Courses

“The footage was outstanding”

- Mark Disher, On air promotions, Seven Network

Courses Available

 

Remote Pilot Course       5 Days       $3,500 + GST

This course includes the standard CASA course that will give you a

  • Remote Pilot License (RePL)
  • Air Radio Operator’s Certificate (AROC)
  • English Language Proficiency certificate (ELP)

It includes a Flight Test, a RePL exam, an AROC exam and practical flight instruction.

Conversion for ATPL, CPL, PPL, RPL Holders       Private session       $800 + GST

This conversion is for holders of any of the above pilot’s licenses who want to fly drones. It operates on a 1 on 1 basis and can be undertaken at any time by appointment with Above Oz. The conversion gives you a Remote Pilot License (RePL).

Under 2kg Commercial RPA Course       1 Day       $800 + GST

This course includes a modified and condensed version of the Remote Pilot Course where you learn about Charts, Air Law, Risk Management, Drone Knowledge and much more. However, the subject matter focuses on the “very small” category of excluded drones(under 2kg). It is important to note that this course will not get you a license from CASA. It is aimed at people who want to fly unlicensed for commercial gain using drones lighter than 2kg, such as the dji Mavic or Phantom. While you will not need a license to fly these drones, you still need a solid knowledge of the regulations to avoid substantial fines. CASA highly recommend doing a course such as this as ignorance of the law is no excuse in aviation. The course is popular with companies who see the need for OH&S or “duty of care” responsibilities to be fulfilled for their staff who wish to fly commercially.

Customised training            Duration – as required           Cost – let us give you a quote

Many industries have quite specific requirements beyond the standard RePL, or individual pilots may feel the need for further flight training. Perhaps there is a desire to understand camera operation at a level above “full auto”.  All of these, and more, can lead to the development of bespoke training of anywhere from a couple of hours to a multi-day course. We also offer consultation services for policy and procedure development.

Beyond Visual Line of Sight management                    Customised assistance

Beyond VLOS legislation is a developing area of interest and Above Oz are working with aviation experts to assist Operators to incorporate this function into their operations

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (ReOC)

If you have been considering studying for your Remote Pilot License, you will know that on receiving your license, you will need to either get a ReOC from CASA, or fly for someone who has one.  There is no course involved in obtaining a ReOC, you deal directly with either CASA, or a CASA Delegate for this. While we are not CASA delegates, we do offer free guidance and assistance if required to help our students through this process, and recommend a suitable Delegate. Cost for students wanting to get a ReOC is normally between $1,000 and $1,200, payable to either CASA or the Delegate.

 

FAQs

 

What is the difference between a drone, a UAV, an RPA and an RPAS?

There is not much difference in practice between all of these terms. The general public generally use the term drone. A UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is a slightly older term that was favored by the industry, but is now legally obsolete. CASA and the global industry are transitioning to the term RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) as it more accurately describes the fact that there is a pilot somewhere controlling the aircraft. The term RPAS, (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) describes the aircraft and includes the ground based remote control system as well. We will use the term drone in this FAQ because it is the most familiar term for people new to the industry.

 Can I fly a drone without a License?

Yes, under certain limitations:

  1. You can fly some of the smaller classes of drones for your own fun and recreation, or for gaining experience to eventually apply for a license.
  2. You can fly commercially using drones under 2kg, but there are many restrictions on this activity. You must register with CASA.
  3. All flying must be within the Standard Operating Conditions (SOC) as listed below
  4. There are some special exemptions for farmers flying over their own properties
What are the Standard Operating Conditions (SOC)?

All drone pilots must obey the SOC unless they have a permission or license to do otherwise.

  1. You must fly below 400 ft above ground level at all times.
  2. You must be able to visually see the drone at all times.
  3. You must not fly at night.
  4. You must not fly within 3 nautical miles (about 5.5 km) of a controlled aerodrome.
  5. You must not fly closer than 30m to any person who is not a direct member of your flying crew.
  6. You must not fly over populous areas such as homes, businesses, schools etc.
  7. You must not fly more than one drone at a time.
  8. You must not fly near any public safety operation such as a bush fire or car crash without the approval of the person in charge.
  9. You must not fly in RA3 Restricted areas.
What is CASA?

