Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems 250 g up to and including 25 kg, Operating within Visual Line-of-Sight (VLOS) (TP 15263)

Second Edition
October 18, 2018

Table of contents

Preamble

This document was prepared by a joint Transport Canada/industry working group.

This knowledge document serves as the ground training and examination guide for pilots of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). It is in accordance with the amendments to the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) for sRPAS operations that are to come into force in 2018/2019. This guide covers the knowledge required to operate sRPAS in Canada. It is not necessarily a comprehensive list – sRPAS operating and training organizations may find the need to supplement these topics. The written examinations, as set by Transport Canada, will be in accordance with the knowledge listed in this document. Both this document and the examinations may be amended as required.

Regulatory history

The Canadian Aviation Regulatory Advisory Council (CARAC) Unmanned Aircraft System Program Design Working Group made recommendations for the safe integration of sRPAS operations within visual line-of-sight (VLOS) in Canadian airspace.

The key principles for sRPAS-related regulatory changes were approved by the CARAC Technical Committee in June 2012 and then by the Transport Canada Canadian Aviation Regulatory Committee (CARC) in October 2012. They were adopted as best practice guidance for Transport Canada Inspectors and applicants for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) - Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Those Best Practices have now been incorporated into regulations and standards that normalize the operation of sRPAS operating VLOS.

This document is provided to guide trainers and pilots in the training required, and the examinations subjects to be covered when operating sRPAS VLOS under the new CAR Part IX.

New regulatory structure for RPAS

  • RPAS will be regulated according to the CARs. Part IX of the CARs will deal with RPAS according to the divisions of mass and operating environments in the diagram below. The immediate regulations will cover RPAS with a MTOW of 250 grams (0.55 lb) up to and including 25 kg (55 lb) operating VLOS.
  • Operating environments will be subdivided in to basic operations and advanced operations
  • Other operations using RPAS that do not fall within the scope of the regulations will require a Special Flight Operations Certificate–RPAS from Transport Canada. This includes operations during which the RPAS is operated beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS).
Two rectangles, side by side, compare the old regulatory structure to the new structure. Both rectangles are subdivided into drone weights and levels of risk.
Comparing the old regulatory structure to the new structure - Text version

The diagram depicts two large rectangles. The one on the left represents the old regulatory structure and the one on the right represents the new part nine regulatory structure. Both rectangles are subdivided into smaller rectangles based on weights and levels of risk. The rectangle on the left includes areas representing legitimate model aircraft, exemptions for drones of one kilogram or less, exemptions for drones one kilogram to twenty five kilograms, drones operated within visual-line-of-sight that require an SFOC , and drones operated beyond-visual-line-of-sight that require an SFOC. The rectangle on the right includes areas representing basic drone operations of drones weighing two hundred and fifty grams to twenty five kilograms, advanced drone operations of drones weighing two hundred and fifty grams to twenty five kilograms operated near aerodromes and in controlled airspace and near and over people, drones weighing greater than twenty five kilograms operated within visual-line-of-sight that require an SFOC , and drones weighing two hundred and fifty grams or more operated beyond-visual-line-of-sight that require an SFOC.

General small RPAS exam information

Where to write the examinations

The examinations required for the operation of sRPAS may only be completed online via the Transport Canada Drone Management Portal.

Examination prerequisites

Candidates for exams must create an account on the Transport Canada Drone Management Portal.

Note: Applicants must be able to read the examination questions in either English or French without assistance.

Examination rules

As per CARs 901.58, 901.67, and 901.84 with respect to examinations related to RPAS:

No person shall,

  • (a) copy or remove from any place all or any portion of the text of the examination;
  • (b) give help to or accept help from any person during the examination; or
  • (c) complete all or any portion of the examination on behalf of any other person;

Materials required

The examinations are delivered via computer. However, we suggest having a pencil and paper handy before beginning the examination, to make diagrams or execute calculations during the examination.

Time limits and pass marks
Examination Questions Time limit Pass mark
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems–Basic Operations: 35 1 ½ hour 65%
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems–Advanced Operations: 50 1 hour 80%
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems–Flight Reviewers: 30 1 ½ hour 80%

Rewriting of examinations

In the case of any examination for operation of sRPAS, the examination may be rewritten after 24 hours.

Examination feedback

Feedback statements in the results letter will inform the candidate where questions were answered incorrectly.

Example of feedback statement:

Identify classes of airspace from an aeronautical chart.

Small RPAS pilot knowledge requirements

Knowledge requirements for sRPAS pilots operating VLOS are shown in the following tables. The applicable type of operation (basic and advanced) is shown to the left of the topics. Sample learning objectives are listed after the topics. The list of sample objectives is not all-inclusive, its purpose is to illustrate the depth of knowledge required to operate sRPAS in Canadian airspace.

Types of operation (basic operations, advanced operations) are set out in the Canadian Aviation Regulations, Part IX. There are minimum knowledge requirements for the pilots of sRPAS operating in each of those groups.

Applicants for the pilot certificate – small remotely piloted aircraft (VLOS) – basic operations shall demonstrate their knowledge by writing the Transport Canada multiple choice examination based on the indicated applicable subjects contained in this guide and covering the subjects set out in Standard 921.01.

Applicants for the pilot certificate – small remotely piloted aircraft (VLOS) – advanced operations shall demonstrate their knowledge by writing the Transport Canada multiple choice examination based on the indicated applicable subjects contained in this guide and covering the subjects set out in Standard 921.02.

Applicants for the flight reviewer rating attached to the pilot certificate – small remotely piloted aircraft (VLOS) – advanced operations shall demonstrate their knowledge by writing the Transport Canada multiple choice examination on the indicated applicable subjects contained in the “Knowledge areas” section of this guide related to advanced operations and “Appendix A: Flight review guide - sRPAS exercises” related to conducting a flight review covering the subjects set out in Standard 921.03.

