PFCO recommendations?

Hi everyone,

I want to start monetising my drone footage. PFCO is a must I understand. Some are saying to wait until July (?) this year to see what happens with the new regulations as PFCO may not be needed. Is it worth waiting it out?

For those who’ve done the PFCO, did you do an online course or in person? Seen this course for £399 PFCO course seems incredibly cheap compared to the other online courses at £500+ and in person ones for £1000+. Saw the course that the YouTube Ian from London did, seems like a good in person one to do, if there is a better one you recommend please let me know.

One last question. For the flight assessments, how difficult are they? YouTubers mention people taking PFCO courses with no flying experience and passing, wondered how these people got on with the flight assessments.

Thank you all in advance!

Mods, if this is in the wrong place, please feel free to move it.


TJ I would say to go ahead with getting your PfCO because in July the CAA will just switch the PfCO document to be a operational authorisation document.

I highly recommend doing your PfCO course in person and the company that I used was Phantom Flight School they offer a discount to GADC members. I’ll message you about this in more detail


Depends on what you mean by monetise ?


HNY !!

Just to recap, if you did an online course to cover ground school you would still need to do a flight assessment too. This is then followed by your ops manual which is sent to the CAA to gain your PfCO.

As for July there are still issues with ref the PfCO and what will happen once the EASA comes into force. The main thing is whether the drones we have now will fit into the catagories they are stating, some say they won’t and we will have to fly in a legacy class, this is where im not sure about because currently no drones fit into their classifications??

If you have work already lined up before July and it requires a PfCO then go a head and get one, They say the PfCO will be valid for a further 2 years from July, after that point everyone who needs to renew should have done so, the new classes are the GVC or the A2 CofC.

The A2 CofC is only a 30 question multi-choice with no flight assessment, the GVC is techically taking the whole PfCO course again - from what i under stand. Please don’t flame me as this is still not confirmed yet but i would suggest watching Mr MPW on youtube, he has some information on this that’s worth watching



Link to Mr MPW …


Thank you @alexmciver and @AboveAndBeyondMedia!

Will look into getting my PFCO and definitely doing in person course.

No work lined up, plan is to create stock footage. We’re going to have to wait until July to see what happens with the new regulations. Watched Mr MPW and he said it was a good move to get your PFCO beforehand.

Thank you both for the advice and feedback! :+1:

I’m doing stage 1 ground school online with Icarus training which I believe Mr MPW is the owner of. Icarus offer a pay as you learn arrangement and stage 1 (of 3) is free and gives you around 8 hours of video training online with a quiz / test after each module. Stage 2 is around £280 and is half day classroom revision and exam. So far I’m not sure about flight test cost, but you get your manual done by a third party company too.

Hope this helps a little.

Good luck with which ever way you decide @CaptainAdrona.

Here’s some info from Mr MPW from a facebook group. I believe if you do a PfCO course with them they will include an A2 CofC free too for when it comes into being…

[M Att Williams]Hey guys, you’ll be able to operate current drones under a PfCO forever (pretty much), so long as you keep your PfCO current…

If you don’t have a PfCO or let it lapse, then you’ll only be able to fly it in the A3 subcategory of the Open Category-so 150m from congested areas & uninvolved people (this may be reduced to 50m of uninvolved people by the CAA when they announce the new CAP 722 in May-but we won’t know this detail until then).

We’ve spoken to DJI about if they’ll carry out retrospective Drone Classifications for their aircraft but they’ve not come back to us with anything solid… As soon as/if they do, I’ll let you know!

So far as choices go, it depends what you want to do & what fits your budget etc. If you’re going to keep your PfCO active then get anything now that works for you. If you’re not going to keep it going, might be worth waiting until certified drones start coming to market (no idea when that’ll happen) and getting your A2 CofC.

Hope that helps!

Video about the ‘transitional provisions’ for legacy drones here, which may be helpful in your decision! :slightly_smiling_face:

Can I fly my drone after July 2020? (MAVIC MINI / PRO 2 GROUNDED?!) | Mr MPW

Regards Stuart


just listened to that video and its only people that come on here and a few other forums that will take any notice! jo bloggs who will go buy a drone from curry jessops etc won’t take a blind bit of notice to any of this they don’t now! I see people flying drones in all manor of places oblivious of any rules, they treat what they have been told like small print, just sign the agreement and don’t bother reading it and to be honest how are they going to police this be like downloading films and music used to be off internet , they will make a couple of examples of people , that won’t stop others carrying on doing whatever they want
I personally will come to the point where i will just stick the drones in the loft with all the other junk because I can’t be bothered with all the hassle it will be to fly the things
all the training companies love all this they have all jumped on the bandwagon over the last few years , can’t blame them to make money out of it ! personally i think if you want everyone to conform training and courses should be mega cheap or subsidised by the authorities that want these rules , if its cheap enough its silly not to have it .

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Thanks for that, I’m going to have a chat with Icarus next week.



The other thing is the NQEs are saying to carry on and get a PfCO even though they don’t know what’s going to happen to that qualification come 1st July 2020.
They still need work coming in so will say that I guess, until GVC or A2 CofC courses start , otherwise everyone will wait till July to be trained so the PfCO must be carrying on after 1st July otherwise I would be pretty peed off if it didnt

So at the moment it’s still an unknown situation. I would have thought the CAA would let anyone with a PfCO carry on as usual otherwise we have just chucked x amount down the drain. For all the ones that have a PfAW before a PfCO was introduced they were able to carry on as normal with just a few tweaks to their OM

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So if you keep renewing your pfco it will turn into an operational authorization manual

Hi everyone!

Not quite sure I agree with you @AboveAndBeyondMedia; not all the NQEs are still pushing PfCO as the only route forward. We’re certainly not & are actively embracing the changes… We’re even offering all our PfCO students who train with us from the date the announcement was made by the CAA, until the 1st July, the opportunity to come get their A2 C of C for FREE (at a cost to us), to help keep moving the industry forward and prevent it stagnating.

@alexmciver if you keep renewing your PfCO it’ll stay valid. When you renew it, after the 1st July 2020, it’ll become an ‘Operational Authorisation with Standard Permissions’. The same limitations as your PfCO, but a different piece of paper and name, essentially.

Today’s video might be worth a watch as it explains the A2 C of C and how it relates to the ‘transitional provisions’ and when a PfCO could still be useful, over and above the A2 system!

As always, any questions, please feel free to drop me a message & I’ll try to help out! :slight_smile:

Blue skies,



OK good to know