Why should I use a Field Operations Manual?

Whether you are a Recreational or Commercial Drone Pilot, the thought of including a Field Operations Manual (FOM) as part of your scheduled flight tasks may seem like a very low priority at this stage. We have therefore decided to list a few potentially important points that may shift your thoughts entirely on this subject.  So here goes…………….

  1. The International standards and recommended practices by ICAO as depicted in Annex 6 Appendix 2, supports a safer flight operation through the utilisation of an Operations Manual.
  2. The FOM supports your efforts at applying a proven risk assessment prior to the commencement of any particular flight.
  3. You will have the guidelines to support you in obtaining and entering data that supports a more accurate assessment of your intended flight plan/operation.
  4. These flight plan/operational guidelines include, but are not limited to:
    • obstructions
    • visual limitations
    • flight permissions, and
    • published flight documentation.
  5. The FOM can be applied globally as its content guidelines are not limited to only one specific continent.
  6. This documented evidence can be used, in turn, to support your application to an insurance company in the event of you ever having to follow this route.
  7. The FOM is able to serve as a quick reference phase flight checklist.
  8. It ensures that a flight safety briefing is applied through the guidelines, as listed in a standard FOM template.
  9. Ensures that the relevant telephone numbers have been obtained and are listed in case of an emergency occurring during any phase of a particular flight operation.  
  10. The FOM serves as a template guideline when considering what will be required to manage a safer flight operation at any chosen location.

In conclusion, you as the Pilot still have the choice to either go ahead with a flight without having done the proper pre-planning for it, or apply your individual or companies FOM and feel more confident about your flight in support of a safer operation. The only question you need to ask yourself now is which route would you prefer to follow?

Think Safety and happy flying.

(P.S. – drop us an email at susanne@talkingradio.co.za if you want to find out more about the FOM and how it can benefit you and your flight operation)