Knowledge areas

Section 1: air law, air traffic rules and procedures

Aeronautics Act

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies s3 - Definitions

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to define aerodrome, airport, and pilot-in-command.

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs): Part I—General provisions

101—Interpretation
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 101.01 Interpretation (definitions)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Define common terms used in the Canadian Aviation Regulations, such as day, night, VFR.
  • State the definition of remotely piloted aircraft.
  • State the definition of small remotely piloted aircraft.
  • Define remotely piloted aircraft system.
102—Application
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 102.01 Application

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to state that the regulations do not apply to indoor or underground operations.

103—Administration and compliance
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 103.02 Inspection of aircraft, requests for production of documents and prohibitions
not applicable n/a applies 103.03 Return of Canadian Aviation Documents
not applicable n/a applies 103.04 Record keeping

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • State who may demand to inspect aviation documents.
  • State that computer-stored records may be used in place of paper records if measures are taken to protect them.

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs): Part III—Aerodromes and airports

301—Aerodromes
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 301.01 Application
not applicable n/a applies 301.08 Prohibitions
not applicable n/a applies 301.09 Fire prevention

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain that persons, vehicles, obstacles and operations at aerodromes are subject to the approval of the aerodrome operator and the appropriate air traffic control unit.
  • State the restrictions/rules for activities on an aerodrome, or airport.
302—Airports
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 302.10 Prohibitions
not applicable n/a applies 302.11 Fire prevention

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain that persons, vehicles, obstacles and operations at aerodromes are subject to the approval of the aerodrome operator and the appropriate air traffic control unit.
  • State the restrictions/rules for activities on an aerodrome, or airport.

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs): Part VI—General operating and flight rules

601—Airspace
Airspace structure, classification and use
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 601.01 Airspace structure
not applicable n/a applies 601.02 Airspace classification
not applicable n/a applies 601.03 Transponder airspace
not applicable n/a applies 601.04 IFR or VFR Flight in class F special use restricted airspace or class F special use advisory airspace
not applicable n/a applies 601.08 VFR flight in class C airspace
not applicable n/a applies 601.09 VFR flight in class D airspace

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the horizontal and vertical limits of the various classifications of airspace, control areas, special use airspace.
  • Identify the altimeter setting region and the standard pressure region.
  • Recall that advanced operations in Class F airspace require the permission of the airspace operator.
  • Describe the communications required with air traffic control (ATC) for operating a small RPA VLOS within class C or D airspace.
Aircraft operating restrictions and hazards to aviation safety
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 601.14 Interpretation
applies applies 601.15 Forest fire aircraft operating restrictions
not applicable n/a applies 601.16 Issuance of NOTAM for forest fire
applies applies 601.17 Exceptions
applies applies 601.20 Projection of directed bright light source at an Aircraft
applies applies 601.21 Requirement for notification
applies applies 601.22 Requirement for pilot-in-command

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Recall the restrictions to operations in the vicinity of forest fire areas.
  • Describe the circumstances when a small RPAS is permitted to be operated in the vicinity of a forest fire.
  • Describe the process required to legally use a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) on a small RPA.
602—Operating and flight rules - general
Operation at or in the vicinity of an aerodrome
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 602.96 General
not applicable n/a applies 602.97 VFR and IFR aircraft operations at uncontrolled aerodromes within a mandatory frequency (MF ) Area
not applicable n/a applies 602.98 General MF reporting requirements
not applicable n/a applies 602.99 MF reporting procedures before entering manoeuvring area
not applicable n/a applies 602.100 MF reporting procedures on departure
not applicable n/a applies 602.101 MF reporting procedures on arrival
not applicable n/a applies 602.102 MF reporting procedures when flying continuous circuits
not applicable n/a applies 602.103 Reporting procedures when flying through an MF area

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • State that pilots of small RPAs shall avoid flying the RPA in the traffic pattern at an aerodrome.
  • Recall the minimum operating conditions for VFR flight in uncontrolled airspace.
Radio communications
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 602.136 Continuous listening watch
not applicable n/a applies 602.138 Two-way radio communication failure in VFR flight
not applicable n/a applies 602.146 ESCAT Plan

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to describe the actions to be taken in the event of a two-way radio communication failure when flying in class C or D airspace.

606—Miscellaneous
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 606.01 Munitions of war

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to recall that weapons may not be carried on RPAS unless authorized.

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs): Part IX remotely piloted aircraft systems

Division I General provisions
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 900.01 Interpretation
applies applies 900.02 Application
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 900.03 Reserved
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 900.04 Reserved
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 900.05 Reserved

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to define common terms used in RPAS operations such as: command and control link, payload, visual observer.

Division II General prohibition
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 900.06 Reckless or negligent operation

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to recall the prohibition against endangering aviation safety or the safety of any person.

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs): Subpart 1 Small remotely piloted aircraft

Division I General provisions
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 901.01 Application

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to state that Remotely Piloted Aircraft having a maximum takeoff weight (MTW) less than 250 g are not subject to the rules in Part IX Subpart 1 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

Division II Remotely piloted aircraft registration
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 901.02 Registration of remotely piloted aircraft
applies applies 901.03 Registration number
applies applies 901.04 Qualifications to be registered owner of a remotely piloted aircraft
applies applies 901.05 Registration requirements
applies applies 901.06 Register of remotely piloted aircraft
applies applies 901.07 Conditions where certificate of registration is cancelled
applies applies 901.08 Change of name or address
applies applies 901.09 Access to certificate of registration
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.10 Reserved

