Self-directed practical training can be carried out wherever it is possible to meet the conditions of the open category A3 subcategory.
The purpose of self-learning practical skills is to ensure that the remote pilot is able to demonstrate the following skills in all situations:
- operate Class C2 UAS within their limitations;
- perform all maneuvers smoothly and accurately;
- make appropriate decisions and skillfully control the aircraft;
- apply theoretical knowledge; and
- control the UA at all times so that the successful outcome of the procedure or maneuver is never in serious doubt.
The remote pilot should complete the practical skills self-study using a UAS with the same flight characteristics (eg, fixed-wing systems, hydrofoil) and similar weight as the UAS that will be used to conduct the UAS flights. This means using a UA with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of less than 4 kg and a Class 2 identification mark.
If using a UAS with both manual and automatic control schemes, self-learning of practical skills must be conducted using both systems. If the UAS is equipped with multiple automatic functions, the remote pilot should demonstrate proficiency in the use of each automatic function.
Self-learning of practical skills should at least include flight exercises related to take-off or launch and landing or rescue, and should also include maintaining precise flight maneuvers in a given airspace, gliding in all directions or circling around certain areas. In addition, the remote pilot should follow contingency procedures for unusual situations (such as a return-to-home function, if available) as outlined in the manufacturer’s owner’s manual. However, the remote pilot must follow those contingency procedures that do not require the deactivation of UAS functions that may reduce its level of safety.