A problem that we have identified is a lack of easily accessible and FREE drone piloting best practices available to the African market. We have compiled a partial list of training materials, online courses, and best practices here which will help you gain knowledge and become a safer, better, and more effective pilot.
While this material is not a substitute for your country's specific licencing requirements, it will go a long way towards getting you familiar with terminology and practices which will help you pass any test you decide to take.
Note that while most of these training materials come from the USA, much of this information applies worldwide. For example, navigation, weather, aircraft handling, pilot decision-making processes, and radiotelephony all have the same base knowledge that is used around the world (this is how pilots can fly between countries without re-learning everything).
For drones, most countries in Africa will have some sort of permitting process, however we only know of one country (South Africa) with a fully operational licencing scheme, with testing centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The testing material presented here is very similar, and in some cases the same, as the material presented in South Africa. Studying the below material will make you a better pilot, will make you a safer pilot, and will help you pass the licencing tests in your home country.
- The Pilot's Handbook to Aeronautical Knowledge.
- This is a comprehensive guide to flying. It is designed for pilots of larger aircraft but the principles apply to drones as well. (right-click to download .pdf)
- Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide.
- This is the official US FAA study guide to pass your Part 107 (drone) licensing test. It contains drone-specific information on a variety of topics which are applicable internationally. It contains a variety of embedded links to further study materials. (right-click to download .pdf)
- Online Drone Piloting Course.
- The US FAA has multiple online courses for free that you can enroll in, even as a non-US citizen. First, click on the link above and create an account with the FAA Safety website. Then login, and click on "Catalog of Available Courses", and then click on "WINGS Courses". You will then see a large variety of online training courses - the one that is most applicable is called "Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), which has a code of ALC-451. This course has a mix of video and text lessons. You are even able to print an official certificate of completion once done.
- Drone Journalism Ethics.
- A one-page statement of ethics for drone journalists to abide by. Created by academics and professionals and adapted to the African market by africanDRONE.
- Drone Journalism Operating Manual.
- A straightforward operating manual for drone journalists. Includes step by step instructions for safe flight. Created by academics and professionals and adapted to the African market by africanDRONE.
- Flight Logs.
- Downloadable flight logs for your operation.