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Recall that all small RPA are required to display the registration number.
  • Recall that the pilot must have easy access to the certificate of registration when operating a registered small RPA.
Division III General operating and flight rules
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 901.11 Visual line-of-sight
applies applies 901.12 Prohibition—emergency security perimeter
applies applies 901.13 Prohibition—Canadian domestic airspace
applies applies 901.14 Prohibition—airspace
applies applies 901.15 Inadvertent entry into controlled airspace
applies applies 901.16 Flight safety
applies applies 901.17 Right of way
applies applies 901.18 Avoidance of collision
applies applies 901.19 Fitness of crew members
applies applies 901.20 Visual observers
applies applies 901.21 Compliance with instructions
applies applies 901.22 Living creatures
applies applies 901.23 Procedures
applies applies 901.24 Pre-flight information
applies applies 901.25 Maximum altitude
applies applies 901.26 Horizontal distance
applies applies 901.27 Site survey
applies applies 901.28 Other pre-flight requirements
applies applies 901.29 Serviceability of the remotely piloted aircraft system
applies applies 901.30 Availability of remotely piloted aircraft system operating manual
applies applies 901.31 Manufacturer’s instructions
applies applies 901.32 Control of remotely piloted aircraft systems
applies applies 901.33 Take-offs, launches, approaches, landings and recovery
applies applies 901.34 Minimum weather conditions
applies applies 901.35 Icing
applies applies 901.36 Formation flight
applies applies 901.37 Prohibition—operation of moving vehicles, vessels and manned aircraft
applies applies 901.38 Use of first-person view devices
applies applies 901.39 Night flight requirements
applies applies 901.40 Multiple remotely piloted aircraft
applies applies 901.41 Special aviation events and advertised events
applies applies 901.42 Handovers
applies applies 901.43 Payloads
applies applies 901.44 Flight termination system
applies applies 901.45 ELT
applies applies 901.46 Transponder and automatic pressure-altitude reporting equipment
applies applies 901.47 Operations at or in the vicinity of an aerodrome, airport or heliport
applies applies 901.48 Records
applies applies 901.49 Incidents and accidents—associated measures
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.50 Reserved
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.51 Reserved
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.52 Reserved

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Recall that small RPA shall give way to manned aircraft at all times.
  • Recall the rules regarding the use of visual observers.
  • State what aeronautical information must be consulted before flight.
  • State that RPAS operations must remain in Canadian domestic airspace.
  • Recall the requirement to notify air traffic control if a flyaway is likely to enter controlled airspace.
  • State which procedures must be established for normal and emergency operations for all small RPA operations
  • State the minimum distance that a RPA must remain from a person.
  • State the minimum visibility required for the operation of a RPA.
  • State the minimum distance that a small RPA must remain from an aerodrome and from a heliport.
  • Recall that a small RPA may not be operated at or near an aerodrome in a manner that could interfere with aircraft operating in the established traffic pattern
  • State the minimum distance that a small RPA must remain from an airport and from a heliport when not operating under the Advanced Operations rules.
  • Describe the factors that must be included in a “site survey” for the operations of all small RPA operations.
  • State the requirements for lighting when operating a small RPA at night.
Division IV Basic operations
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 901.53 Application
applies applies 901.54 Pilot requirements
applies applies 901.55 Issuance of pilot certificate—small remotely piloted aircraft (VLOS)—basic operations
applies applies 901.56 Recency requirements
applies applies 901.57 Access to certificate and proof of recency
applies applies 901.58 Examination rules
applies applies 901.59 Retaking of an examination or a flight review
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.60 Reserved
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.61 Reserved

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • State the requirements to hold a pilot certificate–SRPA (VLOS)–basic operations.
  • State what is required to operate a small RPAS in Basic operations
  • Recall the 24 month recency requirements for holders of pilot certificates-SRPA (VLOS).
Division V Advanced operations
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 901.62 Application
applies applies 901.63 Pilot requirements
applies applies 901.64 Issuance of pilot certificate—small remotely piloted aircraft (VLOS)—advanced operations
applies applies 901.65 Recency requirements
applies applies 901.66 Access to certificate and proof of recency
applies applies 901.67 Examination rules
applies applies 901.68 Retaking of an examination or a flight review
applies applies 901.69 Manufacturer declaration—permitted operations
applies applies 901.70 Operation of a modified remotely piloted aircraft system
applies applies 901.71 Operations in controlled airspace
applies applies 901.72 Compliance with air traffic control instructions
applies applies 901.73 Operations at or in the vicinity of an airport or a heliport–established procedure
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.74 Reserved
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.75 Reserved

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • State the requirements to hold a pilot certificate–SRPAS (VLOS)–advanced operations.
  • State what is required to operate a small RPA in advanced operations
  • Recall the 24 month recency requirements for holders of pilot certificates-SRPA (VLOS).
  • State the conditions under which it is permissible to operate a small remotely piloted aircraft at a lateral distance of less than 100 feet from another person.
  • State the information that must be given to air traffic services when requesting flight in controlled airspace.
Division VI Advanced operations—manufacturer requirements
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 901.76 Manufacturer declaration
not applicable n/a applies 901.77 Notice to the minister
not applicable n/a applies 901.78 Documentation
not applicable n/a applies 901.79 Record-keeping
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.80 Reserved
not applicable n/a not applicable n/a 901.81 Reserved
Division VII Advanced operations—flight reviewer requirements
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 901.82 Prohibition—flight reviewer
not applicable n/a applies 901.83 Flight reviewer rating
not applicable n/a applies 901.84 Examination rules
not applicable n/a applies 901.85 Retaking of an examination or a flight review
not applicable n/a applies 901.86 Training provider requirements
not applicable n/a applies 901.87 Conduct of flight reviews

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to state that a flight reviewer rating is required in order to conduct a flight review for a pilot certificate–SRPA (VLOS)–advanced operations.

