Hummingbird UAV- PfCO Courses

PfCO Courses

PfCO Full Course

If you have an existing aviation qualification please go to ‘PfCO Fast Track Course’ below.


If you have no manned or unmanned aviation qualifications then you must complete the following 3 ‘Critical Elements’ to prove that you have ‘Pilot Competency’ and therefore be recommended by us to the Civil Aviation Authority for your PfCO;


The three elements are:

  1. 2-day theory course, plus exam
  2. Write an Operations Manual
  3. Pass a Flight Assessment

Hummingbird will provide you with the Theoretical Instruction, guidance on how to complete your Operations Manual and your Flight Assessment, on satisfactory completion of your operations manual.


When these 3 elements are completed Hummingbird will then send your application to the CAA for approval.

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PfCO Fast-Track Course

If you have any of the following aviation qualifications then you are only required to complete 2 hours logged SUA flight experience, the Flight Assessment and an Operations Manual (no Theory course required):


  1. Current EASA fixed-wing, helicopter or Microlight license.
  2. Current UK National Fixed Wing, Helicopter or Microlight License.
  3. UK Military pilot/ remote pilot or RPAS operator qualification (applicable where basic flight training has been carried out in non-segregated UK airspace)
  4. RAF VGS Instructor qualifications commencing at G1 Instructor level are also acceptable
  5. British Gliding Association (BGA) – Bronze ‘C’ and above (or EASA equivalent)
  6. BMFA ‘A’ or ‘B’ certificates
  7. Non-UK SUA/RPAS qualification/ license*
  8. Other lapsed pilots licenses or certificates**

*Case by case CAA assessment

**Note that pilots’ licenses that have lapsed prior to January 2010 will only be considered by the CAA on a case by case basis.

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  • review rating 5  I would highly recommend Hummingbird UAV for your training needs. I had no previous knowledge on what was required to gain recommendation for a PfCO, however the course information is very well written and easy to follow,. Everyone in the team is very knowledgeable and very supportive. Thanks to all.

    thumb Adrian Holgate

    review rating 5  The Hummingbird team recently provided our company with excellent theoretical knowledge and practical preparation for our PfCO assessments. As novice UAV geeks we had a sharp learning curve to face before we felt comfortable taking the assessment, but Matt and Lewis provided sound advice and a calm learning environment so that we were prepared for the flight assessment, and performed well on the day. We now have the basis for safe commercial operations and look forward to becoming proper UAV geeks!

    thumb Courtenay Holden
  • review rating 5  Having completed the ground school element required for gaining a PfCO from the CAA, I found the team and overall setup at Hummingbird UAV very professional and approachable. Complex areas were made easily understandable through the real life examples given by Matt and the team. I am now working on the next stage, the operations manual and I find that support is available at all times as and when it may be needed. Thanks to everyone at Hummingbird.

    thumb Conor Stokes

    review rating 5  Anyone interested in flying drones commercially, or wanting to understand the legislation surrounding drones, look no further than Hummingbird UAV. Matt and the team are clearly knowledgeable and their enthusiasm is second to none. The ground school was enjoyable and informative and the guidance for preparing the Operations Manual was clear and understandable. Thanks Matt and team.

    thumb David Arundell
  • review rating 5  Early in the beginning of my journey into becoming a qualified UAV pilot and following some poor information from third parties. Following some discussion I was advised by a friend to call Matthew at Hummingbird for some advice on courses and drone choice. From a this call a meeting was planned at hummingbird for some friendly advice, from this meeting the PFCO theory was scheduled - Matt, Helen and Lewis were always on hand to assist and lend professional assistance and advice throughout. Even planning the flight assessment, which deemed difficult due to my work commitments which led to multiple diary changes with assessments being cancelled, it was never an issue and another assessment was planned to fit my for every changing diary! Hummingbird are a must for anyone wishing to gain their PFCO, friendly and professional training throughout along with an A class customer service! Many thanks Matt and Helen! Clinton

    thumb MINT Services

    review rating 5  Many thanks to Matt Rake & the Hummingbird UAV Team. What a great course & a sure, steadfast footing into my new career as a CAA certified PfCO UAV Pilot (PIC). Matt was very thorough & knowledgeable on all the subject areas pertinent to becoming a CAA certified commercial Drone Pilot. I would recommend Hummingbird UAV to those interested in CAA PfCO certification and in the rapidly developing drone market service sector. Many thanks again to Matt and team, if something's worth doing, it's worth doing right. And these guy's are doing just that! Oh and the airport view and student setting is great for avgeeks too! So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with Hummingbird UAV now! Andrew aka X/ish

    thumb Andrew Wishardt
  • review rating 5  If you're looking to get your PFCO with Hummingbird UAV, I'd highly recommend them. Being new to the aviation industry they were very knowledgeable and give you tips along the way for whichever industry you are in. There is certainly a bit of work to be done outside of the course, but they are really responsive and supportive through the process. Bit of advice, try and get your flight assessment in the summer, the British weather is not reliable! Having said that, Matt was really flexible with re-arranging! Highly recommended!

    thumb Matt Rolfe

    review rating 5  A great course which gives both the theoretical knowledge for operating a UAV and the guidance for the preparation of the Operations Manual. Both Matt and Lewis are very knowledgeable about the subject of flying drones based their own experiences. An intensive couple of days with all aspects of the training for the PfCO made clear with both trainers being very helpful about any questions. I would definitely recommend this course

    thumb Alastair Wallace
  • review rating 5  Highly recommend the drone course with Matt and Lewis. Professional, informative, exciting and fun.

    thumb David Pickard

‘Add on’ Short Course

If your company or organisation already has an Operations Manual and you are to be named in this document, you are not required to complete the Full PfCO Course. You are only required to complete 2 hours logged SUA flight experience, Flight Assessment and the Theory course (you are not required to write an operations manual but MUST be familiar with the company/ organisation operations manual).

Adoption from Different CAA NQE Course

Finish with us! You may have started your training elsewhere but would like the convenience of location and/or professionalism that Hummingbird provide.

If this is the case, we’re happy to discuss picking up where you left off and ensuring that the remainder of your training experience is as streamlined, informative and engaging as possible.

If you have already completed your theory (ground school) and passed the examination elsewhere then we can organise a refresher course for you or simply push you forward to gain your PfCO.

Wherever you are in your journey to becoming a drone pilot, Hummingbird are happy to take you under our wing and guide you through your commercial unmanned aviation journey.

Emergency Services

Emergency Services Drone Operators Training Course

Coming soon!