When you are re-applying for your Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) from the CAA you need to have logged a minimum of 2 hours of flying with your drone before you can re-apply for your PfCO.
These 2 hours can be made up of any flight you have undertaken with your drone whether it was for a commercial flight, recreational use or training.
If you’ve never logged a drone flight before, here are a number of ways you can do so:
How do I log my flight hours?
You could keep a spreadsheet (and keep it backed up regularly) that you update after each and every flight. Consider using a program like Google Sheets that can be synced to all of your devices and you can access remotely to keep updated.
If you fly a DJI Aircraft, you can pull up your flight details from the DJI GO app which you can then transfer the relevant data into your own spreadsheet.
We also recommend that you keep a hard copy printed with you for when you are flying so you can physically note down the flight details while you are on location, and then you can input them into your spreadsheet when you are back home or at the office.
This way, if there was an error at any point with your spreadsheet or getting the information from the DJI GO app, you've got a physical copy to fall back on.
Other Web Drone apps
There are plenty of drone apps on the market today that include the option to keep a flight log, and most of them will sync with your aircraft to automatically draw the data and log it for you.
The CAA doesn't have a set format that they wish to see your flight logs so choose a method that works for you and stick with it. Don't forget to fly regularly to keep up your currency and if time is running close to your renewal and you haven't done the requisite 2 hours of flight time in the last 3 months then get outside and start flying!
Why do I have to log my flight hours?
Drones are simply another type of aircraft – albeit an unmanned one – and for those who fly their drones regularly, it’s important to keep a log with the details of each flight.
Flight hours are the primary benchmark of a pilot’s experience and professionalism. They also show how familiar a pilot is with a certain model of aircraft.
The main reason is if you want to keep your Operational Authorisation and renew it after 12 months you will have to show the CAA that you have flown a minimum 2 hours in the last 3 months.
Keep a hard copy of your drone flights after each flight and input the data into a spreadsheet so you can keep a track of where you have flown and for how long.
Remember, you require to have a flown a minimum 2 hours with your drone in the last 3 months. If your flight logs don't add up to 2 hours, get out and fly before you renew.