- What is a drone, quadcopter, RPA, UAV etc.?
- What’s a bootcamp?
- Why all the fuss about drones?
- Why would I do a drone workshop when I can just learn at home?
- Should I just ‘bite the bullet’ and do one of those expensive drone courses where I build a drone and learn to program it? They cost thousand$ but surely they’re better?
- Do you provide a safe environment and promote the responsible use of drones?
- Don’t ALL drone operators need a CASA certification costing over $3,000?
- Does a Drone Bootcamp course qualify me to become a commercial drone operator for financial gain?
- Do you teach drone racing?
- Do your workshops cover GoPro and other image-capture technologies?
- What programs are being developed for schools?
- Are school holiday programs available?
- Is the Drone Bootcamp instructor qualified to teach?
- Can I do a course that includes a drone in the price that I will own and ultimately take home?
- Can you teach me to fly a particular brand of drone like Parrot or DJI?
- Do I have to bring my own drone or be flying already?
- Can you custom-design a Bootcamp or workshop and deliver it to our school, corporate or community group?
1. What is a drone, quadcopter, RPA, UAV etc.?
A pilotless aircraft often referred to as a Drone, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) or by several other names, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. The flight of UAVs may occur with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or fully or intermittently autonomously, by onboard computers and a Global Positioning System (GPS).
Drone: a ‘male bee’… and any unmanned aircraft (or ship) that is guided remotely.
Quadcopter: a drone powered by four rotors to achieve flight.
RPA: Remotely Piloted Aircraft (this is the preferred CASA terminology).
UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
CASA: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
2. What’s a bootcamp?
A ‘bootcamp’ is a slang term to describe a ‘camp for recruits’. The term is now synonymous with fitness bootcamps but we thought it was a clever way to describe our drone-flying programs. We won’t get you doing push-ups if you crash your drone – it’s better you do that with us than in your local street but we will help you ‘learn the ropes’ with our ‘confidence course’ and even give you your ‘wings’ upon completion of one of our workshops!
3. Why all the fuss about drones?
Drones are trending worldwide as costs to purchase them decrease, standard features increase and recreational and commercial opportunities (such as photography, racing and surveying) evolve. Organisations such as Google, Amazon, and Australia’s own Flirtey, have recently made commercial package deliveries, GoPro have released their own drone and real estate agencies are using them for the marketing of properties – it’s only a matter of time before we see them dominating our airspace. In Australia, recreational drone flyers are subject to some important CASA rules so learning to fly safely and responsibly with Drone Bootcamp will help ensure you don’t incur fines (or worse) for naive and/or irresponsible drone flying. Here’s an example of what NOT to do with your drone!
4. Why would I do a drone workshop when I can just learn at home?
There are three (3) main reasons why you should learn the basics of drone flying with Drone Bootcamp:
- To learn about the rules and regulations pertaining to recreational drone flying – this will help eliminate the myths and rumours surrounding what can and can’t be done with a drone, the weights and specifications subject to CASA rules and ensure you avoid embarrassing moments with neighbours and/or the ‘law’.
- To get advice, tips and tricks from an instructor that has learnt the hard way what a novice should and shouldn’t do when one unboxes their drone and gets airborne.
- To greatly minimise the Number 1 event that you’ll experience as a newbie to drone flying… the inevitable CRASH!
5. Should I just ‘bite the bullet’ and do one of those expensive drone courses where I build a drone and learn to program it? They cost thousand$ but surely they’re better?
If your first experience of flying a UAV is via a drone flying academy that gets you to build and program a drone but doesn’t focus on basic operation and flying skills nor provides any CASA certification at the end… you’re wasting your money. Drone Bootcamp workshops are aimed at recreational flyers starting out and provide you with a foundation that you can build upon as an aspiring UAV operator. Flying inexpensive drones with Drone Bootcamp in a controlled environment is like getting your Learner’s Permit as a driver. Drone flying academies with more focus on building big drones that are ultimately out of your control are like learning to build a truck just so it can park itself. The bigger they come the harder they fall… so start small!
6. Do you provide a safe environment and promote the responsible use of drones?
Yes – in fact, this is the main objective for Drone Bootcamp as an organisation – check out our Mission and Values on the About page.
“I’ve never crashed my drone…” said no UAV pilot ever. Our programs are delivered by a qualified teacher with drone-flying experience and an understanding of educational scaffolding meaning your Drone Bootcamp will have you flying safely and responsibly in a controlled environment in no time so you get the utmost enjoyment out of the activity.
7. Don’t ALL drone operators need a CASA certification costing over $3,000?
No. Recreational drone pilots DO NOT require a controller’s certification depending on the specifications of their UAV, what they intend to use it for and as long as they abide by Standard Operating Conditions set down by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). As of 29 September 2016, CASA has stipulated new rules for drones weighing less than 2kg – find out more by visiting the CASA website, check out the video at the bottom of this page… or even better, enrol in a Drone Bootcamp!