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs): Subpart 2 Reserved

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs): Subpart 3 Special flight operations—remotely piloted aircraft systems

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 903.01 Prohibition
not applicable n/a applies 903.02 Application for special flight operations certificate—RPAS
not applicable n/a applies 903.03 Issuance of special flight operations certificate—RPAS

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to give examples of types of RPAS activities that would require a special flight operations certificate.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB)—(refer to TC AIM-GEN 3.0)
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB)—(refer to TC AIM-GEN 3.0)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • State that the purpose of accident investigation is to prevent recurrence.
  • State the types of accidents that must be reported to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Air traffic services and procedures
Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies Air traffic and advisory services
applies applies Flight service stations, flight information centres
not applicable n/a applies Communication procedures
not applicable n/a applies ATC clearances/instructions/mandatory read back procedures
not applicable n/a applies Aerodrome operations—controlled
not applicable n/a applies Aerodrome operations—uncontrolled
not applicable n/a applies Mandatory and aerodrome traffic frequencies

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Determine who provides coordination or air traffic control service for the airspace being used (if applicable).
  • Determine the MF/ATF and enroute frequencies (if applicable) for the operating area.
  • Explain any traffic patterns of passing aircraft.
  • Anticipate patterns of manned aircraft sharing the airspace.
  • Determine the aeronautical radio frequencies in use for this airspace.
  • Use appropriate phraseology in radio communication.
  • Recognize clearances and instructions directed to other aircraft.
  • Interpret the CFS with respect to airspace and location procedures.
  • Communicate/interface with NAV CANADA according to their “Best Practices” documents.

Section 2: RPAS airframes, power plants, propulsion and systems

Airframes

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Handling/care/securing

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Indicate how manufacturers identify the repairs and work that can be undertaken by the operator vs. what must be addressed by an authorized repair facility (e.g. how to find your applicable original equipment manufacturer guidelines).
  • Describe the importance of identifying propeller/rotor damage, surface contamination, wiring damage, structural damage.
  • Identify the parts of an airframe.

Electrical systems

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Typical electrical system components (motors, electronic speed controllers, batteries, etc.)
applies applies 2. Servo motors
applies applies 3. Importance of component integrity/maintenance

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe typical electrical system components.
  • Describe the actions of a servo.
  • Describe the indications of a failed servo.
  • Explain the importance of keeping components dry.

Redundancies and critical items

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Risks of flying with inoperative systems

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to state the value of redundancy in operating scenarios.

Ground control station

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Orientation
applies applies 2. Software version control
applies applies 3. Flight simulation

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to state the importance of pilot and antenna orientations.

Data links

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Frequency bands (licensed and unlicensed)
applies applies 2. Line-of-sight
applies applies 3. Antennae and tracking systems
applies applies 4. Interference
applies applies 5. Gain, signal to noise ratio

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe how to assess the RF environment or conduct and RF sweep.
  • Discuss the importance of radio line-of-sight.
  • Discuss the importance of GCS antenna placement.
  • Discuss the causes of lost link and methods of recovery.

Batteries

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Types and hazards
applies applies 2. Battery parameters (Ah, voltage, charge and discharge rates (“C”)
applies applies 3. Battery configurations (parallel, series)
applies applies 4. Charge cycles, storage, and maintenance
applies applies 5. Discharge curves
applies applies 6. Transportation of batteries (Dangerous Goods Regulations)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Interpret maintenance log history.
  • Describe the variables affecting batteries (capacity e.g. due to age, history, charge status).
  • Assess battery voltages (understand discharge curves).
  • Describe the regulations applicable to taking lithium-ion batteries on board a commercial flight.
  • Describe the dangers of using water on lithium battery fires.

Autopilots

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. The role of an autopilot
applies applies 2. Different levels of control (e.g. stabilization vs. waypoint)
applies applies 3. Flight termination systems (internal and remote)
applies applies 4. Software version control (ground control station and sRPAS)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the types of pilot intervention possible during flight.
  • Describe the pre-flight preparation related to flight termination systems.
  • Discuss the possible consequences of improper software version control.
  • Describe the importance of updating verified firmware only from the OEM website.

Payloads

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Sensor types (electro-optical, infra-red, radio refrequency, atmospheric, etc.)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to define what comprises the payload vs. the rest of the system.

Electric motors (propulsion)

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Types of motors (brush, brushless, inrunner, outrunner)
applies applies 2. Speed controllers

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to describe the characteristics of different motor types.

Launch and recovery systems

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Types of launchers
applies applies 2. Types of recovery systems–parachute, deep stall, arresting system/hook, normal landing
applies applies 3. Safety areas and templates for launch and recovery

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Identify the different danger areas of a safety template.
  • Describe different methods of recovering an unmanned aircraft.

Maintenance and record keeping

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Technical log requirements
applies applies 2. Servicing, elementary tasks, critical tasks
applies applies 3. 2-person perform/verify practice

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • List the requirements for record-keeping.
  • Give examples of tasks that should be independently verified.

Magnetic compass

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Principles of operation
applies applies 2. Variation
applies applies 3. Factors adversely affecting compass operation
applies applies 4. Importance of calibration

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain the difference between magnetic and true north.
  • Explain what can affect compass operation and reliability.

Altimeter

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Principles of operation
applies applies 2. Errors and malfunctions

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of a barometric altimeter setting.
  • Describe the effect of a blocked static system.

Airspeed indicator

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Principles of operation
applies applies 2. Errors and malfunctions

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the difference between indicated and true airspeeds.
  • Describe the effect of a blocked pitot system.

Inertial measurement unit (IMU)

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Components
applies applies 2. Errors and malfunctions

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe what the IMU responsible for.
  • Give examples of what can cause the IMU to misbehave.

Section 3: Human factors

Aviation physiology

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Vision/visual scanning techniques
applies applies 2. Hearing
applies applies 3. Orientation/disorientation (including visual/perspective/parallax illusions)
applies applies 4. Body rhythms/jet lag
applies applies 5. Sleep/fatigue
applies applies 6. Anaesthetics

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe good scanning techniques (visual, audio) for visual observers (conflicting aircraft).
  • Describe “perspective illusion” when looking at distant aircraft.
  • Describe factors that affect alertness.

