3.6. Aeronautical knowledge training

It is important to have and retain the knowledge necessary to operate drones. Certified pilots in most jurisdictions need to undergo an aeronautical knowledge test. The company should have a system in place to ensure that this knowledge is kept current.

Also, mandatory aeronautical knowledge tests do not guarantee that pilots are sufficiently trained for their specific missions. Special training might be required to address skill requirements related to specific equipment or payloads being used.

Certain special permits or wavers (e.g. night flight) might require that pilots receive special training and that the training is documented.

The company needs to furthermore ensure that internal rules and regulations are known to all pilots, flightcrew and maintenance personnel.

The basic rules of drone operations and especially the legal limitations thereof should also be known by those who manage and supervise drone operations to prevent situations where they unknowingly push pilots to perform missions which are in violation of legal limitations.


  1. Accidents due to lack of technical training or lack of pilot awareness of company rules and regulations.

Audit Steps

  1. Assess the training program in place for new pilots before their first flight.
  2. Understand the system in place to periodically provide systematic training to all pilots and flightcrew.
  3. Interview pilots about the adequacy of their initial training before their first flight.
  4. Interview flightcrew to evaluate the adequacy of the emergency procedure training they received.
  5. Validate that all training is conducted by appropriately qualified instructors.
  6. Validate that all training is conducted at an approved training location.
  7. Validate that all training hours are logged for each flightcrew member.
  8. Assess the consistency of training standards across different units with drone operations in the company.


drone audit program index