CASA is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. This is the federal government body with responsibility for the safety of civilian aircraft in Australia. They make and police the rules that you will need to follow. They issue all the Certificates you will need for commercial flying and can also take Certificates away or issue very large fines.

What qualifications are available if I want to fly commercially?

There are two types of qualification in the drone industry. The pilot must be licensed (just like a Qantas pilot for example) and the organisation he/she flies for must be licensed (like Qantas itself). An individual person can be both a pilot and a licensed organisation.

  1. Pilots must hold a Remote Pilot License (RePL).
  2. Organisations must hold an RPA Operator’s Certificate (ReOC).

You can also fly commercially without a license, but only with drones under 2kg. There are many restrictions involved. See SOC above.

How do I get a Remote Pilot License?

Above Oz is authorized to teach and examine candidates for a Remote Pilot License. Students who pass this course are then recommended to CASA for the granting of a Remote Pilot License. This is normally just a formality, but is subject to identity confirmation and other verification checks.

What is taught in the Remote Pilot License course at Above Oz?

The Remote Pilot Course follows a syllabus created by CASA. Areas covered include aerodynamics, multi rotor flight, navigation, air law, meteorology, risk, and RPA Knowledge. Above Oz also supplies the PLUS module which covers a range of non-CASA topics, such as privacy issues; insurance; dealing with councils, landholders & the public; and aerial cinematography. The PLUS module is not a part of the course and is not examined.

It is also a course in practical, safe flying. It is not essential to have any flying experience before starting, but it will be an advantage if you do have even some limited flying hours, as it’s a requirement to have 5 hours of experience to be granted a license. Alternatively, it is possible to do the course first and build up your hours at your own pace after completing the course. However, this may require you to return at a later date to do your flight test.

The course is appropriate for pilots who wish to undertake any type of professional work with a drone, such as photography, mapping, surveillance, research, environmental, inspection, emergency services, etc.

There is a multi-choice examination at the end of the course. There is also a flight test to examine your safe flying ability.

This course is for Multi Rotor drones up to 25kg. However, if you intend to fly a drone exceeding 7kg, contact us to discuss the flight test procedure.

The course also includes tuition in Air Radio operation, which is then examined separately. Passing this exam will give you an Air Radio Operator’s Certificate (AROC). There are also some other requirements that must be satisfied regarding your ability to speak the English language to a suitable level.

What will it cost and how long does it take?

The cost for the course is $3,500 + GST, and runs for 5 days

This cost includes:

  • Tuition fees
  • The Above Oz RePL workbook
  • The Above Oz AROC workbook
  • Above Oz Trial Exams for RePL
  • CASA RePL and AROC license fees
  • The ELP (English Language Proficiency) examination fee.

All materials are supplied in advance of the course dates students are strongly encouraged to study the workbooks prior to the course as much as possible.

When do I need to pay?

Payment is required before commencement of the course and your position in the course is not guaranteed until full payment has been made. For example, if maximum numbers are reached with fully paid students then you will need to wait until the next course.

Can I withdraw from, or postpone a course?

Due to small class numbers, withdrawal from, or postponement of our courses with a refund or transfer of course fee, is at the discretion of Above Oz. Individual circumstances and the timing of request will be considered when making this decision.

Where are the courses run?

Above Oz premises are at 26 Clarke Street, Norwood, South Australia, and most courses will be run at our office with flight training and testing carried out at other suitable venues. This may vary from time to time depending on availability.

What is Above Oz, and who are the lecturers?

Above Oz is a sister organization to Picture Hire Australia. Picture Hire Australia is a service company providing cameras and production equipment to the film and television industry. Our aerial activities grew from demand from clients to provide aerial solutions for many production activities including TV programs, TV ads, corporate videos, weddings, real estate and many other types of work. Picture Hire Australia has been in operation for over a decade and is recognized as the leader in its category in South Australia. Both Businesses are owned by Dai and Dagmar Cookes.

