New Drones this Christmas?

Are you planning to buy someone a drone this Christmas? Or maybe even treating yourself to one?

Get the most out of your flying and equipment experience and book a 1 to 1 session with us! Benefit from our qualified aviation professional Drone UK CAA R-NQE Pilot who can help you:

– learn about the rules for hobby and/or commercial drone flying.
– learn how to survive common failures and errors.
– learn how to get the most out of your drone to make your flying more enjoyable and your equipment last longer.

We are professional and experienced drone operators, registered with the UK Civil Aviation Authority; both to fly drones and to carry out Flight Assessments on behalf of the UK CAA.

Your 2 hour session with us (cost – £60 ex VAT) will help you understand and appreciate the risks involved with drone flying, understand common pilot and drone errors and understand the rules of the air that apply to flying drones so that you can fly yours safely and legally.

Call us or message us, and book today!

Click here for our contact details.

Single Rotor – Winter Performance

We are continuing to gain experience of a wide range of types and categories of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS). We have operated a range of both fixed and rotary winged systems for many years. The rotary systems include multi rotor and single rotor aircraft.

Today we were out braving the cold, damp and drizzle. We were flying a beast of a single rotor aircraft, weighing in at 10 kg A solid performance in adverse weather, a pleasure to operate and as soon as it lifts into the hover it sounds as if it means business. Which these aircraft if all else fails in am emergency, with a bit of height we are able to autorotate.

Flying today with heavy payloads in adverse weather to monitor performance of control system and power consumption.

Looking forward to continuing to fly this single rotor tractor throughout the Winter months.

Approval Certificate R-NQE Arrived

Great news today – we received our official Approval Certificate from the CAA.


In summary, the details of our approval are as follows:

Approval Certificate – Reference SUA Sub 20kg: R10-38

Approval Group – Restricted Category National Qualified Entity SUA Sub20kg

Applicability – Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) – Multi-rotor and Fixed-Wing with an operating mass of not more than 20kg without its fuel, but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of flight.

A J S Support Limited are qualified to furnish reports to the Civil Aviation Authority in relation to matters specified in the associated Terms of Approval.

Competitive Drone Pilot Assessments

For Commercial Drone/SUA pilot/operators that have either a valid and current aviation qualification or have completed an NQE ground school; we are offering to provide you with your Practical SUA Flight Assessment at a very competitive price.

Only £200 EX VAT for the assessment and recommendation.

There is also an option of a 1 hour pre-assessment refresher session for Only £45 ex VAT.

We are independent experienced aviation professionals that are focused on SUA/Drone safe operation. You will be assessed operating at your Drone at your own pace and to your own procedures in a friendly environment.

Call now to enquire or book your assessment.

For more information – More Information and Service Info

UK CAA PFCO – SUA Pilot Assessments

inspire_banner2We are able to provide assessments for pilots of fixed and rotary winged aircraft systems up to 20 kgs AUM.

Subjects covered in this article:

a. Why Do You Need A Practical Flight Assessment?
b. The Assessment Criteria
c. The Assessment Process
d. About Flight assessments
e. About Concessions
f. When Should You Call For A Practical Flight Assessment?
g. Information about the AJSSL SUA Pilot Assessment

This article is based on the guidance provided on the CAA website. Please use the source information as the authoritative guidance.

aerial survey equipment & support Independent equipment and support specialists - experienced operators.

Why Do You Need A Practical Flight Assessment?

Anyone wishing to fly a drone for commercial work needs a Permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) the permission is referred to as a Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO).

This is defined within the the CAA CAP 393 and CAP 722. But basically means that if the operator stands to gain in any way from the flight, then a PFCO is required.

Examples of when you would require a PFCO include: Drone flights to deliver a service to your direct and indirect customers, Operation for your own marketing or your customers marketing purposes.

The Assessment Criteria

To obtain a Permission, applicant will need to:

a. be at least 18 years of age
b. demonstrate a sufficient understanding of aviation theory (airmanship, airspace, aviation law and good flying practice)
c. pass a practical flight assessment (flight test)
d. develop basic procedures for conducting the type of flights you want to do and set these out in an Operations Manual
e. obtain an adequate level of insurance

There are a number of CAA recognised assessment organisations called National Qualified Entities (NQE) that can help applicants meet these requirements. The NQE will generally help the applicant to develop an operations manual and will offer advice on completing any additional paperwork.

Once the applicant can meet the requirements they can make an application using form SRG 1320 to  The applicant needs to allow up to 28 working days for the permission to be processed.

The Assessment Process

The CAA does not organise or run assessment courses but they approve commercial organisations called National Qualified Entities (NQE) or Restricted National Qualified Entities (R-NQE) to do this.

NQE organisations will:

a. Run full or restricted modular courses
b. Make a recommendation to the CAA about the pilot’s competence
c. This recommendation provides the basis for the CAA granting a PFCO.

Most NQEs provide the full course and this is suitable for those with no previous aviation training or qualifications.

A typical NQE full-course involves:

a. pre-entry/online study
b. 1-3 days of classroom lessons and exercises
c. a written theory test
d. a flight assessment

After successfully completing the theory element, the pilot will:

a. develop their own operations manual
b. practice aircraft operation/flying skills for the practical flight assessment.

About Flight assessments

These are completed at your own pace and:

a. usually arranged separately but may be available on the last day of the course
b. have no structured syllabus or sequence of numbered exercises

About Concessions

You may already have qualifications that cover the teory part of the critical evidence in that case there are concessions. Concessions against the theory part of the course are possible if you have:

a. flying experience (including model aircraft)
b. a licence or certificate that allows you to fly in un-segregated airspace (PPL, glider rating)

See Section 2 Approvals – Chapter 4 – Civil UAS Remote Pilot Competency of CAP 722 for full details.

