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Thread: BNUC-S - the seamless route to successful certification and remunerative bliss

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    BNUC-S - the seamless route to successful certification and remunerative bliss

    If anyone's contemplating a BNUC-S then its worth noting the lack of any clear facilitated path from buying your first WL Toys V929, equipping it with a suitable broadcast level payload, photographing the Chinese manual, running that thru OCR and Google Translate and then handing it in to the CAA for approval as an Ops Manual. I was close but not quite. (I assumed it was Mandarin so had to tweak Google translate).

    LiPo shorts, prop hits, solder burns, 12v fires, downward transverse trajectories, I've seen and done the lot and feel as though I could have done with more help from a friendly Wiki.

    Surprisingly there's still no one out there really, they are either flying or busy with a 2.5mm hex rebuilding the flagship ... There was a guy at my BNUC-S theory course who supposedly offers training but there were no multirotors on his web pages and he kept gazing wistfully at the ground.

    One thing did concern me, namely the willingness of the CAA to certify pretty much any multirotor... no requirements for e.g. ESC to motor matching, ESC to controller matching, eCalc profile, MTOW to motor thrust, telemetry, telemetry logs, black box (GPS, stick input and power train logs) or recorded flight hours on type. etc etc. I think this is a potential weak point. I've flown one Quad for 4 hours on WKM V5.14 - incident free until 4hrs 6 mins, then wham in it goes. If we end up reporting an incident to the CAA such as this then how are they going to isolate the cause and apportion blame if they are not interested in the technical specs of the aircraft? What wrong assumptions might a Judge make in a County Court? I came away feeling I was in no doubt as to who would be held responsible. This was what the course emphasis was skewed towards - it would have been nice if EuroUSC had someone available to provide sound hands-on technical advice. UNtil such time as we can achieve a high level of assurance about a craft's reliability, earning some kind of a living just won't happen.
    Back to the abyssal plain.

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    Full Blown Hucker
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    Hey... when did you go? I just completed mine (last wk)....

    Its early days, I'm sure it will develop and there will be more resources along the way. The BNUC-S is the 'worlds first specific civil UAS Pilot Qualification' so its going to take a while before it's perfect.

    Still its nice to be part of something so new.

    D

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    Full Blown Hucker
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    RotorTalk, what kind of training or help are you looking for?

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    Defies Physics! nytram's Avatar
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    I have seen bits and bobs about this all overtheplace, can someone list out the costs and what's involved in a simply format?

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    Pilot Extraordinaire HexCam's Avatar
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    Hi, bit of a slow reply but...
    Bits and bobs all over the place seems to have been the situation for the last couple of years. I had to fight my way through a lot of misinformation, then I thought, why not ring the CAA. I rang them, they were incredibly helpful and put me in touch with EuroUSC. I have since completed my exams, gained my permissions and have now been operating for 7 months or so.

    I still carry out other work but the business is rapidly getting to the point where it is supporting my family. I have unfortunately had to turn work down due to people not understanding the restrictions placed on my flights by the CAA.

    I do have some thoughts on the future of the training - qualification - approval system, but all I can say is at least I can fly my machine in the UK and sell my services and not have to be like operators in other countries who have to operate under this grey area of "I was just flying the machine and my mate's selling the photos he happened to take while his camera was strapped to my aircraft!"

    I believe the Operations Manual guidance has been deliberately left vague as every aircraft and operator is so unique at present. Also, I don't believe that an eqipment manual is the same as an Ops Manual. Ultimately, the Ops Manual is fairly simple. State who you are, what your aircraft is, how you will use it while keeping yourself and everybody else safe and what you will do when things go pear-shaped. Make sure it is about YOU and your business. If you write it correctly, it will pretty much be what you do every day anyway so you should know it inside out.

    My Ops Manual is 22 sides of A4 long plus several pages of appendices and that covers every eventuality I can think of for using and updating my aircraft. EuroUSC were very happy with it and the CAA said they would like to use it as an example of best practice. Unfortunately, it does represent an investment of my time and I will eventually be using it as part of a business package otherwise I would happily make it public domain.

    Nytram, in response to your query I will have a go! I will try to keep this as simple as I can but like anything there are intricacies in getting things right. All of this will assume you are a competent pilot who requires no further training and have decided the specification of your aircraft you will be operating with. (I am a generalist operator, so have kept my manual as vague as possible, others specialising in, for example, surveying, may want to keep theirs more specific).