The pilot and the operating environment

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Medications (prescribed and over-the-counter)
applies applies 2. Substance abuse (alcohol/drugs)
applies applies 3. Heat/cold
applies applies 4. Noise
applies applies 5. Toxic hazards (including carbon monoxide–GCS vehicle)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the effects of a hangover on pilot performance.
  • Describe the effects of exposure to cold and excessive heat on pilot performance.
  • Describe the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Aviation psychology

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Factors that influence decision-making
applies applies 2. Situational awareness
applies applies 3. Stress
applies applies 4. Managing risk
applies applies 5. Attitudes
applies applies 6. Workload—attention and information processing

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • List factors that interfere with effective decision-making.
  • List the factors that affect situational awareness.
  • Describe how a given operational risk might be managed.

Pilot—equipment/materials relationship

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Controls and displays—errors in interpretation and control
applies applies 2. Standard operating procedures—rationale/benefits
applies applies 3. Correct use of check-lists and manuals
applies applies 4. Automation and complacency

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain the benefits of standard operating procedures and lessons learned.
  • Explain how to manage an interruption to a checklist.

Interpersonal relations

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Communications with flight crew/air traffic services/customers/public/authorities
applies applies 2. Operating pressures—family relationships/peer group
applies applies 3. Operating pressures—employer

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Resolve differences peacefully.
  • Promote open communications.
  • Place safety requirements over hierarchy/position in organization/politics.

Section 4: Meteorology

The earth’s atmosphere

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Composition and physical properties
applies applies 2. Density and pressure

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to describe the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

Atmospheric pressure

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Pressure measurements
not applicable n/a applies 2. Station pressure
not applicable n/a applies 3. Sea level pressure
not applicable n/a applies 4. Pressure system and their variations
not applicable n/a applies 5. Effects of temperature

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Define atmospheric pressure, station pressure, sea level pressure.
  • Explain how atmospheric pressure varies with height.
  • Explain the movement of air resulting from high and low pressure systems, convergence, and divergence.
  • Relate weather characteristics to pressure systems.

Meteorological aspects of altimetry

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Pressure altitude
not applicable n/a applies 2. Density altitude
not applicable n/a applies 3. Altimeter settings

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Recall the factors that affect density altitude.
  • Assess weather and density altitude for anticipated performance (take-off and launch) and flight envelope limitations.

Moisture

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Temperature variations with altitude
not applicable n/a applies 2. Relative humidity/dewpoint
not applicable n/a applies 3. Cloud formation
not applicable n/a applies 4. Precipitation

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain the relationship between lapse rate, temperature-dewpoint spread and cloud base.
  • Explain the effect of moisture and temperature on the formation of clouds, height of cloud base.
  • Discuss the significance of cloud base height on potential air traffic.

Stability and instability

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Characteristics of stable/unstable air
not applicable n/a applies 2. Surface heating/cooling
not applicable n/a applies 3. Lifting processes

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to characterize the effects of stable and unstable air masses (visibility, turbulence, smog layers).

Clouds

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Types applicable to low level flying and Recognition
applies applies 2. Associated precipitation and turbulence

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Identify cloud types and their impact on flying operations.
  • Discuss the significance of observed vertical cloud development.

Surface based layers

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Fog formation
applies applies 2. Haze/smoke
applies applies 3. Blowing obstruction to vision

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain how fog is formed.
  • Identify the elements that can dissipate fog.

Turbulence

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Convection
applies applies 2. Mechanical
applies applies 3. Orographic
applies applies 4. Wind shear

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain the sources of mechanical turbulence.
  • Describe the formation of turbulence around large objects and mountain tops.
  • Identify sources of micro-climate turbulence and wind shear.

Wind

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Pressure gradient
applies applies 2. Low level winds—variation in surface wind
applies applies 3. Friction
applies applies 4. Diurnal effects
applies applies 5. Land/sea breezes
applies applies 6. Katabatic/anabatic effects
applies applies 7. Topographical effects

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain the effect of pressure gradient on the horizontal movement of air.
  • Explain how wind changes in the friction layer due to surface heating.
  • Define wind shear and its effect on turbulence.
  • Explain the formation of land/sea breezes.
  • Use a picture to explain anabatic and katabatic winds.

Fronts and frontal weather

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Structure/frontal wave
not applicable n/a applies 2. Cold front
not applicable n/a applies 3. Warm front

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Discuss the relationship between air masses and creation of weather fronts.
  • Describe the changes in weather as a front approaches and passes over your location.

Aircraft icing

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Formation
applies applies 2. In-flight—freezing rain
applies applies 3. Hoar frost
applies applies 4. Effect of frost and ice on launch and recovery systems

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain how icing is formed and the conditions that cause it.
  • Recognize weather conditions that can cause surface contamination.
  • Describe the components of a RPAS that are susceptible to icing.

Thunderstorms

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Requirements for development
not applicable n/a applies 2. Types–air mass/frontal
not applicable n/a applies 3. Hazards–updrafts/downdrafts/gust fronts/downbursts/microbursts/hail/lightning/antennas
not applicable n/a applies 4. Squall lines

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the three stages of thunderstorm development.
  • Describe the surface weather characteristics of an approaching thunderstorm.
  • Identify hazards likely to occur with thunderstorm activity.

Meteorological services available to pilots

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Flight Information Centres (FIC)–telephone service
applies applies 2. Aviation weather web site
not applicable n/a applies 3. Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS)
applies applies 4. Non-aviation sources

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Identify the sources for local weather information.
  • Describe the differences in cloud base and wind forecasts between aviation and non-aviation sources.

Aviation weather reports

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR), Automated Weather Observation Station (AWOS), Basic Weather Information System (LWIS)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Compare reported weather with the regulatory requirements.
  • Demonstrate awareness of coded weather information, and identify methods of decoding.
  • Identify sources of weather reports (websites etc.).

Aviation forecasts

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Times issued and validity periods
not applicable n/a applies 2. Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Compare forecast weather with the regulatory requirements.
  • Assess forecast ceiling, wind, turbulence, precipitation and visibility against operational objectives.
  • Assess forecast vs. control station requirements (e.g. lightning).

