Flight reference cards.

Once you have completed ground school, passed the exam, what then? Again I can only comment on resource group and my own experience.

Writing the Flight Reference Cards – FRC’s

You need to then write your flight reference cards FRC’s.   For each platform – UAV, Drone you fly or intend to fly commercially you need to write a flight reference card.

Depending on your training provider you may be given a template.  First of all we were just all sent off after ground school to write the FRC’s with no template! It was down to one of the group to ask head office for a template. Thank goodness we all decided to keep in touch one of the guys emailed it out. After a week or 10 days of frustration.    Even using the template provided it was bounced back to us all, this again caused a lot of frustration amongst the group.  Fonts, alignments, box sizes and then what seemed second seemed to be the content.   It seemed to be taking a long time far longer than required.

In many ways this suited me as it gave me lots of time to practice flying, I was getting up before work early flying in the field, going to work on edits and events all day and charging the batteries up, on the return home flying again in the fields at the neighbours farm or the dedicated model airplane field and then coming home and working on the paperwork.   This made for a very intense 4 weeks.

What content is in your FRC’s?  First of all its  where you write down all your technical specifications of your drone, you can get this from your hand book or if a DJI model you will get it from their tech specs section on the internet.   This is very detailed mainly in boxes as opposed to lots of words and explanations.  The tech specs of the RPA (remotely piloted aircraft), the batteries, and the the RC.  Plus the limitations of your chosen drone.  I found this quite a good process and really makes you understand how your drone works and what the terminology means.

A loading list, now this caused a lot of backwards and forwards as I wrote mine for actual use i.e Micro SD cards and other items I would want for a successful shoot.  I was told that was not needed its all about safety equipment and drone.   I have now added these back in. I can check them off before I leave for a drone shoot and I know that everything that I need for a shoot is present on that list.  I like to be organised.

 Check lists covering, pre flight, checking the platform, pre take off checks, Pre landing check list and post flight checks.

Emergency procedures – details of what you will do in different emergency situations.  Note for this you really need to know your platform, what does a green light flashing mean, yellow, red ? Do you know – and what happens if your flight app fails can you still calibrate your compass?  What will you do if your drone becomes rogue and goes off one its own.  What will you do?  You can’t write panic and make the air blue!  This is in part a risk assessment and emergency planning.

Now the FRC’s  will vary from UAV company / individual as others have different platforms that they fly.   Good news once you have done it, its pretty straight forward.  I now know I could write FRC’s for any UAV.  So perhaps in lots of bouncing back it taught me lots of lessons as apposed to just copying a document verbatim.

You submit your FRC’s  with your copy of a pre flight survey and pre- deployment survey paper work that you have written.  Then your get to do your flight assessment or pilot competency assessment.


5 thoughts on “Flight reference cards.

  1. Dave

    Hi, It looks like it wasn’t a big deal for you, but for me, translating the FRCs into the required operating manuals proved to be much harder than I’d anticipated. I’d say completing the FRCs got me about 65-70% of the way there in terms of overall effort required for the documentation.
    Glad I did it tho’!


    1. No Dave it wasn’t easy, sorry if I gave you the impression it was. I suppose the FRC’s are to make sure we as drone operators/ pilots are fully aware of our drones and what they do and warning signs. Thanks for the comment and thanks for the follow its much appreciated and glad to know someone is readying the blog


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