Operational Proficiency Assessment (OPA)

Prior to operating under FlyFreely Australia's ReOC, all pilots must pass a practical proficiency assessment.

This article related to customers who have  signed up for FlyFreely's Regulatory Compliance Service (RCS), which allows them to conduct operations under FlyFreely Australia's ReOC. 

The OPA is a fundamental part of remote pilot onboarding on FlyFreely's RCS program. The  assessment consists of 2 parts:

  • Mission Planning
  • Mission Execution

Mission Planning

After completing the general FlyFreely induction course/s, you will be asked to plan a mission, which will later become the basis for your practical  assessment.

A step by step guide to mission planning in FlyFreely can be found here.

Once completed, you will submit the mission to FlyFreely Australia's Chief Remote Pilot (CRP) for assessment / approval.

The CRP will assess the mission plan based on a number of factors including:

  • Comprehensive plan of the flight area with flight area/s, personnel positions and danger areas clearly marked (more info).
  • Comprehensive risk assessment completed, with mission-specific risks all mitigated to  reasonable levels.
  • Any other factors affecting the mission have been noted (NOTAMs, weather, nearby airspace restrictions etc).

Once  your mission has been planned in full, you will submit it for approval via the FlyFreely platform.

Mission Execution (Practical)

The practical component of the assessment can be undertaken in several ways

  • In person, in Brisbane (location to be agreed in advance so it can be included in your mission planning)
  • In person, at your location (additional travel costs will apply)
  • Electronically, via zoom (a 2nd person will be required to hold the camera/phone while the pilot flies)

This part of the assessment involves executing the mission you have  previously planned. The CRP may ask questions / quiz you on various related topics during the mission. We will revisit the topics of risk assessment, details of operations area during the pre-flight phase of the mission, and while flying you may be asked to explain emergency procedures and RPAS failsafe modes.

Assessment Outcomes

The CRP will determine whether the pilot is considered to be competent during the conduct of the OPA mission. Pilots who pass the assessment will be added to FlyFreely Australia's ReOC for the scheduled period and will be able to plan, submit and execute approved missions  during that time.

In the instance where a pilot is deemed 'not yet competent', the CRP will highlight specific areas to be studied and the pilot will be quizzed on these prior to being assessed as competent and added to the ReOC.