Get Involved

Paul and Chris

Paul goes through the safety checklist prior to flying the fixed wing UAV with Chris from Manchester Fire & Rescue, during an inter-agency flood exercise in County Fermanagh.

Sky Watch NI offers volunteers a range of roles in the overall search service they provide.


Pilots were traditionally the first line of search, operating full size aircraft over wide areas, streaming live video to the ground crew or directly to the emergency services. The role of pilots to provide aircraft and aerial search experience remains a core requirement of Sky Watch NI. Qualifying pilots must demonstrate up to date flying qualifications, insurance and experience.

UAV Pilots

Sky Watch NI also operate a range of unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs.   The technical requirements of UAV pilots remain high, particularly when providing assistance to the police or fire service. Volunteer UAV pilots must regularly demonstrate competency in a range of flight tests.  We currently have a full complement UAV pilots.

Aerostat flying in the evening over Balmoral Show

Flying the aerostat for traffic management at The Balmoral Show

Ground Crew

While a number of our volunteers have emergency services backgrounds, Sky Watch NI requires a wide range of skills in the support of aerial search from trained and untrained personnel. Our priority is to provide additional search capability to the emergency services, recording high quality video and images over a wide area or from inaccessible or dangerous areas.

While the pilots operate the equipment to provide that footage; receiving imagery, analysing video and maintaining communications between volunteer search teams, emergency services, pilots and video analysts, requires a high degree of concentration and multiple skills.

Getting a UAV pilot and equipment into a suitable search location can also be a challenge, requiring driving, outdoor and scene management awareness skills.

Join Sky Watch NI

Membership is £20 per year. Your subscription goes towards the work of Sky Watch NI.

To join Sky Watch NI as an operational crew member, please complete the form at the bottom of this page.


A formal dress uniform is required for all operational duties.
Personal protection equipment (PPE) is also provided where necessary, for volunteers operating in potentially hazardous conditions.

Fund Raising

To assist Sky Watch NI with fundraising by organising events, sponsorship or donating, go to our Donate page.

Operational Membership Application

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    Declaration: I agree to Sky Watch NI carrying out relevant confidential vetting procedures.