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ADAS/IMCA ROV Pilot/Technician Grade 2


The ADAS ROV pilot/technician grade 2 course is based upon, and meets the requirements of the internationally agreed IMCA standard.


The duration of the course is three weeks, with the first two days in the classroom covering theory and induction to the ROVs you will be using. During this time you will attend a familiarisation practical session on the schools Seaeye Falcon ROV where you will learn to identify the various system components and, by reference to the technical manual, learn the various procedures necessary to remove and replace those components. The remainder of the training is spend learning the practical aspects of flying the ROV, and at UTCSA our students routinely get more flying time during the course than the minimum standard set out by IMCA.


Once the initial two days have been covered most days will start at 0800 hrs and will commence with a 2 hour theory presentation or workshop practical session. The ongoing theory lectures are designed to cover all elements as required by the IMCA standard. There are a number of workshop practical sessions during which you will learn some important practical skills such as waterproof cable splicing, using  self amalgamating tape and epoxy potting compounds. You will also learn how to use various items of test equipment to test video signals, continuity and resistance of cables. Termination of a fibre optic cable will also be demonstrated.


At 1030 hrs we will move to the dive site and you will spend the remainder of the day (until 1700 hrs) engaged in practical flight training and associated activities.


For the most part there will be two students allocated to the control room - one to engage in piloting the ROV and the other to observe or, as the course progresses, to manipulate the three prong grabber or the five function manipulator arm as required.


One student is required on deck to attend the tether and, under the direction of the pilot via a radio communications link, give out or take in the tether. In the early stages we limit you to no more than 30 minutes of actual piloting, as the process can initially be quite demanding.  Each student will be given two or three such sessions during the day. As your skill levels develop you will spend longer periods of time at the controls.


Initially, you will start your training on smaller ROVs. For this part of the course we use state of the art Seabotix units. Do not underestimate the capabilities of these machines or the level of competence required to effectively control a small ROV. This is valuable training as generally the smaller the machine the more difficult they are to control. Once you have gained sufficient experience on the Seabotix machines you will start to accrue time on the much larger Seaeye Falcon.


Training starts with very simple tasks and, as your proficiency increases the tasks will become more demanding. The school has a number of structures in place that are designed to provide a sufficient range of varied activities which will aid in the required skills development.


By the end of the practical training you will be able to fly the ROV solely by reference to instruments to a distant target. On the last day of training you will be required to undertake a practical flight test of approximately 1 hour duration which will examine you on the full range of required piloting skills.


Upon successful completion of the practical flight test you will be deemed to have achieved the required practical flight competencies.


At the start of practical training you will be issued with a USB flash drive. Each days piloting will be recorded and, at the end of the day you will, using the supplied computer equipment, edit the days activities into a short 2-3 minute segment.


At the end of the course you will be required to submit a short 20 minute video report including attached voice over commentary for assessment. This also gives you a permanent record of some of the highlights of your training experience to show friends and family.


Theoretical competency is assessed by two avenues:

  • The completion of a number of self study topics where you will be required on most days to allocate 2-3 hours in the evening to after hours study. Evidence in the form of study assignments have to be completed and submitted for assessment.
  • Attendance at all theory lectures that culminates with a final, short (40 question) computer based, randomly generated examination. The required pass mark is 75%.

The standard theory text for the course is “The Handbook for ROV Pilot/Technicians” published by Oilfield Publications. This text will be sent out to you, including a CD copy of the Seaeye Falcon technical manual approximately 2 weeks before the course commences. Both the text and the CD are issued to you on a permanent basis and are included in your tuition fees.