Ever since the small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUASs) have become popular among the masses, modern day pilots have had to face thousands of issues and problems. The drone industry has seen a massive revolution over the years and with it, the authorities have been hell bent on introducing new laws and regulations in order to ensure the safety of citizens and sensitive government installations not only in the United States of America but in the rest of the world as well.
So what are the requirements for becoming a licensed drone pilot and how should one start preparing for the FAA Part 107 test?
The answer may be to your dismay since we promise you that there is no shortcut to responding to this question. In this post, we will guide you through the entire procedure spanning from the FAA Part 107 training stage to the acquisition of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone license. Keep in mind that the entire process is a pretty hard nut to crack but thankfully for us, there is a FAA Part 107 practice exam available online for your better preparation. Let’s have a look at what this guide has to offer to our loyal readers.
Remember that the whole process and the test in particular is quite a complicated one and you should ensure that you do not get complacent about it at any point in time. This is a common mistake that is committed by most of the aspirants out there since they take the process for granted and in the end suffer the consequences. We guarantee you that with a little bit of hard work and concentration, you will be able to pass the examination with flying colors and acquire the coveted remote pilot in command certificate and then you will be able to use your drone for commercial purposes.
What to do after buying a drone?
It was the year 2016 when the overwhelming popularity of the drones among the masses coerced the Federal Aviation Administration to formulate a number of laws that could regulate the ownership and usage of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUASs). This had to be done since there were so many of them flying in the American skies without any stringent procedures and rules in place. Well, those days are a thing of the past now and with the passage of these new rules, it is mandatory for the owners of new UAVs to seek a license from FAA before sending them into the air.
The registration process is not that complex and can, as a matter of fact, be carried out with the minimum of effort. All you’ve got to do is to visit www.registermyuas.faa.gov and follow the onscreen guidelines.On the last page, you will be prompted to pay $5 as the registration fee. After its payment, you will be granted your very own registration number for your drone. You will then be required to get a print out of this registration number and paste it on some part of your drone from where it is easily visible. I, myself, pasted it on the bottom half of my DJI Mavic Pro.
If you own a drone weighing between 0.55 lbs (250 grams) and 55 lbs (25 kg), then the registration of your drone is mandatory.
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This is it! Once you have completed all the above mentioned process, you are up and ready to get your drone flying. Remember that the registration is required for drones weighing between 0.55 lbs and 55 lbs. But if you own a drone that weighs higher than 55 lbs, then you will have to follow a totally different process. Another thing to notice here is that you are only required to fly your drone for general purpose. If you want to fly your drone for commercial purposes, you will have to acquire a remote pilot license and the process for its acquisition is not so much easy as the online registration process. The complexities arise because of the specially designed test that you will have to clear in order to get your hands on the commercial drone pilot certificate. Let’s delve into more details below.
Do I require FAA Drone Certificate and What Does It Cost?
If you are planning to using your drone for commercial purposes, then you certainly do require the FAA drone license. The examination is a standardized one that requires pilots to divulge in-depth information about drones. You will be required to pay $150 in order to appear in the examination and please do not take it for granted. And if you are not able to pass it in the first attempt, you will have to pay it again and again. And if you are complacent and do not prepare well, I promise you that you will not be able to pass this examination and will be forced to retake it after the payment of another $150. Moreover, there is another requirement for reappearance: you will have to wait for a couple of weeks before you are able to reappear in the examination.
How to Get a Drone License and Become a Drone Pilot?
- Prepare well for the FAA Part 107 examination
- Reserve an appointment at the Knowledge Testing Centre (KTC)
- Clear the initial aeronautical knowledge examination
- Complete FAA form 8710-13
Voila! You are a certified drone pilot now!
A standardized test taken all over the US is a prerequisite for attaining the FAA drone license. To be more accurate, this examination is called Part 107 Knowledge Test and can be taken in any of the 696 designated locations across the country. Scheduling can be carried out through a simple phone call but personal appearance at the test location is mandatory. Before you actually take the examination, we request you to take the online practice examinations as well.
