License to Fly (UAVs)

Drones have officially gone mainstream, with filmmakers, surveyors, and even law enforcement officials relying on their use. The proliferation of UAVs has led many governments to enact rules that provide a framework for safe drone deployment in their respective nations. Germany, in fact, recently adopted and put into effect drone rules which set restrictions on operating unmanned aerial vehicles within their country’s borders. According to the regulations, a drone that weighs more than 2kg (4.4lb), requires that its operator demonstrate knowledge of how to fly it safely via one of three methods:

●     by taking an examination,

●     by presenting a pilot's license,

●     or by presenting a certificate from an air sports association. 

Complying with this rule doesn’t have to be a challenge--just ask Microdrones team member Mirjam Braas who has already completed her training to be a certified drone pilot in Germany.

Learning the Ropes

Ms. Braas joined Microdrones as the Marketing Manager for Europe in December 2016. Generally considered to be a “non-aviation person”, she offers a unique look at what it’s like to go through the training and certification process. Her drone pilot education included a workshop hosted by Microdrones flight trainer Sebastian Besting, and concluded with testing that took place on Friday, October 13, 2017 at Haus Patmos in Siegen, Germany.  

 “Our flight trainer gave us all of the information we needed and sat down with us to answer questions and discuss any topics we wouldn't understand,” Mirjam explains. “We used an online tool to test and study all relevant fields of the certificate. This included single and multiple choice-questions about meteorology, air law & airspace regulation, air rights, flight operation and navigation.” 

According to Mirjam, the online test was a fun tool that sparked friendly competition among those studying for the certificate, with a goal to earn more points than the other test takers. She successfully completed the certification and obtained an official license which allows her to legally fly small UAVs (2kg up to 25kg) in Germany.

"I am very proud to have completed the flight certificate for Germany as a ‘non-aviation person’,” Mirjam says. “As regulations strengthen, it becomes more important to really be able to fly a UAV and understand what comes with it, especially since many people ‘can’ operate smaller UAVs, while not knowing how to do so properly."

Germany’s New Lawful Pilots

The risk of drone-related accidents increases each day as more and more unmanned aerial vehicles take to the skies. Germany’s very clear new rules are intended to increase airspace safety, as well as improve security and privacy protections. And Mirjam’s accomplishment demonstrates that even “non-aviation people” are fully capable of completing the training and certification necessary to ensure successful, lawful, drone flights.

“As the only woman and someone who has never done any piloting, I was unlike the others in the group who were pilots and trainers, so I was nervous. But I studied very hard and passed not just because I wanted to be licensed, but because I think it’s great to learn and experience new topics,” Mirjam said. “I gained the understanding and knowledge about how the UAV would perform in different weather conditions, as well as what was allowed by law.” 

A total of 15 Microdrones employees participated in the training workshop, and all passed the hour-long test to receive their official drone pilot license. The Microdrones team is driven by the desire to make things better, build connections, and help people work more efficiently. Learn more about our team at today.