Section 5: Navigation

Definitions

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Longitude
applies applies 2. Latitude
not applicable n/a applies 3. Variation
not applicable n/a applies 4. Track
not applicable n/a applies 5. Heading
not applicable n/a applies 6. Airspeed
not applicable n/a applies 7. Bearing
not applicable n/a applies 8. Wind velocity
not applicable n/a applies 9. Drift

Maps and charts

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Aeronautical charts: VNC, VTA
applies applies 2. Topographical symbols
applies applies 3. Elevation and contours (relief)
applies applies 4. Aeronautical information
applies applies 5. Scale and units of measurement
applies applies 6. Locating position by latitude and longitude
applies applies 7. Canada Flight Supplement (CFS)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Locate your position on an aeronautical chart.
  • Interpret topographical information from charts.
  • Determine your distance from the nearest aerodrome.
  • Identify a control zone on an aeronautical chart.
  • Determine the validity/currency of aeronautical charts.
  • Use the CFS or other approved publication to identify airport operators and air traffic control agencies.

Time and longitude

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. 24 Hour system
applies applies 2. Conversion of Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) to local and vice versa
applies applies 3. Sunrise and sunset

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Convert UTC to local time and vice versa.
  • Determine local time of sunrise/sunset.

Pilot navigation

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Use of aeronautical charts
not applicable n/a applies 2. Measurement of bearing and distance
not applicable n/a applies 3. Variation
not applicable n/a applies 4. True track/magnetic track
not applicable n/a applies 5. True/magnetic/headings
not applicable n/a applies 6. Airspeed vs groundspeed

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe location and activities referring to appropriate aeronautical charts and aeronautical reference points.
  • Identify the class of airspace and proximity of aerodromes to the operating location using aeronautical charts.
  • Explain the difference between true and magnetic heading.

Flight planning

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Factors affecting choice of flying area
applies applies 2. NOTAM
applies applies 3. Use of Canada Flight Supplement (CFS)
applies applies 4. Fuel/energy requirements
applies applies 5. Weight and balance
applies applies 6. Documents to be available at ground control station
applies applies 7. Aircraft serviceability, configuration
applies applies 8. Effect of wind on range and endurance

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the factors that will influence your choice of flying area (restricted airspace, property lines, requirement for an SFOC , etc.).
  • State where to obtain NOTAMs.
  • Obtain NOTAMs, and interpret them.
  • Demonstrate how to use the CFS to determine type and radius of airspace, frequencies, aerodrome operator contact information, nearest FIC/ATS unit for emergency contact, etc.
  • Determine the contact information for Emergency Services and local authorities.
  • List the documents that must be available at the ground control station.
  • Determine the serviceability of
    • Aircraft
    • Control station
    • Radio frequency (RF) equipment
    • Launch and recovery equipment
    • Software loads and versions
    • Correct databases (e.g. maps) loaded
    • Batteries (capacity (i.e. due to age) history, charge status, demand due to weight)
  • Demonstrate how to verify the flight plan data file is correct and complete in the autopilot.

Radio theory

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Characteristics of low/high and very and ultra-high frequency radio waves
applies applies 2. Frequency bands used in navigation and communication
applies applies 3. Operational limitations, propagation, causes of interference

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain the characteristics of radio wave propagation.
  • Describe the factors that affect radio reception range.
  • Identify sources of RF interference.
  • Describe how to assess an RF environment.
  • Explain the function of RF spectrum analyzer.

Global navigation satellite system (GNSS/GPS)

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Principles of operation
not applicable n/a applies 2. Causes of signal loss and interference

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe how GNSS systems may be enhanced by augmentation systems.
  • Provide an example of how Differential Global Positioning Service (DGPS) might be used for landing.
  • Discuss the significance of GPS loss in flight.
  • Describe what can affect GPS performance (number of satellites, weather).

Other radio and radar aids–basic principles and use

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Air traffic control (ATC) transponder
not applicable n/a applies 2. Locator devices

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to describe the function of an ATC radar transponder.

Section 6: Flight operations

General

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Pilot-in-command responsibilities
applies applies 2. Aircraft defects
applies applies 3. Winter operations
applies applies 4. Thunderstorm avoidance
applies applies 5. Wildlife hazards
applies applies 6. Wildlife conservation
applies applies 7. Collision avoidance–use of lights
not applicable n/a applies 8. Runway numbering
not applicable n/a applies 9. Aerodrome operations (Procedures for the prevention of runway incursions and conflicts)
applies applies 10. Radio/electronic interference, portable electronic devices

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the hazards that can occur in different geographic or topographical areas.
  • Describe the normal flow of manned aircraft traffic at an aerodrome (circuit, taxiing, etc.).
  • Explain how local and portable devices might be controlled to reduce interference.

Aircraft performance

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Effects of density altitude and humidity
applies applies 2. Bank/speed vs rate/radius of turn
applies applies 3. Use of aircraft flight manual

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the effect of density altitude on launch and climb performance.
  • Describe the effect of airspeed on radius of turn.
  • Determine operating limitations from the aircraft flight manual.

Performance charts/data

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Factors affecting launcher performance (e.g. ice, temperature)
applies applies 2. Cross-wind limits
applies applies 3. Factors affecting performance (battery, wind, speeds, climb power, etc.)
applies applies 4. Hover ceiling, maximum altitude

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the effect of temperature on elasticized cord launchers, pneumatic launchers or hydraulic launchers.
  • Identify cross-wind limits.
  • Using aircraft performance data, determine the maximum altitude at which the rotorcraft can hover.

Weight and balance

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Locating centre of gravity (C of G)
applies applies 2. Weights–e.g. empty/gross
applies applies 3. External loads–effect on performance and stability

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe methods of determining C of G.
  • Describe how to return a C of G to within limits.

Aircraft critical surface contamination

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Effects of aircraft critical surface contamination on performance
applies applies 2. Types of contaminants (e.g. water, frost, snow, condensation, tape, etc.)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to describe the effects of surface contamination on airfoils.

