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Buying Guide:

A Step-by-Step Guide to FAA Part 107 for U.S. Commercial Drone Pilots

This Guide Last Updated: October 2016

On June 21st, 2016, the FAA finalized a new regulatory framework for small unmanned aerial systems. Titled Part 107, these new regulations effectively create a new drone certification process that covers the majority of low-risk, commercial sUAS flight operations.

These new regulations were implemented on Monday, August 29th 2016.

This guide covers the basics of what it means to become a commercially certified drone pilot in the U.S. and how you can prepare for the operating provisions of Part 107.

01 CHAPTER

How do I become a certified drone pilot?

Under Part 107, which the FAA announced on June 21st, 2016 and implemented on August 29th, 2016, commercial drone operators are required to:

  • Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at one of 690 FAA-approved knowledge testing centers across the United States (this list last updated July 2016). That’s what our Part 107 training course prepares you for.
  • Be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.
  • Obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate with a small UAS rating (like existing pilot airman certificates, never expires).
  • Pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months.
  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Make available to the FAA, upon request, the small UAS for inspection or testing, and any associated documents/records required to be kept under the proposed rule.
  • Report an accident to the FAA within 10 days of any operation that results in injury or property damage over $500.
  • Conduct a preflight inspection, to include specific aircraft and control station systems checks, to ensure the small UAS is safe for operation.

Those represent just a few details about Part 107. Want to learn more? You can read an overview of the ruling here, or you can download the full 624-page ruling here:

Download

For those who need to operate outside the flight and mission parameters of Part 107, you’ll need to gain additional permission from the FAA through a waiver process. Things like flying at night, operating beyond visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS), etc.

02 CHAPTER

How can I prepare for the Part
107 written drone test?

Check out Drone Pilot Ground School.

It’s an at-home Part 107 test prep and commercial drone training course for those of you looking to become certified under Part 107.

Yes we’re biased, because we built it, but we’re really proud of the training content and wholeheartedly believe we offer the best training product (and company support) of anyone else in the drone industry.

The course includes 30+ lectures that cover a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Drone Flight Operations
  • National Airspace System (NAS)
  • Small UAS Loading & Performance
  • Drone Laws & FAA Regulations
  • Weather & Micrometeorology

You can learn more about our full training curriculum and methodology here.

03 CHAPTER

When will the Part 107 written drone
test be available to take?

It’s live! You can take it whenever you’re ready to get certified.

Here’s what the drone pilot test looks like:

  • It’s an objective, multiple-choice type test.
  • There are 60 questions, with three single responses (A, B, and C) per question.
  • Each test question is independent of other questions; therefore, a correct response to one does depend upon, or influence, the correct response to another.
  • Some questions may require visual references, like airspace maps or charts.
  • The minimum passing score is 70% (meaning, you’ll need to get at least 42 questions right).
  • You’re allowed two hours to complete the test.

Here’s a breakdown of the questions, by knowledge topic.

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