Drone operators test their skill

September 26th, 2017, Published in Articles: PositionIT

Rocketmine and other drone operators put their skills and knowledge to the test in the second annual Rocketmine Pilot Day held at the Cors-Air Airfield near Bapsfontein on 23 September 2017. Pilot Day is part of the drone service provider’s internal performance evaluation programme “Stripe”, a reference to the stripes on airline pilot uniforms indicating rank.

Best pilot winner Stefan Prinsloo gives fellow pilot tips on aspects he thought was important.

Best pilot winner Stefan Prinsloo gives fellow drone pilot tips.

The point-based system runs throughout the year to assess pilot skill and progress, and to recognise achievement. On the day pilots were tested on Air Law Theory, fixed wing and multicopter pilot proficiency, and data processing skills. Drone operators from other companies that also participated used the opportunity to benchmark themselves. After a gruelling day on the airfield, Stefan Prinsloo from Rocketmine’s Ghana branch was named the best pilot for the second year in a row. For his prize he could choose between a return flight to Cape Town and a DJI Spark drone. Feedback from the day also helps the company refine its own training procedures, and serves to compare its South African pilots to pilots from its recently opened Ghana branch.

Magazi Madi was recognised alongside Johan de Jongh and Stefan Prinsloo for her fixed wing proficiency.

Magazi Madi was recognised alongside Johan de Jongh and Stefan Prinsloo for her fixed wing proficiency.

Judges praised the pilots’ methodological approach and high standard safety reports. Jacques Jooste from SGS South Africa assessed the Air Law Theory, iQ Laser’s Norbert Plate carried out the pilot proficiency checks, while RocketMine’s Ajay Harduth assessed data processing capabilities. Aerospace 3D’s Justin Melman and 22 South’s Martin Roberts judged pilots’ practical skill.

The day concluded with two demos – the first being the Litchi App for drone videographers and the second being a demo of GoUAV’s DJI drone offering.

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