The flight review is not difficult – from a flight control perspective. It is designed to challenge and assess attention to detail, safety, and knowledge retained from the Small RPAS-Advanced exam.
YOU are the pilot in command of the planning, preparation, and completion of a RPAS flight during your flight review.
Meet Your Flight Reviewer
Hi – I’m Julian – TC Flight Reviewer based in Nanaimo BC, and Director of planning and remote sensing at SHIFT environmental. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to schedule a review, and read further on this page to prepare for the review.
Remember – all small RPAS flights are supposed to be VLOS, that means you need to be watching the drone, not the controller during the flight review (and any real-life operations). Practice this in your day-to-day flights!
These pages have the critical information from the flight reviewers’ guide.
The next page will walk you through a sample flight review including flight planning, documents, and what to expect on the day.
I want you to pass, but you have to be prepared and professional
You can read the flight reviewer’s guide that the review will be based on here:
And brush up on your knowledge requirements:
You will successfully complete a flight review by performing the following exercises:
- (i) describe the site survey process, (bring a completed site survey & flight plan)
- (ii) describe emergency procedures that apply to flying an RPAS , including lost-link procedures and procedures to follow in the event of a fly-away, including who to contact,
- (iii) describe the method by which to inform Transport Canada of an incident or accident,
- (iv) successfully perform pre-flight checks of their RPAS ,
- (v) perform a take-off,
- (vi) demonstrate the ability to navigate around obstacles, (orbits, camera position)
- (vii) demonstrate the ability to recognize distances, and
- (viii) perform a landing.
In order to take a flight review, you need to have passed the Transport Canada online Advanced exam. Without this exam, your flight reviewer will be unable to proceed with the test and enter your information into the drone portal.
Print out your exam results page, which will have your TC identification on it, as well as the confirmation of your passed test.
Contact the drone flight school directly to schedule a flight review. You must provide the school with:
- a digital or physical copy of the results page of your successfully completed small advanced exam
- a valid (not expired) piece of government-issued (federal/provincial/territorial/state government authority or the equivalent body abroad) identification that provides their name and date of birth
- the Certificate of Registration for the drone used for the flight review
(taken from https://tc.canada.ca/en/aviation/drone-safety/drone-pilot-licensing/complete-flight-review-drones)
Bring These Things
- ID make sure it is not expired
- all other docs needed for advanced ops, including:
- Pilot Certificate
- Registration Certificate for Drone
- Drone Manual
- Drone logs
- Proof of currency (if PC older than 2 years)
- Charts / CFS
- https://www.navcanada.ca/en/ecfs_02_en.pdf For British Columbia
- https://skyvector.com/?ll=48.85107148707858,-123.84379577291995&chart=301&zoom=2 Southern Vancouver Island VNC Sectional
- site survey, which includes:
- NOTAMS, CFS, Weather, airspace etc.
- you can use RPAS Wilco (online or phone app)
- You don’t need to print them off every time, but I highly recommend a hard copy for the flight review.
- printed tempates, if you prefer.
- SOPs and Emergency Procedures
- Examples available on the tiltshift.ca site
- Chart and CFS (digital is fine, FLTPLAN GO)
- Mission Plan – a 10-15 minute flight
- You will brief the flight reviewer
- Describe the purpose of the mission and how you will accomplish it
- Good Weather is a must
Question: Which documents may be brought in digital format?
It is the sole responsibility of the candidate to make the final decision as to whether or not the flight review will be conducted
You will make a go or no-go decision, based on weather and other conditions, before taking-off.
Begin by making sure your reviewer has your valid ID and Exam information.
- Perform or review the Site Survey
- Provide a Flight Briefing for your reviewer
- Ensure you have your appropriate charts/CFS readily available
- Visually review hazards, obstructions, or other features
- Prepare launch site for legal RPAS operations
- Confirm airframe and payload suitabilility for mission and mechanical condition. (COG/MTOW/Payload)
- Go or No-Go
Be prepared to discuss various mission aspects with your reviewer:
- site survey details
- relevant laws for the operation
- emergency procedures
- link-loss situations
- crew resource management
- Preflight Inspection?
- Correct takeoff procedure.
- Request/Comply with clearances if operating in controlled airspace
Air Skills – Manual RPAS Operations
- Safe operation
- Stable airspeed and altitude
- Systemic Navigation Techniques
- RPAS orientation and flight direction
- Orbit obstacle or fixed point
- Height/Distance of aircraft
- Organized methods for power level management
- scanning techniques
- ability to operate all functions of aircraft
- Choice of flight routes, takeoff, and landing areas
- Estimate distance to drone accurately.
- Procedure for landing
- Are clearances required?
- Logging (date/time)
- Confirm RPAS is secure
- Power-down and inspect RPAS
- Identify current aircraft position
- Identify last seen altitude and heading of aircraft
- Estimate remaining flight time
- Contact appropriate facility or operator to provide info about the flyaway
- Prepare and describe your RPAS emergency procedures
- Define accident and incident
- Who should be contacted in event of emergency or incident, and how is contact made?
The failure of one item during the review constitutes failure and will require a complete redo.
- failure of one item during a complete flight review
- failure to do an appropriate site survey
- a demonstrated pattern of failing to use effective visual scanning techniques is displayed during the flight review
- displaying unsafe flying
- displaying dangerous behavior that is not linked to a skill
- displaying a lack of training or competency
Here are the evaluation criteria spelled out in great detail:
An error is defined as: an action or inaction by the flight crew that leads to a variance from operational or flight crew intentions or expectations.
The following examples have been provided in the Flight Reviewer’s Handbook from Transport Canada:
An action or inaction that is inconsequential to the completion of a task, procedure or manoeuvre, even if certain elements of the performance vary from the recommended best practices.
Example: You are conducting a flight review with a candidate and as the RPA approaches the landing area the candidate fails to slow the RPA down and overshoots the landing area by a few feet but the candidate does recover and lands safely.
An action or inaction that can lead to an undesired aircraft state or a reduced safety margin, if improperly managed; or an error that does not lead to a safety risk, but detracts measurably from the successful achievement of the defined aim of a sequence/item.
Example: You are conducting a flight review with a candidate and as the RPA approaches the landing area the candidate fails to slow the RPA down and overshoots the landing area by 20 feet, then the candidate lands the RPA where it is.
Critical error (failure)
An action or inaction that is mismanaged and consequently leads to an undesired aircraft state or compromises safety, such as:
- Non-compliance with CARS or non-adherence to mandated standard operating procedures
- Repeated improper error management or uncorrected and unrecognized threats that risk putting the aircraft in an undesired state
- Repeated major errors or the non-performance of elements prescribed in the Performance Criteria* that are essential to achieving the Aim* of a flight review sequence/item
Example: You are conducting a flight review with a candidate and as the RPA approaches the landing area the candidate fails to slow the RPA down and overshoots the landing area by 30 feet, then the candidate lands the RPA where it is and almost hits a person in the process.
If you need help: