BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) flights represent a huge area of opportunity for the drone industry.
BVLOS refers to drone flights performed beyond the pilot’s line of sight (as opposed to Visual Line of Sight, or VLOS flights, which are performed within the pilot’s line of sight). Part 101 in South Africa defines BVLOS as further than 500m. Using First Person View (FPV) and other approaches, BVLOS is hypothetically possible right now with the technology available, but in most countries it’s either not allowed at all or highly restricted.
If and when BVLOS is allowed on a wide scale, we can anticipate a corresponding boom (that’s right—a further boom in addition to the current explosion of applications and growth we’re seeing in the drone industry). This is why BVLOS is top of mind for most everyone in the industry, and why we’ve been seeing so much reporting on the topic from all over the world.
In order to conduct BVLOS operations, a BVLOS pilot endorsement is required. This course aims to take an experienced RPAS Pilot through advanced training that allows them to acquire the skills to operate in this high- risk environment.
BVLOS Rating Requirements
Candidates for a BVLOS Rating need to meet the following requirements:
Be at least 18 years of age.
Hold a valid Class 3 medical certificate.
Hold a valid Remote pilot licence.
Have successfully completed the theoretical and practical training.
Pass BVLOS Skills Test
Prior learning accreditation
No prior accreditation is given by the SACAA for BVLOS. The full course must be attended to gain the rating.
The training allows the student to gain the skill to adequately plan and execute BVLOS operations.
Scenario based training will aid the candidate to their future operations.
An exam will be written at the end of the theory classes
The course will run over 10 days, and covers a variety of theoretical and practical subjects, whereby your instructor will guide you through the concepts of BVLOS flying.
All classes are held at the training academy's facilities. The subjects meet the approved SACAA syllabus.
CRM & Human Factors
Safety Management Flight Planning & Performance
Navigation & Software
Airspace, Radio-telephony & No fly Zones
Normal & Non-Normal Operations
Instrument flying SOP’s
The pass mark for the examination is 75%. Rewrite after 3 days, remedial training will be required.
Practical training sessions include actual flying and simulator exercises.
BVLOS Skills Test
Once all training is completed a final skills test will be carried out.