Commercial use of drones is finally here, but commercial drone operators need to pass a knowledge test before they can apply for a remote pilot license. I took the test today, so follow these steps and you will do fine. Spoiler: you don’t need to pay a dime for training or classes.
Step 1. Read the Material
While the test is by no means difficult, you will need to read all the material. This is not a test you can just pass by reading a quick summary. Trick questions such as “can you fly your small UAV in a military operations area?” or “When do you need to report an injury to the FAA?” are meant to test whether you have actually read everything.
So here’s the list of resources you need to read to pass this FAA drone test:
- Remote Pilot Study Guide (start with this one, there will be links to other material as you go through it)
- Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 107 (it’s a little terse to read, but it’s the best source, better than other people’s interpretation)
- Advisory Circular 107-2
- FAA Aereonautical Charts User’s Guide (don’t need to memorize it though, see step 3 below)
That’s really it! If you are diligent and actually read these resources (including the references they point to), you will be OK.
Step 2. Lookup Other Test Resources
There are plenty of acronyms in aviation and sometimes the language used in the study guide can be terse. Here’s a few resources that might help you grasp the subject:
- Airspace Classification (My simple explanation, Wikipedia)
- TAF decoding and METAR decoding
- Aeronautical charts browser (make sure you can locate frequencies, airports, restricted areas, obstacles and elevation figures)
Step 3. Take a Practice Test
I really liked this one. It will help you get an idea of the type of questions that you might be asked and help you review things you might have glossed over.
Step 4. Final Tips
Keep in mind these tips while studying and before taking the test:
- Don’t bother memorizing all of the symbols and terminology of aeronautical charts. You will be provided with a legend at the exam, so you can look up a bunch of information about charts.
- You will have 2 hours of time to complete 63 multiple choice questions.
- Passing rate is 70% (you can make 18 mistakes).
- A calculator, pen and paper should be provided at the exam’s location. You might need them for 2 or 3 questions.
- Don’t spend more than $150 dollars to take the test!
p.s. have other resources that helped you pass the FAA drone test? Share in the comments.