Preparing for Drone Pilot Certification

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules for flying an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) fall under FAA Part 107. To operate the controls of a drone for non-recreational purposes you need a remote pilot certificate or be under the direct supervision of a person who holds such a certificate.

FAA sectional chart excerpt near South Bend, IN

Rules for recreational flyers are different. If you fly your drone under the Exception for Recreational Flyers, Federal law still requires you pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). The exception for recreational flyers only applies to flights that are purely for fun or personal enjoyment. When in doubt, fly under Part 107.


The largest hurdle to become a drone pilot under FAA Part 107 is the initial aeronautical knowledge test. You can prepare for the test by taking an online class, or you can cull existing material from the internet. Expect to study 20-40 hours in preparation for taking the test.


Material compiled at https://www.nightwise.org/faa-part-107 will help you prepare for the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) test.


While the study guide seems overwhelming at first, if you take it in small bites you can make the task less daunting. By gaining a thorough understanding of the test material and implementing recommended FAA practices, you will likely become a confident, skilled drone professional.

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