Renewing my existing Operational Authorisation for commercial use

Going through the process of renewing my OA I see new practices we must adhere to making any commercial flight even MORE bureaucratic than it already was: Flight Operations now needing 3 bits of airspace, Abnormal Enviromental Conditions must be given consideration not to mention all the guff on the Flight Planning Form. And don’t get me started on the Post Flight box ticking.
Health and Safety in our country needs to be reigned in - jeez even someone with a pilots license doesn’t have to jump through these hoops!
Ok bang on the table over for today:-)


Yes real PITA this year. Just done mine, hopefully ticked all the boxes but who knows.
Separate logs for each drone, maintenance records for each drone, full technical spec for each drone even though it’s already part of the Ops Manual.
Beginning to wonder if its worth it. Now sub 250fm are so good they are fine for a lot of work.


I hear you- I have a Mini 3 Pro and life is suddenly
MUCH easier!
This nonsense is for the likes of the Police who don’t practice while flying heavy kit and the poor sod whose Alta ran out of juice and crashed while filming the regatta in Henley.
Tue CAA held a ‘consulatation’ which amounts to box ticking to say they’ve done it while roundly ignoring the concerns of the rest of us. Hard not to have a sense of humour failure. Perhaps that should on the Single Points of Failure list too :joy:
Speaking of which, what d’you call a guy who hangs around with a band?

The drummer :rofl:

Sorry, I heard that one this morning!

What format did you submit all the docs to the CAA? Do they want paper print outs, an electronic zip file or what? Do they specify?

Usually PDFs for the OPs Manual.
I sent a Excel spreadsheet for each drones flight info. The records taken from Airdata for each drone.
Maintenance is unknown. As there is no official maintenance information on most DJI drones then I have just put in a statement saying the drone is examined before and after each flight for defects, props checked, firmware up to date, batteries checked, gimbal checked etc.
All hit and miss at the moment so it’s a case of wait and see if they accept everything I have sent in.

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New OA came through yesterday so took three weeks from submission.
Couple of advisories. Maintenance would include firmware updates, new props etc as there are no maintenance details for most DJI drones.
The weather advisory now included into my Ops Manual.
Hope this helps anyone submitting the OA application.

ADVISORY - As per the mitigation M19 ‘UAS Operator Logs and records - maintenance activities conducted on UA’ of the PDRA01 risk assessment within CAP722H, UAS.SPEC.050(1)(g) of the UK Regulation (EU) 2019/947and UAS.SPEC.090 of the UK Regulation(EU) 2019/947, a PDRA01 holder must record the maintenance carried out on the UAS and provide evidence to the CAA when requested.The maintenance records should include maintenance carried out as per the UAS manufacturer and any unscheduled maintenance/service.

ADVISORY – OPERATIONS MANUAL – EMERGENCY PROCEDURES – MUST INCLUDE A SECTION ON Abnormal Environment Conditions (Weather): Remote pilot should consider environmental factors that may increase the chance of a loss of control. For instance:

-emergency procedure if there is a precipitation not expected which may suddenly prevent the UA from operating safely

- emergency procedure if the wind picks up and there are some turbulences which could affect the remote pilot’s ability to control the aircraft precisely and increase its power consumption

- emergency procedure should there be a decrease in the temperature which could reduce battery performance and affect the performance of the crew

The type of example situations we would expect to see details for can be found in CAP 722A, Section 1.4.14

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Thank you briwy. I don’t have the mental capacity to read and digest it now but I am waiting fo rmine which I sent 10 days ago so it’s good to know who long it’ll take:-)

Thanks Briwry. That helps. Have to get my OA renewed in the next few weeks. Quite honestly if it wasn’t for the massive investment in Inspire 2 cameras lenses filters batteries memory disks etc I would just chuck this OA crap and fly open category. I think they just want get rid of private flying so it leaves the airspace open to the Amazons and their corporations investors. The next thing will be a massive hike in fees. I can feel it coming. We’re just chicken bait to be steam rollered into the ground.


@ briwy @ mpaull

What format are you guys keeping your battery logs? Just sent my OA renewal in to the CAA and they wanted the maintenance logs separated into a different log for each aircraft. At the moment all my batteries data is kept in a single log file but looking forward I’m thinking it may be better to create battery logs for each aircraft type? What do you guys do? I’m betting next year they will want even more data submitted so I want to get my data formatted correctly now to save time down the road.