Over time, Above Oz’s original focus on the film

and television industries has diversified dramatically to include Emergency Services, Asset Management, Farmers, Scientists, Government, Real Estate, Surveyors and much more. The RePL is the only pathway into professional activities in all industries.

Above Oz holds an RPA Operator’s Certificate (ReOC) with training certification, and all lecturers hold a minimum of a Remote Pilot License (RePL). Lecturers are drawn from both the film and manned aviation industries. Dai Cookes is the Chief Pilot and Chief Instructor for Above Oz.

Will my lecturers still assist me after the course is complete?

As a licensed drone pilot, a network of friends and associates in the industry will help you become comfortable with the world of aviation, and our staff can be the beginning of that. Naturally, with years of experience in the film world, we are very aware of the ethical issues of not “stealing” clients, and indeed we have become a major source of work for our clients.

Can I fly commercially once I have my Remote Pilot License?

Be aware that this course does not give you a Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (ReOC). To fly drones larger than 2kg commercially you will need to find a ReOC holder to fly for, or obtain a ReOC yourself. This will cost you around $1,100 – $1,200. There is no course for this, just an application based on a template provided by CASA. ReOCs are available either direct from CASA or from CASA delegates. Talk to Above Oz and we can assist you with this process and recommend a Delegate if required.

You should also arrange Aviation Public Liability insurance to cover your flying activities.

What are the advantages of having a Remote Pilot License?

There are many advantages to having a Remote Pilot License. Here are some:

  1. You can apply to CASA to fly in areas beyond the Standard Operating Conditions.
  2. You can gain a blanket permission to fly within 15m of people.
  3. You can gain blanket permission to fly at night.
  4. You can gain permission to fly within 3nm (5.5km) of airports and helipads
  5. You can use a radio to talk to other aircraft or Air Traffic Control.
  6. Most larger companies and government will not employ you without full licensing.
  7. You can fly more safely with better knowledge of aviation law and the industry.
  8. You can fly larger drones up to 25kg or even larger, commercially.
  9. You will reduce your risk of being fined for illegal flying.
Are there any pre-requisites that I need to fulfil?

You will need to:

  1. Have 5 hours of logged flying time before your license can be issued.
  2. Own or have access to a suitable drone.
  3. Own or have access to a suitable air radio.
  4. Get an Aviation Reference Number (ARN) from CASA (free)
  5. Speak English well enough to pass English Language Proficiency test
  6. Have adequate eyesight for Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) flying
  7. Be 15 years or older to obtain a Remote Pilot License and 17 years or older to obtain an Aeronautical Radio Operator Certificate. You can hold a RePL without a Radio Certificate but it will restrict where you can fly.

We will assist you in satisfying these requirements.

Are the RePL and AROC courses and exams hard?

Not if you put some effort in. If you are motivated to become qualified, and pay attention in the classes, you should pass the courses. The course is designed to help you get a qualification. We would expect almost every student to pass, and we will assist you in any way we can to achieve your goals. If you do not pass an exam or flight test at the first attempt, you can attempt to pass at a later date, at no additional cost, at an individually arranged time. Although there are some mathematical formulae presented in the course material, this is really just for the reference of the mathematically minded. There are no exam questions that rely on any mathematical  skills.

You should note that while the course is fairly straight forward, most students come to this course with little or no background in aviation. This means that students most get used to many new terms and concepts in a relatively short time, so it is vital that students concentrate and ensure that they understand all of the material presented in the workbooks and during class time. Asking questions during class is strongly encouraged to help this process.

As we are bound by law to only pass people who are deemed safe, we cannot guarantee everyone will gain the qualification. However, our aim is a 100% pass record.

Will I gain employment after finishing this course?

This is a new and rapidly changing industry, so predicting employment opportunities is realistically impossible. We would warn that competition for work is likely to be high. However, with the right personal skills and motivation, it could lead to an exciting and interesting job, especially if combined with other existing skills such as agriculture, mining, photography, surveying etc etc. The only thing that can be guaranteed is that you will find it very difficult to develop a professional career in remote flying without this qualification.

 

If you have any further questions, please phone Cass Ellison on (08) 7070 1170 or email cass@aboveoz.com