RPAS operations (VLOS)

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Land owner authorizations
applies applies 2. Coordination with public safety (municipality)
applies applies 3. Charging areas
applies applies 4. Site control, safety perimeter
applies applies 5. Launch points, recovery points
applies applies 6. Obstacles
applies applies 7. Emergency procedures
applies applies 8. Defining roles and responsibilities
applies applies 9. Communications
applies applies 10. Post flight actions (download data, safety actions, etc.)

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Identify typical functional areas in a VLOS site (e.g. launch, observer).
  • Identify desirable characteristics of alternate recovery areas.
  • Identify the requirements of visual observer locations.
  • Identify and evaluate access routes for both normal and emergency operations.
  • Assess public access and determine crowd control requirements.
  • List typical emergency contacts appropriate to flying site (flyaways, EMS etc.).
  • List the safety equipment necessary for the operation (fire extinguisher, first aid, etc.).
  • List the typical items in a crew briefing.
  • Describe emergency procedures (e.g. airspace conflicts, system faults, lost link, public interference).
  • List the typical items in a crew briefing. (roles, objective and plan, timeline, performance limitations, emergency procedures, airspace conflicts and escape manoeuvres, flyaways, public interference, recovery area, interface with the client and public, site manager, safe areas, expectations of what they will observe, electro-magnetic interference, “clean cockpit” (no interference of distractions)).
  • Communicate vital actions (countdown and launch command, emergency abort, transfer of control, air traffic contacts, progress and expected manoeuvres).
  • List recommended post-flight actions (download data, check for damage, clean and dry as needed, remove batteries, record information into logs, disassemble and pack per system manual, etc.).

Occupational safety and health

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Charging areas
applies applies 2. Launch points, recovery points
applies applies 3. Obstacles
applies applies 4. Emergency procedures
applies applies 5. Responsibilities
applies applies 6. Communications
applies applies 7. Post-flight actions

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • List the safety equipment necessary for the operation (fire extinguishers, first aid kit, etc.).
  • Assess weather threats vs ground station operations.
  • Identify and evaluate access routes.
  • Assess public access and determine crowd control requirements.
  • List typical emergency contacts appropriate to flying site (flyaways, EMS etc.)
  • Identify legal site access issues (trespass, insurance, permissions, safety training).
  • List typical personal safety equipment.
  • Describe the hazards of launchers and recovery systems.

Section 7: Theory of flight

Principles of flight

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Bernoulli's principle
applies applies 2. Newton's laws

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to describe how lift is produced.

Aircraft parts and components

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Fixed wing
applies applies 2. Multi-rotor aircraft
applies applies 3. Helicopter components

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Explain the function of the vertical fin.
  • Identify basic components including lifting and stabilizing components.

Forces acting on an aircraft

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Lift
applies applies 2. Drag–induced/parasite
applies applies 3. Thrust
applies applies 4. Weight
applies applies 5. Equilibrium

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Identify the 4 forces acting on an aircraft in flight.
  • Describe how the 4 forces are balanced during manoeuvres and steady flight.

Stability

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Longitudinal, lateral, directional stability
applies applies 2. Inherent stability
applies applies 3. Methods of achieving stability, effect of C of G position

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to explain how the centre of gravity affects longitudinal stability.

Aerofoils

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Relative airflow and angle of attack
applies applies 2. Relationship of lift and drag to angle of attack
applies applies 3. Aerodynamic stall

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to explain how lift is controlled.

Propellers and rotors

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Handling and care

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to describe how the condition of the prop/rotor affects performance.

Design of the wing

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Wing planform
applies applies 2. Spoilers
applies applies 3. Flaps

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to describe how the design of the wing affects performance.

Aeroplane flight controls

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Aeroplane axes and planes of movement
applies applies 2. Control surfaces
applies applies 3. Trim

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe the function of different control surfaces.
  • Explain the function of trim.

Helicopter flight controls

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Cyclic
applies applies 2. Collective
applies applies 3. Tail rotor

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe how lift is created with a rotary wing (powered and autorotation).
  • Describe how lift is controlled.
  • Describe the function of the tail rotor, counter-rotating rotors.

Multi-rotor aircraft dynamics

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Principles of flight and torque
applies applies 2. Pilot flight controls
applies applies 3. Settling with power
applies applies 4. Recirculation
applies applies 5. Dynamic rollover

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe how yaw, pitch, roll and climb are achieved in a multi-rotor aircraft.
  • Describe how to avoid dynamic rollover in a cross-wind.
  • Describe typical multi-rotor autopilot modes (manual, attitude, GPS Position hold).
  • Describe how asymmetric recirculation can upset lateral control of a rotorcraft.

Load factor

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Load factor–turns
applies applies 2. Gust loads, turbulence
applies applies 3. Structural/power limitations

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe what can affect the load factor on an aircraft.
  • Recall that increasing the load factor produces a requirement for increased lift, thus producing increased drag.

Section 8: Radiotelephony

Communications

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies 1. Operator’s certificate (aeronautical) - (Industry Canada Operator Certificate – with Aeronautical Qualification course)
not applicable n/a applies 2. Terminology
not applicable n/a applies 3. Common frequencies
not applicable n/a applies 4. Emergencies

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Interpret aeronautical radio communications (position, phase of flight).
  • Communicate using standard radio terminology.
  • Give an example of a routine blind broadcast.
  • List the contents of a routine call to ATC.
  • Give an example of an emergency (flyaway) broadcast.
  • Distinguish between “height” and “altitude” in communications.
  • Give examples of proper radio etiquette, including practices to avoid interfering with other communications.

Ground crewmember radios

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
applies applies 1. Terminology
applies applies 2. Reception performance

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Give an example of an advisory describing a possible aircraft conflict.
  • Describe factors affecting radio reception range.
  • Describe the verbal communication elements in a positive transfer of control or visual following.

