UAS Part 107: How I Got Certified, Start to Finish
How’s? It going everybody at a Ricker here. A couple of you in the comments recently have asked what the process and what my experiences were like getting. The part 107 certificate from the FAA here in the United States to fly an unmanned aircraft system non recreationally, so that means for commercial purposes, for film purposes, government purposes whatever.
If you’re flying recreationally, you don’t need one, but if you’re flying, not recreationally, then you do, and that includes making money on YouTube. So that was one of my reasons now, if you do want to fly for work or business according to the FAA gov website, you must be at least 16 years old.
You must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test. An FAA approved knowledge testing center, which is what we’re talking about today, and then you also must be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration or TSA check out FAA s page on aircraft requirements and operating rules under part 107 back in probably August Of last year, so that was 2016.
I was approached by someone asking if I did drone videography as a business, because I do a lot of other types of videography. Well, at the time I didn’t, but I was willing to invest both my time and studying, as well as my money for a drone.
So I was looking at the different processes and the different study guides and one stood out, and maybe it was because it was highest on the Google search. I don’t remember, but regardless it’s, the one I went with it’s called drone pilot ground school.
Now I will say right off the bat that I do have a partnership with drone pilot ground school, but they’re, not paying me to say this and at the time I didn’t have any such partnership. I just happened to take that study course and I really enjoyed it.
It worked out well and then I became a partner after the fact, so I do believe in the study course because it worked for me. However, there are a bunch of other study guides out there. Some are free available on YouTube.
Some are like 100 dollars. That are, you know, pretty good. I think I haven’t personally taken them, but I’ve heard from people. There are also mobile apps that help you a study. There are also a lot of books that you can buy on Amazon, as well as the airman knowledge testing supplement itself.
Although there’s, a lot of information in there – and I personally learned better off of something more structured well, like I said the one that I actually used and passed the FAA test with and would recommend to.
You all is on powder ground school and you can get $ 50 off if you use my promo code, Riccar 50 check the link in the video description. It basically taught me about a lot of different things, including sectional chart, reading, which is very important for knowing what your air spaces you’re about to fly into, or are currently in, as well as altitudes of different landmarks that are around you and Also gives you different radio frequencies to the various airports that are around you as well, which is very important if you need to call in or radio in or just stay in, radio contact with an airport.
So with the drone pilot ground school. It took me about two weeks to study. I could have done it and probably a week or even less thought was really rushing, but I did kind of take my time with it and I watched all of the videos.
Yes, there are videos, it’s. A video based study course with audio that you listen to and kind of like almost like a slideshow or like a PowerPoint presentation. As you watch and you learn these things, so I watched those videos through twice and then they also have a transcript of every video.
Would you can read the text now, regardless of whether you go through the drone pilot ground school or some other study guide? Or you know course you are gonna learn different things about the waiver process: airspace authorization.
Probably I’m, going to talk about effects of weather on your your drones and quad copters and such airspace operations sectional chart interpretation, emergency procedures, inspection and maintenance procedures.
So once I went through all of that information on the drone pilot ground school and took their sample tests, I think there were like five and I made sure I aced em all or if I didn’t, you know get every question right.
I knew exactly why I didn’t. Get that question right. Then I signed up to take the test at an approved FAA testing facility near me. So at the time I was living in Pinehurst, so the closest one was Fayetteville.
Then it’s, central building. Okay, look! So it has a sign right there, FAA, computerized written test center, so I roll up to the testing facility got inside talk with the woman and she basically gave me a bill and she said $ 150.
Please – and she had me, sign a few things and then yeah I had to pay 150 bucks not to get my certificate. This is not a certificate, you know cost or feet. This is the feed to take the test itself. So if you fail the test, you have to pay this again after waiting a certain amount of time after I paid 150 bucks.
She led me to this little computer lab with a couple other computers. She gave me a notepad, a pen or, I guess, a pencil, a calculator, and she also gave me the airman knowledge testing supplement for sport, pilot, recreational pilot and private pilot, so that’s, actually a book that you can kind of study off.
Of that, the drone pilot ground school gives you in the form of a PDF file, and then, when you get to the testing facility, they ‘ Ll, give you a hard copy, or at least they gave me a hard copy, and I was able to kind of like go through it and Mark things down as I went.
So the test is made up of 60 questions out of a 127 question Bank of questions that you can study for and basically you have two hours to complete it and there’s, a camera in the corner of the room and you’re gonna be monitored the entire time, so you can’t cheat.
They’ll, take your cell phone, so you don’t. Have your cell phone with you, you just have your study guide that they give you. The questions are all objective, multiple-choice questions and they’re. All like ABC answer format.
The thing is, there are some that were kind of designed to trip you up and I felt like there were a few questions that were kind of like maybe a and B could both be the answer, but you just pick the strongest answer and go with it And hope for the best, looking at the percentage of items on the test 15 to 25 %, our regulations maybe 15 to 25 or airspace and requirements 11 to 16 or whether 7 to 11, loading in performances and then 35 to 45 is operations.