    I would also say, if people are not prepared to do a bit of reading, this may not be the profession for them! It should also be remembered that the BNUC-S ground school is mostly about flying your aircraft in UK airspace in the assumption that at some point you may interact with other manned and unmanned airspace users. The other issue is, the BNUC-S and CAA permissions are currently issued for specific aircraft, so if you do your test on a quad and then run out to buy an octo to operate with, that aircraft should go through a flight test and receive a permission from the CAA specific to that aircraft. I carried out the flight test with two aircraft on the same day and then registered both with the CAA.

    Reading before you start, as a minimum:
    CAA CAP 722 section 3: http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/cap722.pdf
    CAA CAP 393 (only the articles referred to in CAP 722 - don't panic!!): http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP393.pdf
    EuroUSC BNUC-S pages: http://www.eurousc.com/documents/LUASS_011_web.pdf

    The basic sequence would be as follows (anybody else who has been through it and wants to correct me please feel free - it has been a long year!!)

    Register for BNUC-S ground school
    Carry out ground school and exam (2 days)
    Register for flight exam
    Write operations manual
    Carry out flight exam with YOUR equipment assessed against YOUR Ops Manual.
    Register for CAA permission for aerial work using details from EuroUSC (I believe EuroUSC can organise this for you but I was in a hurry!) (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/SRG1320.pdf)
    Receive permission for aerial work for each aircraft you wish to use.
    Start finding customers and earning money! (whilst flying strictly, professionally and competently under your permissions for aerial work, remembering that if something goes wrong it is YOUR responsibility so you cannot allow yourself to be pressured by customers to fly beyond your permissions. They will try to get you to do it... just a little bit closer, a little bit higher a little bit faster; it is your responsibility to yourself, the customer and the rest of us who wish to continue with our businesses to make sure you do not bow to peer pressure.)

    Startup Costs (correct as at 17/12/2012):
    (http://www.eurousc.com/documents/BNUC-S_ftc_web.pdf)
    (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/271GA.pdf ----- Section 3.9.2)
    BNUC-S groundschool and exam: 700 + VAT
    Scheduled flight test day: 350 + VAT
    Registration with CAA: <7Kg 113 7<20Kg 226

    Ongoing costs:
    EuroUSC Annual inspection of flight logs: 75 + VAT
    CAA annual reissue of permissions: <7Kg 57 7<20Kg 113

    I hope that helps. Any inaccuracies are my own fault so please don't take what I say as gospel and I can't take any responsibility for errors and omissions that mean costs are higher or whatever. I am just putting this here as a starting point for anyone looking for the information I was trying to find this time last year.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous 2013

    Elliott (HexCam AP)
    Last edited by HexCam; 12-17-2012 at 09:12 AM. Reason: typos

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    Full Blown Hucker Droider's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this Elliott. Very informative and to the point for those looking at venturing down the BNUC's route.

    Please feel free to contact me or Geoff at QC.co.uk if you need any pilots!

    Dave

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    Pilot Extraordinaire HexCam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Droider View Post
    Thanks for posting this Elliott. Very informative and to the point for those looking at venturing down the BNUC's route.

    Please feel free to contact me or Geoff at QC.co.uk if you need any pilots!

    Dave
    ...and mostly correct!???

    Will do, I haven't had many projects at the moment where I need more than me, but maybe they'll come at some point!

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    Full Blown Hucker Droider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HexCam View Post
    ...and mostly correct!???

    Will do, I haven't had many projects at the moment where I need more than me, but maybe they'll come at some point!

    It is that silly season though.. Co-Operative would be great..

    Dave

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    Pilot Extraordinaire HexCam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Droider View Post
    It is that silly season though.. Co-Operative would be great..

    Dave
    Silly busy... busier now than I was in September. Everybody wants stuff done before Christmas!

    I know what would be good... a definitive list of operators with CAA permission (with BNUC-S or whatever the carry-over arrangement is) so that if we can't do a job we might be able to find someone who can. Is there one anywhere? It would also us to assess how many operators are working without the correct permissions.

    Cooperative would be great if anyone can give a working model.

    Goodnight! 8 sleeps apparently!

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