Part 107 - Study tips for the drone pilot exam / by John LaGuardia

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I have to tell you that I am pretty psyched that I was able to pass the Part 107 FAA Drone Pilot Exam fairly quickly. I also want you to know that with a little patience and dedication, you can totally do this too! You DO NOT need to take one of those expensive prep courses or pay an enormous amount of money for a flight instructor to mentor you. This was one of the most important things I learned during the process. 

Benefits to passing the exam:

  • Fly commercially - which means that you can get paid for your production imagery or use your drone to do agricultural surveys and aerial mapping. This will give you many new possibilities for you to make money with your drone. Literally, the sky is the limit on the number of opportunities there are available to you. You can check out the following websites for ideas and job leads once you are certified. 
  • Set yourself apart - you will be able to distinguish yourself as a certified drone pilot among the sea of hobbyists that are out there charging clients illegally. If you are going to make business transactions with your drone, you need a certification in order to transact legally in the United States.  
  • Have more fun - seriously, you are really going to enjoy flying your drone and learning about aeronautics as you get certified. It will open up a new world for you intellectually and creatively. You will learn about weather patterns, FAA regulations, airspace, sectional charts, crew resource management, aeronautical decision making and radio communications.

My tips:

  1. Schedule your exam - without setting a deadline for yourself, you may never get around to it. Head over to CATS now and find a testing center near you.
  2. Visit the FAA website - review all of the resources available to you on the FAA UAS website
  3. Download the Remote Pilot's Study Guide - read it in its entirety. This will really help you build a solid foundation in your understanding of what will be on the exam.
  4. Download the Charts Users Guide - this will prepare you for understanding sectional charts which are a large majority of the exam questions. You need to make this a primary focus of your study to be successful on the exam.
  5. Download the FAA Drone Pilot (UAS) Test Prep app for your mobile device - this app by Dauntless Software is expensive for an app, but well worth it. This is the only $$ I spent in addition to the $150 exam fee. The app enhances your learning by using flashcards, quizzes and a unique "learn by listening" feature that is a huge benefit for auditory learners. 
  6. Watch Tony Northrup's YouTube video multiple times - it is called FREE Drone Certification Study Guide: FAA Part 107 sUAS Test and it will walk you through all of the key information that you need to know for the exam. Seriously, watch it more that once and you will be impressed by how well it can help in your exam prep.
  7. After you pass - wait 48 hours and then register and apply for your remote pilot certificate on the FAA's IACRA website. In about 10 days from filling out that application online, you will receive your temporary certificate. It normally takes 6-8 weeks for the FAA to issue your permanent remote pilot certificate.

Again, don't fall prey to all of the hype on the Internet about online training courses for this exam and don't waste time watching 30+ lectures. Follow my tips above, be confident in your abilities and go pass that sucker!

Add value to this post by adding your questions or tips in the comments section below.

Best of luck to you! 

JPL  www.johnlaguardia.com