So that’s, a that’s, a big category right there. I think it took me about 70 minutes to complete and they calculate it right then, and there I went back into her office and boom 88 out of 100. You have to pass at least 70 % of those questions, meaning you have to get at least 42 of the 60 questions right.
I’ve missed a couple of them and she actually went over with me what I got wrong and help me understand. Why – and I was very appreciative of that – I can ‘ T say that every testing you know facilitator will do that.
But she did – and I was appreciative once that was done. She gave me a link along with some other information telling me where to go online, to put in my information to register on their database, so that eventually I could get my certificate card eventually.
Also, that was the same place that I was able to download my temporary certificate, which you just print out. You have it on. I’m eight and a half by eleven piece of paper, and then you get your real plastic card in the mail later on and I didn’t realize it would take so long, but it took about two months to get it.
But I got my certificate, probably only maybe less than a week. If I can remember correctly. She also gave me my test taking information here along with my grade, so I was able to kind of you know have that his record and she she stamped it with the official testing center seal right.
There I put my exam ID and my information into the ia craf a.gov website in order to register and actually get my certificate number a couple days later. So once I got my temporary certificate, which I don’t have right now I might have shredded it because I didn’t want to confuse it with the real thing, but I think I have a screen cap of it from one Of my videos back last January, my temporary certificate had everything about me and it said that I was certified to fly.
Nan recreationally, but it didn’t have a certificate number. It said that was pending. So when I finally got my plastic card, it did have my certificate number right there. Shortly after that, I got a letter from the FAA saying that there’s, some sort of Act that happened in April 5th, the year 2000, requiring the FAA to make airman addresses available to the public, and they said if you wish to opt out Of releasing your address to the public, you must respond within 90 days of receiving this letter, so I did opt out.
I went to their website and I chose not to have my address released because I am on YouTube and I thought, hey probably best not to have my address all around, although that didn’t stop some people. Finally, I got in the mail this sheet and this is where my certificate was kind of stuck to the page, and that was that was that and I thought hey.
We’re good to go woo. Well, the only thing was: I got another letter in the mail saying you recently received your FAA airman certificate. It has come to our attention that an error may have occurred during processing, resulting in a missing issue date on your card.
Well, I did have an issue date, so they gave me a second one, second card and now I have two cards and I keep one to my wallet and I keep one in my drone bag and together I’m, never gonna be without It so that’s cool now I haven’t really had to flash this very often at anybody.
You know I mean I’d. Tell people that I’m certified and I’ve been hired for gigs and they say ok, but I’ve. Rarely had to actually prove it to somebody. With the exception of one time I was flying in my friend’s.
Neighborhood and one of his neighbors came out and said I couldn’t, do that and that the neighbors all hated us for it, and so the police was actually called, and I showed this to the police officer and he said well, he’s legal to fly whew it’s, good to have law enforcement on your side, and – and this gives you a little bit of more legitimacy even in a recreational flight.
I think that it’s, actually a good thing to have now, in addition to being able to fly non recreationally part 107 holders also have the benefit of not having to notify airports within a five-mile radius.
So if you’re flying within five mile radius of an airport, you don’t have to call in, like you did as a recreational flier. However, if that airport has a controlled airspace around it, then you actually have to get authorization from the FAA, which is a whole nother can of worms.
So don’t feel like you, can, just all of a sudden fly in controlled airspace or in other places where you can ‘ T fly drones at all. Rather, you just don’t have to call in five miles within an airport if there’s, no controlled airspace that you’re flying in.
Finally, if you want to find a good website or application to use to find where you can fly legally under part 107 and where you need to gain FAA authorization for controlled air spaces, try air map it has an Android and iOS as well as a website Version and you can check basically anywhere in the United States and see if you’re, going to be okay to fly there or not.
Also one more thing, you know how you don’t have to register with the FAA right now. If you’re, a recreational flyer that’s true, as of right now, but check the video date and check your current rules, you do have to register your drones with the FAA.
If you are a part, 107 holder and you have to register each and every drone with the unique certificate number, as opposed to the recreational flyer who back in you know earlier this year, only had to register themselves as a pilot.
Again, if you’re interested in the drone pilot ground school check, the link in the video description and don’t forget the the discount code. Ricker 50. It’ll. Give you $ 50 off one good thing about the drone pilot ground school is that it has a five year subscription.
So if you buy it once you have five years, which takes you through three different phases of your certificate, because your FAA part 107 certificate lasts. Two years before we have to renew it and take another test, so you can study for three tests under one license, so that’s, pretty good.
I think they also keep it up to date. So you don ‘ T have to worry about reading. You know outdated information. If you have any questions about my particular experience or test taking or studying for this thing, just let me know one of us wants someone in this YouTube community can help you out anyway, thanks so much for watching everybody and until next time, [, Music, ]