This all might seem to be a piece of cake to you at first. But once you start preparing for the test, you will discover that it is not all that easy. I am familiar with a few folks who overestimated themselves and burned midnight oil just before the test. Well, they were not able to pass the examination and were quite surprised to learn about the difficulty level of the exam. If you want to make life easier for yourself, you should get yourself prepared by taking the FAA Part 107 practice test preparation courses online. These guides provide the aspirants top quality, interactive learning experiences where all of them can get the FAA Part 107 training in accordance to their individual needs and requirements.
FAA Part 107 preparation tests are included within courses such as www.DroneLaunchAcademy.com. You can get access to plenty of useful resources such as quizzes, video tutorials, documents, infographics and final examination designed specially to test your knowledge about drones and their related fields. The aspirants from this academy have shown brightly of late so we suggest you to give it a shot here. You can also opt for other online preparatory courses as well. There are some that are even more comprehensive than Drone Launch Academy but they are more costly. There are other low cost options as well but they have been designed either for experienced pilots or cover only a handful of topics. That is why all aspirants of FAA drone license should sign up for these online courses to prepare for the examination. Without appropriate preparation, believe me, you won’t be able to qualify at all.
What is FAA Part 107 test?
FAA Part 107 test is a standardized test designed by the Federal Aviation Administration that aims to ensure that commercial drone pilots are well-versed with flying drones along with all flight related information. Moreover, this test is also meant to instill in commercial drone pilots the necessary knowledge and skills that could be employed in case of emergencies and other untoward situations in order to mitigate the damage to their devices, themselves and their surroundings.
FAA actually desires to promote a culture of safety among drone pilots. Another objective of this initiative is to prepare the commercial drone pilots for the coming days when drones will constitute a larger portion of our day to day routines as opposed to our current lives. Once again, I would suggest you to go for the online practice tests before you actually take the actual FAA Part 107 examination.
How to prepare for the FAA Part 107 Test?
- Get yourself registered at dronelaunchacademy.com
- Watch all the high definition video tutorials
- Attempt all 200 practice questions
- Sift through the 75 page e-book
- Attempt all practice tests
- Attempt all final exams
Voila! You are ready for taking the FAA Part 107 test!
You need to prepare for the test well if you want to pass it. I have had personal experience regarding the fact that people tend to be complacent about the test and end up failing quite poorly. As a matter of fact, this thing happened with a couple of my friends who were of the opinion that FAA would never break sweat over preparing a difficult test and that they would be able to solve the question paper with the minimum possible fuss. However, the appearance fees of about $150 was enough to teach them a good lesson.
If you do not want to end up failing miserably just as they did, then you should join any one of the Part 107 preparatory courses available online. Most of them ask for quite a lot of money so it is important for you to decide which one would suit you the most. If you ask me, and believe me I was one of the very first few who attained the coveted FAA drone license, Drone Launch Academy is the best option you have got. It does not charge you an arm and a leg and it encompasses all the necessary topics that are important from the exam’s point of view. It definitely is my favorite drone test preparatory course available online.
A good quality online course should contain video tutorials, related questions, interactive scheme of studies and practice exams to help you prepare better for the final hour. Moreover, you should seek a course that covers all the below mentioned topics that ultimately find their way into the FAA Part 107 test.
You should have come to know already that rules and regulations are an important part of the test and this is what you should prepare the best. Almost one-fourth of all the questions asked in the exam are related to the FAA rules and regulations. Remember that, out of a total of 60 questions, you need to answer 42 right and so if you do not spend enough time studying the FAA rules in relation to drones, then you are bound to fail this test. You must have got an idea why I was scaring you so much from the FAA Part 107 test. It is not a conventional test rather a lot of emphasis is paid on the regulations part. But you should also keep in mind that you are going to end up getting some dream jobs once you are a certified commercial drone pilot by FAA. So, this test should in no way dent your aspirations.
