UAS Pilot Certificate


Aviation Safety Management Systems is a Part 141 Certificated Aviation Training Organisation. We have specific approval to conduct flight crew training and assess operational competency for unmanned aircraft operations.



Undertaking a flight competency assessment.
Photo credit: Vantage Point Photography




UAS Pilot Certificate
Under New Zealand's Civil Aviation Rules a pilot certificate issued by an approved organisation is essential for flying within 4km of an aerodrome, and CAA requires a pilot certificate for some operations under Part 102.

The UAS Pilot Certificate is a two-day course comprised of the UAS Aviation Law course and competency assessment.


UAS Aviation Law
The course in UAS Aviation Law provide the knowledge necessary to satisfy the requirement under Civil Aviation Rule 101.12 for the person operating any unmanned aircraft to be aware of the airspace classification and any restrictions that apply.

The course includes the following topics:
  • understanding airspace classifications and aviation maps;
  • operating in the vicinity of aerodromes;
  • the requirements in Part 101 for the operation of unmanned aircraft;
  • aviation weather;
  • hazard minimisation;
  • human factors issues; and
  • aviation radio awareness.

Other associated topics that may be of specific relevance to a particular course intake will also be covered.


Flight Test
The flight test, conducted for the award of a Pilot Certificate or as part of the annual OCA for Part 102 operators, is designed to assess the ability of the pilot to address the following topics:
  • flight planning including weather;
  • hazard assessment;
  • airspace knowledge and procedures if operating within 4km of an aerodrome;
  • battery management;
  • knowledge of RPAS systems;
  • failsafe functions (if any);
  • pre-flight checks;
  • take-off and landing;
  • 360 degree yaw-turn maintaining position;
  • four quarters of orientation;
  • ascending and descending circuits;
  • figure-of-8 flight path;
  • vertical 180 degree ascending and descending corkscrew; and
  • emergency situations.
A guide to the flight test can be downloaded here.


Operational Competency Assessments
An annual Operational Competency Assessment (OCA) is a standard feature of commercial manned aviation and is increasingly required for Part 102 operations. The OCA is designed to test the pilot's knowledge of the applicable rules, application of the operator's approved procedures, and flying competence. As such, the OCA has three components:
  • a pre-OCA open book test;
  • assessment of the pilot's preparation for the OCA (treat it as a normal commercial job); and
  • the flight test.
Additional areas of assessment may be included in the flight test if required by the operator's exposition. This will occur when you have an approved departure from Part 101 which requires adherence to a particular operational procedure.

Pilot Training
We can provide customised training if a pilot requires training to achieve the standard required for an RPAS Pilot Certificate or Operational Competency Assessment.  Contact us to discuss your requirements.