James Ixer

Managing Director


  • RAF Puma Helicopter Aircrew.  33 and 230 Squadrons
  • Former Wing Commander – Royal Air Force
  • Head of Capability and Plans – Joint Helicopter Command
  • Managing Director | Helishots

Retired RAF Wing Commander

James is the Managing Director of the CAA-accredited Drone Pilot Academy but prior to this, he spent 17 years as a Wing Commander in the RAF operating Puma Mk1 helicopters and regularly deploying on Operational Tours throughout the world. 

Over his RAF career James accumulated thousands of fixed-wing and rotary-wing flying hours, developed and executed numerous training and exercise programmes, Commanded 230 Squadron conducting and awarding front-line aircrew with the coveted Combat Ready status, and served as head of strategic capability and planning within the Joint Helicopter Command. 

James also developed and executed the deployed operational training exercise programme to ensure fast jet squadrons were ready for operations in Afghanistan. Currently, James holds an A2 CofC and GVC. James uses his previous RAF career and experience in teaching/training/assessing to ensure he can impart the CAA syllabus to his students.

James has held an Operational Authorisation since 2014 and operated a successful drone business, prior to the RAE application in 2015, working with an array of drones including fixed-wing and multi-rotor with varying weights up to 25 kg. He has operated in pretty much all the industries where drone use has been prevalent. He felt this was invaluable for his credibility when providing real-life input and added value through his experiences to his students. This also helps James structure flight assessments in relation to realistic scenarios that candidates list in their operations manuals.

Jim’s hobbies are his children’s hobbies! As he spends most of his spare time running them around and coaching his son’s football team.

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