Getting Started With Drones

Learn how to pass the drone test and find resources to help you with the exam.

Before You Take The FAA Test

Becoming a Small Drone Pilot

To become a pilot you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)
  • Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS
  • Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center

Pilot certificate Requirements

  • Must be easily accessible by the remote pilot during all UAS operations
  • Valid for 2 years – certificate holders must pass a recurrent knowledge test every two years

Application Process

1. Schedule an appointment with a Knowledge Testing Center (List of FAA Testing Centers)

2. Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge test – initial knowledge test areas include:

a. Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
b. Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation
c. Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
d. Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
e. Emergency procedures
f. Crew resource management
g. Radio communication procedures
h. Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
i. Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
j. Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
k. Airport operations
l. Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures

Sample test questions from the FAA are available here.
An online training course is available at faasafety.gov.

3. Complete FAA Form 8710-13 for a remote pilot certificate (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application) using the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application system (IACRA)*

a. Register using the FAA IACRA system
b. Login with username and password
c. Click on "Start New Application" and 1) Application Type "Pilot", 2) Certifications "Remote Pilot", 3) Other Path Information, 4) Start Application
d. Follow application prompts
e. When prompted, enter the 17-digit Knowledge Test Exam ID (NOTE: it may take up to 48 hours from the test date for the knowledge test to appear in IACRA)
f. Sign the application electronically and submit to the Registry for processing.

4. A confirmation email will be sent when an applicant has completed the TSA security background check. This email will provide instructions for printing a copy of the temporary remote pilot certificate from IACRA.

5. A permanent remote pilot certificate will be sent via mail once all other FAA-internal processing is complete.

Additional Resources

Register Your Drone
What's the first thing you'll do when you get your new drone—take it out to the backyard and start flying? Of course not! You'll register it with the FAA.

New Drone Regulations Begin... This Monday! Are You Ready?
With the new FAA regulations regarding drones going into effect August 29th, you need to have the most up-to-date information to fly and use a drone for business or work purposes. Bottom line: you MUST take the aeronautical knowledge test (the "Drone Test") and have your drone registered.

FLYING DRONES FOR BUSINESS: Regulations are Finally Here!
The FAA finally released their new regulations covering UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) and PPA has read all 600 pages to help YOU better understand how to (legally) incorporate drones into your business.

Court of Appeals Rules Hobbyist Drone Registration Unconstitutional! What This Means for YOU...
On May 19th, the District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the FAA's regulations requiring hobbyist drone users to register their drone with the FAA.

FAA Registration Service

Help Me Pass The FAA Test

Drone Resources

The FAA has released new drone regulations that lift usage restrictions, allowing photographers to incorporate drones (UAS) in their business. However, there are some important FAA requirements to meet before you fly:

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approves knowledge testing center ($150)
  • Must be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration

In an effort to help photographers 'Be More Educated' about drones, and pass the knowledge test, PPA has gathered official FAA resources as study material. That's right! We're your one-stop-shop for the best materials to pass the UAS exam. You can sift through loads of resources from online training courses to practice exams, and customize a study program that's right for you! No need to cram for the exam. Get a thorough understanding of UAS topics from PPA!

Main Topics Covered on the Exam:

UAS Topics Percentage of Items on Test
I. Regulations 15 - 25%
II. Airspace & Requirements 15 - 25%
III. Weather 11 - 16%
IV. Loading and Performance 7 - 11%
V. Operations 35 - 45%
Total Number of Questions 60


General Drone Resources (FAA)

FAA Part 107 UAS online training course
This is not a comprehensive resource.

Practice Part 107 Knowledge Test
Breaks the test down step by step and also puts extra emphasis on areas that many members found difficult.

FAA Practice Questions (pdf)

Pre-Flight Information and Restrictions

I. Regulations

II. Airspace and Requirements

III. Weather

IV. Loading and Performance

FAA Basic Flight Manual: contains information commonly known by pilots.

V. Operations

Additional Resources:

Is It Safe to Fly My Drone? Check the B4UFLY App
A requirement when flying a drone is to be sure that you aren't in restricted air space. That's where the B4UFLY App comes in handy! You can use it to check the air space you are planning on flying a drone in to see if there are any restrictions or requirements in effect.

FAA Exam Study Guides

To ensure that you study information that thoroughly covers the varied topics on the test, PPA recommends that you bookmark the FAA's extensive suggested study materials! See below:

Other Resources:

Ready to Take the Drone Test? Use These Study Guides
To ensure that you study information that thoroughly covers the varied topics on the test, PPA recommends that you bookmark the FAA's extensive suggested study materials!

Practice Part 107 Knowledge Test
Breaks the test down step by step and also puts extra emphasis on areas that many members found difficult.

Certified Drone Photographer

Drone Logbook

DroneLogbook provides the commercial/professional UAV operator with the tools you need to help manage your equipment, compliance and business operations. Administrative tasks related to business operations, compliance and reporting take time and energy away from your core business. Our platform integrates your business operations with your regulatory obligations saving you time and money.

For more information visit www.dronelogbook.com. Offer expires 12/31/2017

To redeem this exclusive discount, visit www.dronelogbook.com and follow these steps.
1. Create a new account
2. Before you finalize your order, enter the discount code

Annual Pro Plan $45 (Save 33%) Discount code: PPAPRO2017
Annual Enterprise Plan $125 (Save 35%) Discount Code: PPAENT2017

Useful Apps & Checklists

B4UFLY

B4UFLY is an easy-to-use smartphone app that helps unmanned aircraft operators determine whether there are any restrictions or requirements in effect at the location where they want to fly. Learn about the airspace around and download the app today.

Ready to Take the Drone Test? Use These Study Guides
To ensure that you study information that thoroughly covers the varied topics on the test, PPA recommends that you bookmark the FAA's extensive suggested study materials!

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