Appendix A: Flight reviewer’s guide - sRPAS exercises

Pre-flight planning procedures

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies Plan a flight of at least 15 minutes duration simulating a normal operational sRPAS flight which shall, at a minimum, include one (1) take-off and one (1) full stop landing.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Provide a satisfactory site survey;
  • Brief flight crew or visual observers of any duties they are to perform or any other information relevant to the flight;
  • Use appropriate and current aeronautical charts and other current flight publications;
  • Properly identify airspace, obstructions, and terrain features;
  • Select a safe and efficient take-off location and flight route;
  • Obtain all pertinent information about local air routes and aerodromes;
  • Retrieve and interpret weather information and NOTAM relevant to the intended flight;
  • Determine the acceptability of existing or forecast weather conditions;
  • Select the most favourable and appropriate altitudes, considering weather conditions and equipment limitations;
  • Determine the appropriate departure procedure;
  • Make a competent “GO/NO-GO” decision based on available information for the flight;
  • Demonstrate that the weights and center of gravity are within acceptable manufactures limits;
  • Determine the impact on their sRPAS operations, of unserviceability of equipment or equipment configuration changes for the proposed flight; and
  • Organize and arrange material and equipment in a manner that makes the items readily available.

Emergency procedures

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies Demonstrate the procedures to be used when an emergency occurs.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe emergency procedures that apply to your sRPAS;
  • Describe the lost-link procedures that apply to your sRPAS;
  • Describe the procedures to follow in the event of a fly-away, including who to contact.

Perform a take-off

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies Perform an organized and efficient safe departure

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Complete all pre-flight inspection/checks on your sRPAS;
  • Note take-off time;
  • Use an organized and efficient procedure to take off;
  • Comply with all departure clearances and instructions if the flight review is conducted in controlled airspace; and
  • Complete appropriate checklists.

Manual flight procedure

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies Show the ability to manually control the sRPAS through various stages of flight.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Maintain a stable airspeed, cruising altitude, and heading;
  • Navigate by applying systematic navigation techniques;
  • Orient the sRPAS to the direction of flight;
  • Navigate around an obstacle or fixed point;
  • Determine the position of the aircraft with respect to distance and altitude from the candidate;
  • Apply an organized method that would:
    • verify the position of the aircraft
    • revise headings to correct any existing track error to maintain the aircraft’s position due to wind
    • confirm or revise the battery power available at the destination landing point with a degree of accuracy that would make arrival assured
    • confirm current fuel/power levels vs requirements for the flight

Lost link procedures

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies Demonstrate verbally the procedures to be used when a lost link occurs.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Correctly program the sRPAS for a “return to home” if it is equipped with that function;
  • Select a power setting and altitude appropriate for the lost link situation;
  • Promptly recognize when a lost link has occurred;
  • Show an ability to regain control of the sRPAS if it reconnects the lost link;
  • Take an appropriate course of action, once link has been re-established and confirmed; and
  • Contact the appropriate facility to provide information on the lost link if needed.

“Fly away” procedures

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies Verbally demonstrate the ability to perform all the needed actions relating to a “fly away” situation.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Perform the following tasks without undue delay:
    • Identify and record their present position
    • Identify and record the direction and altitude the sRPAS was last seen travelling
    • Estimate the approximate available flight time that will remain with the fuel/power on board upon arrival at the destination (Example: 15 minutes)
  • Without delay contact the appropriate facility to provide information on the “fly away” if needed.

Perform a landing

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
not applicable n/a applies Perform an organized and efficient safe arrival.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Use an organized and efficient procedure to land;
  • Comply with all arrival clearances and instructions if the flight review is conducted in controlled airspace;
  • Complete appropriate checklists;
  • Note landing time;
  • Secure the sRPAS.

Enquiries

Information concerning the operation of small RPASs and pilot certification may be obtained by contacting the appropriate Transport Canada Regional Offices. A complete listing may be found at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/opssvs/regions-139.htm.

Transport Canada publications (TP), including the following, may be purchased from retailers, or at the following web site: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/publications/menu.htm.

The Study Guide for the Radiotelephone Restricted Operator Certificate - Aeronautical (RIC-21) is available free of charge from district offices of Industry Canada - Examinations and Radio Licensing (http://www.strategis.gc.ca).

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) are available online at:
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-96-433/index.html

NAV CANADA publications, including the following, may be purchased from retailers, or at the following web site:
http://www.navcanada.ca/EN/products-and-services/Pages/aeronautical-information-products.aspx

  • VFR Navigation Charts (VNC )/VFR Terminal Area Charts (VTA )
  • Canada Flight Supplement

The NAV CANADA VFR Phraseology guide is available for download at
https://www.navcanada.ca/EN/media/Publications/VFR%20Phraseology.pdf

Some NAV CANADA regions have developed Best Practices for dealing with RPAS. Those documents are available for download at
https://flitelab.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/vr-fir-uav-best-practices-vruav-2015-final.pdf
A copy of the Vancouver Flight Information Region UAV Best Practices can be requested by e-mail from uav_vr@navcanada.ca

Information on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods is available from Transport Canada.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/safety-menu.htm

Text books and other publications produced by commercial publishers can be obtained through local flying training organization, bookstores and similar sources.

Copyright

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Transport, 2018.

Permission is granted by the Department of Transport, Canada, to copy and/or reproduce the contents of this publication in whole or in part provided that full acknowledgment is given to the Department of Transport, Canada, and that the material be accurately reproduced. While use of this material has been authorized, the Department of Transport, Canada, shall not be responsible for the manner in which the information is presented, nor for any interpretations thereof.

The information in this publication is to be considered solely as a guide and should not be quoted as or considered to be a legal authority. It may become obsolete in whole or in part at any time without notice.

TP 15263E
(Revised 10/2018)

You may reproduce this guide as required and it can be found at
http://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/publications/tp-15263.html

Please direct your orders and inquiries to:

The Order Desk
Operational Support Services
Transport Canada (AAFBD)
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0N8

Telephone: 1-888-830-4911 (in North America) 613-991-4071 (other countries)
Fax: 613-991-1653
E-Mail: Publications@tc.gc.ca

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