The CAA is now beginning to audit at least 5% of all PfCO (soon to be GVC / Operational Authorisation) permission holders and being prepared is key! An audit can be quite a daunting prospect and it leaves a lot of operators worried and confused about what to expect when the big, scary, CAA comes knocking. Here at UAVHUB, we’ve prepared a short piece on how to survive a CAA audit.
Don’t Panic! Preparation is key.
The CAA normally gives you about 2 weeks notice before an audit. This gives you plenty of time to double-check your aircraft, operations manual and planning paperwork to make sure it is all up to date.
We all know that sometimes things can fall behind but as a professional operator, we need to try and stay on top of everything. Try and remember to build in time each month to check paperwork and documents as this will make your life much easier in the long run.
Your planning paperwork doesn't have to be printed out, but a well organised filing system (paper or digital!) will seriosuly impress the CAA and make sure that should they ask to see specifics, you know where to find it.
Make sure you have enough flying hours logged.
The CAA will need to see that you have met the minimum required flying hours.
You can prove this by keeping up to date flight logs. The minimum amount of flying that you have to be doing to stay current is 2 hours every rolling 3 months. If you haven’t logged the minimum, then you need to make sure you go out and fly to bring your hours up to the correct level.
Make sure you include the day/month/year of your flights, full name and the minutes you flew per battery.
Check your Aircraft Over.
It is a good idea to make sure you give all your aircraft a check over.
Make sure they are complete, have the necessary spares/accessories to work correctly and are fit for purpose.
Also, check the aircraft for damage and replace any components that are out of spec. Double-check your maintenance documents are up to date too and correct if necessary.
Update your Operations Manual
The Operations Manual should always be kept up to date anyway but if you haven’t checked it for a few months, now's the time to do so. Don't always just leave it until your renewal!
Make sure any referenced documents are still on the current version and check that the aircraft/pilot section is still relevant. Lastly, it is also an idea to print the Operations Manual out so the CAA can read it more comfortably.
Remember UAVHUB can help with updating your Operations Manual, and with our HUBSub, you'll always have an up-to-date manual to hand!
With a little bit of planning, a CAA audit should be pretty easy and straightfoward. Just make sure everything is up to date and in proper working order. Another tip is to actually lay out all the documents that the CAA will want to look at. That way if the CAA ask to see anything specific you've got it to hand!
You could also set up your aircraft with all the spares and accessories and put them out on show too.
Remember, prior preparation prevents poor performance!
Don't forget, if you need help updating your Operations Manual we have our HUBSub option available to you.