Home build / racing drone - PfCO

Hi all,

Having searched a lot for this and not yet wanting to go down the route of interpreting the various CAA documents to create all the various forms I’d need to fill in…

Does anybody know of any resources for creating an OSC, or indeed system / ops manuals, for a racing drone or a home build?

One of the big issues I see is that a home build wouldn’t necessarily have GPS for RTH but that’s something that’s relatively easy to resolve.
Otherwise, a home build also wouldn’t have the various stats about flight times, speed, max height / distance, etc. that’s normally required on an Ops manual.

Like I said, I’m struggling to find much info on it and I’m not sure how much help CAA would be as they’d likely just say “present an OSC and we’ll go from there”.

Any thoughts?

Thanks all

It can if you build it that way

It does, via osd screen and a blackbox

No idea about ops manuals though!

It can if you build it that way

Most of the main firmwares for home builds can support GPS modules and RTH now so shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

It does, via osd screen and a blackbox

That’s true. I guess it’s not a manufacturer’s spec list which is what I was thinking of but it could suffice.

No idea about ops manuals though!

Yep, that’s the bit I worry about the most.

@Njoro may know or @callum

Only needed if you’re using them for commercial work otherwise just follow the drone code.

Hi Njoro,

I was after it for commercial work.
I have my PfCO (obtained using a mavic) but am an experienced FPV / racing drone pilot and wanted to put the two together.

Update your Ops manual to include any new aircraft and reapply for an updated Ops manual from the CAA, manually keep a record of your flights and batteries In the event of a CAA audit.

Thanks again Njoro.

The problem is the updating of the Ops manual.

From page 29 of the CAA’s Ops / Systems manual template :

1.1 Details of design and manufacturing organisation(s)
Provide details of the designer and manufacturer of the unmanned aircraft including any
technical and design standards adopted, that may or may not be aviation related and that
may add to the safety argument. Where possible, this should include evidence of test and
evaluation if available.
Provide details of any recognised standards to which equipment relevant to the application
has been designed, built and tested, for example, aeronautical standards such as
EUROCAE and RTCA, or product standards such as ISO, ASTM, STANAG and BSI.
1.2 The design flight envelope (UAS performance characteristics)
Provide a full description of the flight envelope including, but not limited to:
 the aircraft’s flight duration/endurance and maximum range;
 the maximum radio range of the C2 Link;
 the service ceiling/maximum achievable operating height;
 the minimum airspeed required to maintain safe flight, i.e. the minimum manoeuvring
speed or stall speed (if applicable);
 the available glide distances (where appropriate);
 the environmental and weather limitations;
 the effects of differing payloads on the flight envelope.
1.3 UAS characteristics and design features
Provide specifications and characteristics of the unmanned aircraft, including, but not
limited to:
 the aircraft type, i.e. multirotor, fixed wing etc.;
 its overall dimensions;
CAP 722A Section 2: UAS OSC Volume 2 – UAS System(s) Template
July 2019 Page 30
 its mass with and without fuel;
 the maximum payload that can be carried;
 the kinetic energy impact value;
 Indication of sound power level if available.
Photographs and detailed or schematic diagrams may be included

How do I go about providing details of design and manufacturing organisation when it’s an own build?
Or indeed the “recognised standards”.
There’s nothing that states you may not use an own build for commercial purposes but it’s just a case of where to start.

Just looking for ideas of where to start or any reading material I could start with really.

As ever, thanks for any ideas.


It looks like most of what you need to do is in the above list, you’ll have to create your own documents detailing the above as there’re no templates.

I’d highly recommend writing to the CAA who are very helpful.

I don’t think anyone on this forum has built their own commercial platform through to CAA approval, if there is, maybe they could chime in and advice you.

Thanks Njoro,

I’ll contact CAA in that case and see what they say.

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