FAA Part 107 Study Guides
As has been mentioned earlier, I believe that the Drone Launch Academy is one of the best online FAA Part 107 preparatory courses. It provides extensive information about FAA rules and regulations, radio communications, airspace and plenty of other pertinent topics. It also includes a number of trial questions that have been taken from the previous FAA part 107 exam. Also keep in mind that their students have been showing pretty good results over the past few years. I am supporting them for a couple of reasons: firstly, because they have a big role to play in my achievement of the drone license and secondly, I believe that they provide real value for money. So, if you are looking to go for a comprehensive online course, Drone Launch Academy will not be a bad bet. What’s more, they also offer money back guarantee which means that you will get your money back if you are not able to pass the test after taking their online course. Well, seems like everything is there for the taking!
Let’s throw some light on the nature of the FAA part 107 test. This information can be found anywhere on the web. I just wanted to collate information from all the places for your perusal and easy access.
Here are the topics that will be included in the FAA part 107 test:
- Regulations: rules and regulations related to flying small unmanned aircraft systems
- Flight restrictions: airspace classification and operating requirements
- Weather: different weather conditions and their impact on flying drones
- Loading: involves complex mathematics for calculating the maximum payload that a drone can bear for a successful takeoff
- Emergency procedures: to mitigate the risk of damage and injuries
- Flying under the influence: risks and dangers involved while flying sUASs under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Decision making: how to make the right decision at the right time without wasting any of it
- Maintenance: drone maintenance and repairs and preflight safety procedures
Here is the percentage of various topics asked in the test:
- Regulations: 15% to 25%
- Airspace and operating requirements: 8% to 15%
- Weather: 11% to 16%
- Loading: 7% to 11%
- Operations: 13% to 18%
- Total number of questions: 60
The FAA part 107 is an objective type test that consists of multiple-choice questions. If you are really passionate about passing this examination, then you need to prepare all the above mentioned topics thoroughly. Moreover, here a few pieces of advice that will help you stand in good stead when you take this test:
- Read the instructions given in the question paper very carefully since the examiner will always include tricky questions that might result in you losing some crucial points
- Incorporate all the latest rules and regulations and references from the latest and most updated publications in your answers
- Remember, Time flies! So while two hours might seem to be a sufficient duration for solving 60 questions at first, once you get into solving them, you will come to know that the time is just too short!
- The test includes questions that might seem to you as if all the answers listed beneath them are correct. But remember that there is always going to be only one complete answer to a question. So, do not let the examiner fool you and confuse you.
- If you are having trouble solving a question, leave it for the end and come back later when you are done with the rest of the paper.
FAA Part 107 Training – Examples
Here are a few practice questions along with their answers. The correct answer has been boldified.
QUESTION 1: REGULATIONS SECTION
Q: It is 7:00 am. Official sunrise is at 7:40 am. Your sUAS does not include any obstacle avoidance lighting. How long do you need to wait before you can fly under FAA part 107?
- 10 minutes
- 70 minutes
- 40 minutes
QUESTION 2: WEIGHT AND BALANCE SECTION
Q: Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2G, Figure 21, area 1 below. How tall is the tallest tower in the cluster of towers to the south of Minot International Airport.
- 1,081’ AGL
- 3,149” AGL
- 2,772” AGL
What Kind of Jobs Can Licensed Commercial Pilots Get?
There are numerous commercial enterprises out there who are looking to hire commercial drone pilots for their business purposes. As a matter of fact, these job opportunities have seen such a rise that the country has had to import remote pilots from other countries. So, whether you are kid planning for a secured job that could earn him a lot of money in the future, or a middle aged fellow who wants to make a switch from his old profession to one which could be financially more beneficial or a veteran looking to earn a few extra bucks, commercial drone flying is the way to go! You just have to pass the FAA part 107 test and then start looking for an appropriate job. Believe me, drones are being used for a number of different purposes in the modern industry these days. Roof inspection, real estate, agriculture, videography, land mapping, disaster risk reduction and response. Name an area and drones are beginning to make a lasting impression!
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Conclusion – Part 107
You must have found out through this article that getting ready and passing the FAA drone license test is not a piece of cake by any stretch of imagination. You can also ask people working at FAA regarding concepts that you do not get a hang of and I am sure they will help you out. Prepare yourself well for the test. It might appear to be a cumbersome one, but if you work hard and put in a lot of effort, there is no reason why you should not be able to pass this test.