How newly qualified airline pilots will become tomorrow’s pioneering drone pilots

Skyborne Airline Academy pilots in a simulator

The top UK name in drone training has teamed up with the country’s leading commercial and airline pilot training academy to give wider opportunities to newly qualified pilots.

Skyborne Airline Academy, based at Gloucestershire Airport, offers innovative, airline-focused training to meet the needs of the aviation industry, providing state-of-the-art technology and high-quality teaching for its trainees.

Newly qualified pilots from Skyborne’s UKCAA/EASA Integrated and Combined Modular ATPL programmes will be hand-selected to join Flyby Technology as commercial drone pilots, completing the company’s Beyond Visual Line of Sight training course.

Flyby Technology founder Jon Parker, an airline pilot and former RAF fighter pilot, has recognised the value of Skyborne’s training philosophy and the quality of the skills, knowledge and professionalism of its graduate pilots.

Jon explains: “The drone, or unmanned aircraft industry to be more precise, is leading the way into a new age of aviation. Flyby Technology is trailblazing Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) training which will take the flying of civilian drones to a completely new level. This will give the UK the competitive edge in the world market and secure a place in history for British innovation.”

The Civil Aviation Authority in the UK is supporting this use of drones which will potentially open vast new markets worth millions of pounds to future UK BVLOS commercial drone operators.

Jon added: “Job prospects in manned aviation have fallen steeply for newly qualified pilots due to the coronavirus crisis and the terrible impact this has had on some areas of the airline industry. Newly qualified pilots from Skyborne and those still undergoing training are all carefully selected before they do the Flyby course. We know they are very well trained, motivated and would make ideal drone pilots once we have given them further specialist training.”

Lee Woodward, Chief Executive Officer at Skyborne, said: “This is a first for UK pilot training. Working with Flyby Technology provides fantastic opportunities for our graduates to build a career flying unmanned aircraft while maintaining their pilot skills, teamwork and leadership.

“At Skyborne we are committed to innovation and contributing to the development of this exciting field of aviation. Our newly qualified pilots will receive a competitive starting salary as they help to shape the future of the drone industry.”

Jon Parker has built York-based Flyby as a centre for excellence. His team of instructors includes fellow ex-military and career aviators who each possess the passion and dedication required to inspire and motivate new generations of aviators.

He added: “We are now training the drone pilots of tomorrow. They will be the best pilots in the world. No-one is doing what Flyby Technology is doing. It’s the best training, the best technology, the best British innovation coupled with some of the best people we can find in the UK.

“Drones are getting serious and we need serious people to fly them.  This is not hobby flying any more.  This is the start of the next chapter in the evolution of aviation and these young people are the power plant for it.”

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