8. Does a Drone Bootcamp course qualify me to become a commercial drone operator for financial gain?
Our courses will show you the pathways possible if you aspire to become a commercial drone operator, however, our main focus is on non-commercial drone flying and aimed purely at recreational pilots; whether a student or individual, school group or corporate team. As a novice, it’s a great way to learn the basics and get airborne safely, in a controlled environment and considerate of your hip-pocket. It is highly recommended that you start with an inexpensive quadcopter (<$100) – those that commit to expensive Parrots or Phantoms and crash-land them or lose them in a tree on their first outing certainly concur.
9. Do you teach drone racing?
Our programs introduce you to the hugely popular pastime of drone racing with a demonstration of First Person View (FPV) drone flying but to economise our time at the workshops the main focus is on introducing you to the activity holistically, handy flying skills and basic theory. Going forward, if you aspire to compete in drone racing a customised course can be developed and informal competitions to hone skills made available. Let us know via our Survey page what you’re interested in even if you only have a basic understanding of drone-centric possibilities.
10. Do your workshops cover GoPro and other image-capture technologies?
Our programs will introduce you to various drones, from the entry-level and camera-equipped Syma X5 (which you will fly), through to GoPro capable machines such as the MJX B3 and Kaiser Bass Delta. To economise our time at the workshops the main focus is on introducing you to the activity holistically, handy flying skills and basic theory – including introductory skills in image capture via the standard camera fitted to your Syma X5.
11. What programs are being developed for schools?
Our school’s program is one of the most exciting parts of Drone Bootcamp. Teachers and school staff can book us to attend their institution to conduct workshops for groups of 10 – 12 with little required of the organising staff other than the ‘when’ and the ‘where’. Our programs are akin to a ‘lesson-in-a-box’… we’ll table a schedule, bring all required resources, control the group and even present students with their ‘wings’ upon completion.
Furthermore, a school-focussed drone competition (known as The Dragonfly Project) is being developed for 2017. If you’re a student, teacher or parent interested in a school-based workshop and/or would like to be placed on an ‘expression of interest’ list for The Dragonfly Project please complete our Survey, visit our Contact page and Follow our blog.
12. Are school holiday programs available?
Absolutely. Half-day and full-day workshops are available for 13 – 17-year-olds (10 – 12-year-olds can attend provided a parent/carer is in attendance for the entire workshop). Keep an eye on the Holiday Happenings publication issued to students in the ACT/QBN region prior to each school holiday, express your interest via our Contact page and FOLLOW our blog to stay in the loop. You can LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook and Instagram too… just how many programs are scheduled and the cost is dependant on you – please complete our Survey to help us develop the best bootcamps to meet your needs.
13. Is the Drone Bootcamp instructor qualified to teach?
Our Chief Drone Nerd is Mark Will – an aviation enthusiast and adopter of all things gadgety. Mark’s a graphic designer, photographer and teacher with a Graduate Diploma in Education (Art, Design and Technology) with over 13 years experience teaching in ACT colleges. Mark is a fully qualified UAV pilot holding the current CASA sub-7kg Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) and Remote Operator Certificate (ReOC). Furthermore, Mark possesses the ACT Working with Vulnerable People (WwVP) and ACT Teacher Quality Institute (TQI) accreditation and is currently studying a Masters in Communication with Charles Sturt University.
Mark’s been an aviation enthusiast since childhood with a passion for Australian military aviation and its history. Decade-long service with the Australian Army provided many and varied flying experiences as a result of photographic duties – a passion that still exists today.
14. Can I do a course that includes a drone in the price that I can own and ultimately take home?
Yes. Our full day workshops include a beginner drone in your enrolment cost. You’ll unbox, assemble and fly your own Syma X5C or X5UC so that you can leave the workshop with the item that you actually learnt on. The aim here is to give you confidence in flying, provide you with a safe, controlled environment and when you’re ready to upgrade at a later date, you can do so having ‘cut your teeth’ on something inexpensive, simple to operate and low maintenance.
15. Can you teach me to fly a particular brand of drone like Parrot or DJI?
Our beginner workshops will have you flying a Syma X5 – a simple, low maintenance drone with enough functions to get you up and flying with confidence. Upon getting your ‘wings’ from us you’ll have the knowledge and skills to go away and enjoy recreational drone flying. It’s inevitable that you’ll want to upgrade as you gain more confidence and so armed with the tutelage from our drone program and subsequent home-based practice and experience you’ll be ready to upgrade (depending on your needs and budget) to a Parrot, DJI or other brand.
As previously mentioned, it is highly recommended that you start with an inexpensive (<$100) quadcopter such as the Syma X5 provided by Drone Bootcamp – those that commit to expensive Parrots or DJI aircraft and crash-land them or lose them in a tree on their first outing certainly concur.
16. Do I have to bring my own drone or be flying already?
No – nil experience is necessary. Our programs are aimed at novice flyers keen to learn rules and regulations, flying theory and practice basic flying skills in a safe and controlled environment. If you are a drone flyer already and want to enrol, please do so by all means – you’ll fly our Syma X5 or, if you choose a program with a drone included in the enrolment cost, you’ll unbox, assemble and fly your own brand new Syma X5C or X5UC and take it home with you at the end of the course.
17. Can you custom-design a Bootcamp or workshop and deliver it to our school, corporate or community group?
Absolutely – just send us an email via the Contact page and we’ll get in touch.
For more information, visit https://www.casa.gov.au/aircraft/landing-page/flying-drones-australia