If you have been asking yourself, what is the difference between all the drone courses on the market in the UK then the simple answer is, at the core, they should all cover the same basic syllabus, however, each NQE will have their own background experience and method of delivering the course.


There are over 30 NQE UAV course providers in the UK, so choosing which one is right for you can be a challenge. You may purely make your decision on location, but you may not get the quality of teaching you were hoping for without putting some research in first.


We'll take you through what you can expect from all courses and then we'll delve down into what makes the Fly ICARUS course by Aerial Motion Pictures unique. 





So Whats the Same?

The CAA stipulate some core modules to gain standard permissions to fly a UAV commercially.


We have listed them below, and you will find they are taught on all NQE courses.


  • Air Law
  • Principles of Flight
  • Meteorology
  • Airspace
  • Basic Navigation
  • Human factors


You will also have to conduct an Operations Evaluation (Flight Test) and submit an Operations Manual so you can be recommended to the CAA for your Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO).


The way the Flight Test is conducted varies from each NQE; however, the test aims to provide evidence to the CAA of pilot competence.


The Operations Manual details how the flights will be conducted.


Have you checked out our blog article Why do you need a drone license?




What's different about ICARUS?

What makes ICARUS different from all the other courses in the UK is our background in the world of Aviation, this includes both Military & Commercial operations.


We have pilots and camera operators who have worked across all industries including Film,TV, Live Broadcast, Industrial Inpections and 3D Modelling.




Our Managing Director

Matt Williams was a Qualified Helicopter Instructor in the Royal Air Force (CFI/CFII/TRI/TRE/IRI/IRE) instructing and examining on:

  • Puma Mk1 (AS330)
  • Airbus Helicopters Puma Mk2 (AS330/AS332L2 and EC225)
  • Airbus Helicopters Squirrel (AS350 B1/B2)
  • Bell 'Griffin' (412EP).




He is also an Aviation Human Factors Facilitator, Crew Resource Management Instructor and an expert 'Bowtie XP' Risk Analysis and Mitigation Practitioner.



One of the first companies to use RC aircraft with mounted camera

Before drones became mainstream, Matt was amongst the first in the industry to mount cameras onto model helicopters, which have now evolved to become drones (or multi-rotor aircraft).






This is not an industry we have been dabbling in for the past couple of years.



Years of experience in Aerial Film & TV

Matt and our fellow pilots have piloted Helicopters and UAV aircraft on many of films & television programmes including recently we were the first to fly a drone (the Freefly Systems Alta 8) for the Americas Cup in Bermuda in 2017, chasing the boats & providing a downlink for live broadcast.






We also have a number of Camera & 3 Axis Gimbal Operators that you can talk to for advice regarding the choice of Drone for film.



Modules you won't find in all other SUAS Courses

We have expanded vastly on the basic syllabus from the CAA to ensure that you, as an aviator, understand how to plan for all flight operations safely; what your responsibilities and the dangers of using UAV aircraft on the broader world.

  • Operations Manual & Risk Assessments
  • Operator Responsibilities & Airmanship
  • Flight Planning
  • Li-Po Batteries
  • UK Low Flying System
  • Night Flying

These modules have been built to give you, as new UAV operators, a solid foundation from the experience of a professional full-size helicopter pilot.



Choose the right drone training provider for you

Whomever you decide to do your drone training with, make sure that you are getting the proper training from experienced professionals.


You are about to pay a lot of money, don't waste it.


Fly Safe.