Critical evidence elements aligned to existing aviation qualifications as part of your evidence to obtaining a Permission For Commercial Operation (PFCO):


Table 1 – Pilot Competency Criteria for Small Unmanned Aircraft Permission under ANO articles 94 and 95

When Should You Call For A Practical Flight Assessment?

Key Steps Of The Process

Key Steps Of The Process

A SUA Pilot, after successfully completing the theory element (Step 1) with an NQE or as part of a previous aviation qualification (Concessions); will develop their own operations manual (Step 2) and practice aircraft operation/flying skills for the practical flight assessment (Step 3).

At this point as a UK CAA R-NQE we can take you through your assessment (Step 4) and if successful we will make a recommendation to the CAA against their practical assessment criteria. This will form the final part of your evidence towards your application to the CAA for a PFCO (Step 5).

Each of the elements of the process A through G have guidance within CAP 722 and on the CAA Website. Or alternatively you could give us a call.

We would advise contacting us as early as possible in your development of your evidence for your PFCO.

For more about the assessment with AJSSL see here.

Or contact us if you have any queries.

New Service – Drone Pilot Assessments Now Available

A J S Support Ltd (AJSSL) are professional, independent and experienced drone operators who are a UK CAA Restricted – National Qualified Entity (NQE); able to assess drone operators and make recommendations to the CAA.

We have over 30 years of experience in aviation including currently over 6 years experience of commercial operation of Drones. Operating a range of Drone types under a UK CAA Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) since the permission requirements inception (2009). This experience ideally positions us to help customers who require Drone support.

You may wish to consider a practical flight assessment by AJSSL as part of your Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) evidence for the CAA. Or if you have been flying for a while, you may wish to have a check flight in your logbook/records.More information here.

Successful UK CAA Audit

aerial survey equipment & support Independent equipment and support specialists - experienced operators.Today we had our audit by the UK CAA as the final step towards attaining a UK CAA Restricted – National Qualified Entity R-NQE (UK R-NQE(SUA)) status for unmanned aircraft systems.

We are pleased to report that after the audit today we were informed that we were successful with associated paperwork to follow.

What this means is that in accordance with the guidance within CAP 722 we can now carry out practical flight assessments for fixed and rotary winged drone pilots and make recommendations to the UK CAA based on their competency against our proposed and agreed exposition.

This is for pilots operating fixed and rotary winged systems up to 20 kgs.

New Service For Drone Pilot/Operators

If you are already operating or are about to operate drones and want to find out more about how we may be able to assist you with a pilot assessment  see here or contact us for more information and our rates.

Important Email Announcement – 16 Sep 16


Update – Monday 19th September:

Apologies to anyone who has emailed Al or Helen using our email addresses on 16th and 17th September.

BT Business ‘updated’ our Office 365 which resulted in our email not working at all! 🙁

BT have now resolved the issue for us, but anything that was sent on Friday 16th and Sat 17th may have been ‘lost’.

If you were expecting a response from us and haven’t had one, then please do email us again.  We’re very sorry for the inconvenience.

Update – 17th September 1508hrs:

All our email addresses are now working again.  Huge thanks to Jim from the ITSM desk at BT Business for resolving.

Important email announcement – 16th September

Microsoft Word - Document1Apologies to anyone trying to email Al or Helen using our email addresses.

BT Business have ‘updated’ our Office 365 which has now resulted in our email not working at all! 🙁 We have raised it with them and hope to have it resolved on Saturday 17th Sept .

Until it is resolved, you can reach us using the following:


alanstevens or helenstevens at

stevens-alan at

Social Media

Message us on any of our social media channels (the links to them are at the bottom of this page)


Call the office number 01761 233304


Summer 2016 – Our Flying @ Manor Farm

What a great Summer 2016 Flying @ Manor Farm! 

This Summer we have been flying at some great locations, including at our office at Manor Farm in Somerset. Loving the office and flexibility for development flying. We have put together a 60 sec video of clips from our flights at the farm this Summer.

We hope that visitors to our blog like the short video and if you wish to find out more about our services and indeed, our facilities please take a look around our website (for the facilities page see here)

Why not give us a call? 

For all of your drone needs, make sure you give us a call for some cost effective independent advice and guidance. Are you considering buying a drone or starting a drone business – why not give us a call today? – Contact us


A Summer’s Day Filming at a Vineyard in Wiltshire

We recently had an opportunity to provide support to a small business at a vineyard in Wiltshire. a’Beckett’s is the Langham family vineyard and was celebrating 1.5 decades in the business.

We have had the pleasure of flying the site a few times in all seasons, so with a little bit of planning and the necessary permissions in place, the site not open for 2 hours and some very timely English Summer sunshine; we captured a wide variety of images and clips.

And while Al was on site, he took the opportunity to record that day’s 22 Push-ups as his part of the campaign to raise awareness of combat stress and suicides in veterans. This is supporting the online Facebook campaign. #hiddenwounds #combatstress #22kill #22pressup see the associated blog post here.

A sample still from the aerial imagery capture session.

a'Beckett's vineyard 2016

a’Beckett’s vineyard 2016

 One of the resulting output videos incorporated the customer’s own product and processing stills.

For more information about this marketing support service see more info. Or, if you know what you want in the form of High Res aerial stills or short HD videos for your marketing, give us a call.