them, you would be in trouble. So be realistic and then be prepared to stick to it without exception.
     
  16. gsp

    gsp Member

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    Posted by gsp, Sep 30, 2015 #57
    I passed the flight test without any troubles. Been flying rc helis and planes for years which helped. I also did plenty of practice on the manoeuvres. I did'nt do part of the test in manual mode which means I can't fly around populated areas but I will see if I can do it when CASA do their audit. Got my first pay check for a couple of national tv commercials recently so I'm pretty happy, other than that there's not much around locally.
    Greg
     
  17. David Vardy

    David Vardy New Member

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    Oct 15, 2019
    Perth
    Posted by David Vardy, Oct 16, 2019 #58
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