Quest Magazine - Home

Former RAF Wing Commander sets up Drone Pilot Academy

Former RAF Wing Commander sets up Drone Pilot Academy


06 Feb, 2017

Final Rank: Wing Commander
Years Served: 17 Years

Having always had the desire to see if he could make it on his own in business, Jim had a number of options to pursue but didn’t really have any firm plans as to which area to focus on when leaving the RAF.

He explains: ‘It wasn’t until I was on my CTW that I really thought about the utility of drones in the civilian workplace and decided to channel my efforts in this area. By the end of the week I’d bought a drone and used my Individual Resettlement Training Grant to book myself on to a commercial course in order to gain the Civil Aviation Authority permission required to undertake aerial work.

‘I already knew much of what was covered on the course from my time on helicopters, and I knew I could teach the course myself, but in order to gain some
credibility I decided to give myself a year operating commercially first.’

Fast forward one year and Jim has established the Drone Pilot Academy, which offers residential training courses to other budding entrepreneurs, as well those
companies that can perceive the benefits of adding drones to their businesses. His team of instructors are all ex- Service people too, and have been hand-picked for their
backgrounds and experience.

Jim continues: ‘It is such an exciting industry, with newly emerging developments nearly every week. Obvious commercial uses range from photography, video and survey to inspection and agronomy (the study of crop health), but thermal surveys of powerlines and wind turbine inspections are just a few examples of growing markets – and the industry is still expanding. The emergency services are also getting in on the act too, so whether you want to start your own business or just add the ability to commercially operate a drone to your CV then this should be a serious consideration for you.’

Please get in touch for more information on the Drone Pilot Academy course.
0800 3800 007

Other Stories

Prepared to succeed ARTICLES
12 Nov, 2019
Now working as technical developer with CNet, Clint Sherratt’s time in the Forces saw him work hard to accumulate...
Building diversity NEWS
06 Nov, 2019
13 Armed Forces organisations share in CITB funding to get 11,800 people of diverse backgrounds into construction …

Related Articles

Case Studies See all

John Bathgate
John Bathgate
Years Served:
15 Years

‘Throughout my eight-month journey from application to the CRB to passing my Part 3 test, I received excellent support and guidance from all concerned.

Read more »
Chris Oakes - Master At Arms
Chris Oakes - Master At Arms
Final Rank:
Captain, Master At Arms (MAA), Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC)

‘I joined the Army in 1986 and, after ten years with 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, transferred into the Army Physical Training Corps. Here I enjoyed a full career helping Service men...

Read more »