Dear Fellow Mappers,

I would like to share information about one of the first RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) schools in Europe, Fly & Film SA <>. The school is situated in the town of Sierre <> in the canton of Valais.

I studied for one week at this school and received a RPAS pilot certificate (1). The course was in French language, and the certificate is in two languages French and English, since the latter is the de facto language of civil aviation.

I fly RPAS for quite a while already, nevertheless this training was interesting and useful. Among instructors were helicopter & RPAS pilots, a director of an international airport, an ornithologist. Five days of intensive training were followed by a theoretical exam and a practical (piloting) exam, which I passed both successfully. It is mentioned in the certificate that the piloting exam was with and without GPS stabilization, and that is why the certificate has got a "no restrictions" clause (fr. Restrictions: aucune).

We studied legal and insurance issues, environment protection, general aviation topics, meteorology, maintenance and safety. The practical training was focused on precision flying, safety procedures, etc.

I fly mostly to produce oblique low-altitude aerial photographs, which I add to the OSM map via an /image/ tag. You can see how much additional information provides such an aerial image on an example of the UEFA headquarters (2) on the map or a Colovray Stadium in Nyon (3) (the clickable /image/ link is in the left part of a page).

Perhaps, there are other approaches of using RPAS for mapping and data fusion. In this respect I think it would be a good idea to create in future an OSM Aviation working group, similar to the HOT Aviation working group, but for general mapping, not only for mapping of disaster areas. In such a working group we could share know-hows, technics, ideas, organize workshops, etc.




With best regards,

Oleksiy (Alex-7)

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