ICARUS Ambassador Ricky Evans - Operational Evaluation (Flight Test) Testimonial

April has been another busy month in the development of Rickford Lyndon Aerial! On April the 5th I met up with fellow Icarus Ambassador Raymond Hosie to make the long journey down to Oxford for our flight evaluation and test on the 6th of April. Raymond lives quite a few miles from me and started his journey at 6.30am!!! Luckily for me I didn’t need to leave till after 9! We had spoken a few times via skype about the upcoming test, the equipment we needed and putting together all the paperwork but it wasn’t until we were headed down the M6 suddenly everything started to feel more real. We stayed in a Travelodge just outside Bicester pronounced Bister not bi-ses-ter I was soon to realise! Who said people only struggle with Scottish Pronunciations!! That night we sat and went through our paperwork one last time before trying to get as much rest as possible for the day ahead.

We could not have asked for a better day for the flight test, glorious blue skies with not a hint of wind and not a cloud in sight. Perfect conditions for drone flight! It was good to see the guys at AMP again and Tom quickly sat us down for our morning brief and let us know how the day would go and what would be expected of us. We were given time to set up before the Exam and make any last minute changes before Tom arrived for our on-site briefing.  It was squeaky bum time!!

The evaluation part of the test went well with Tom directing me to take specific shots as set out in our project brief. He was pleased with how I had set up my TOLP and surrounding area, my flight planning and subsequent aircraft checks and flight briefing. We moved onto the dreaded ATTI flight test. The Inspire felt a bit skittish under my controls during the test (maybe it was nervous like me!) and being honest I didn’t feel that I flew it to the best of my abilities but Tom was on hand to give me some pointers on how I can practice to improve and also to let me know that my flying was fine and not to be too hard on myself. When all post flight safety checks had been done Tom got us together and told us we had passed and that AMP would be recommending us for PfCO!! He also gave us great feedback about how we had done in our test and some pointers for the future.

We both said a quick cheerio to Gail, Ella and the rest of the AMP team before we headed back up the road to bonny Scotland!

No sooner had I arrived back home when I received an email from AMP which included all the relevant details for my application to the CAA for PfCo approval. I filled in all the details and sent it away ASAP. I am currently still waiting for the certificate to fall through the door so hopefully sometime in the coming weeks!

In the meantime I’m still trying to put together a website to promote my work and wedding season has begun. I am also speaking to a motorhome company about some promotional material for their website which may well be my first job as a qualified pilot!