I had an account with Airdata but cancelled it once I saw dowloading the logs was not part of the account - I am fed up with shelling out money here there and everywhere to fly a drone comercially while being more and more restricted. AND (bang on the table not yet finished … a heavy lift monster of 28 kilos is treated the same as a sub 250 gram minnow. WTF? So, to answer your question (after my rant!), when I recently renewed my OA I screen-shotted the logs and submitted them which were accepted.

It’s a bureaucratic pain in the backside now and I’ve reverted to my spreadsheet - yes the batteries for each drone per flight are recorded (Batt #, start %, landing % and charge cycle. Each drone has a maintenance list which includes the batteries.
I am yet to figure out how to check when maintenance is due for each battery. Or for each drone for that matter! And I don’t have enough batteries, nerves and time for my FPV to fly the required hours…

In truth, this has become so burdensome I may remove 2 of my 3 drones from the OA next time.

If either of you are good in excel I’d pay for a part which calculates the battery, date, hours used etc to turn red when it needs a service!

PS I should add that Airdata kindly upgraded my account for a 14 day period inorder for me to download my logs before cancelling my account and refunding the difference. Something for which I was most grateful.

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Sounds like there’s a gap in the market here @mpaull :thinking:

I would if I could!

Yeah I hear you. I’m in the same boat and quickly getting absolutely %#><^$ off. with the entire thing. You’ve actually got me thinking’s about your comment re taking drone models off my OA. Can I clarify something with you. I have a mini 2 on my OA alongside with the bigger stuff. Every time I use the mini 2 I don’t have to fly it under the specific category and do a risk assessment do I? I’m still able to fly it under the open category for non commercial flights right?

I think I’m going to divide my excel batteries spreadsheet into separate aircraft batteries specific spreadsheets.
FYI Don’t trust any system that involves data syncing your drones. I think that includes air data. I have heard from a v trust worthy source that DJI are passing GVC holder airdata back to the CAA. Pls don’t ask me to reveal the source. I can’t and won’t reveal it but I know the source well that they don’t play the bullshit game. Be very wary of data syncing if you own DJI and a GVC or PfCO. I leave it up to you to make your own mind up on that but the source is pretty high up in the bureaucracy heurarchy. That’s all I’m prepared to divulge on this other than I never fly open or specific category with data sync on. I record all my data manually in a notebook and then copy it into a spreadsheet when I get home.

My honest answer is… ummm! I fly all all I’ve got in the open category when out practising. So far all my commercial flights are in the specific cat so I fill out a risk affafment.
Can sub 250g fly in specific w/o an RA? Good question!!!

That’s what I’m doing. All non commercial I do open category where poss and commercial I fly in specific with risk assesssment

My OA came through today after 4 full weeks and there’s a new advisory that came in 2 weeks ago in that all the maintenance in the maintenance logs has to be signed off with a signature in a new column in the logs and as an example of the log record needs to be shown in your operational manual then al manuals now need to be updated to reflect this requirement.
I can just about hear the language emanating through the roof of your house from my location in Kent.

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Yes, getting unreal now. I may not bother next year. Too much faffing about and it gives very little extra.

Oh FFS, have they got nothing better to do at the CAA? They recently had another “consultation” but it’ll only mean more time spent box ticking. Meanwhile does anything get safer???

This’ll only result in pre-filling and cooy/pasting these forms and doing the reverse- changing it when the shit hits the fan!

On a side note, you know the MORS? All this “it’s not about aportioning blame” & “we learn together” guff? Well, when I practice I fly on the limit otherwise where’s the learning effect. A few months ago I crashed my Inspire (ehem. But m’lud, I was flying fast and down!) So I filled out the accident forms at length. A reply came back with “is this what happened”. I answered not really knowing how to explain flying at 60mph forward and down at 9m/s sometimes don’t work. M’lud. They then wrote that my accident would be published. PUBLISHED?? WTF? What’s all this “we learn together” hot air about???
Never again.

As we keep all our maintenace logs electronically, I’d like to know what constitutes an acceptable ‘signature’.

And to repeat what mpaull said … FFS