Do You Need A Pilot’S License To Fly A Drone 2021: Top Full Guide

do you need a pilot's license to fly a drone

This minor need is referred to as a drone license. The drone license was developed to increase airspace safety and is part of the FAA’s new drone flying guidelines. This may surprise you if you are considering or have already purchased a drone. Who wants to bother with paperwork when they can fly a drone outside in the fresh air?

It is critical to realize that not all drone owners require it. This may still be perplexing. We have a thorough explanation of who should be granted a drone license.

Do You Need A Pilot’S License To Fly A Drone

Do you need a pilot's license to fly a drone

 

You do not require a pilot’s license to fly a drone. However, use of a drone for commercial use that the pilot must meet the FAA Part 107 requirements for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAV) flying. These rules were in effect as of August 29, 2016.

You must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate (FAA) if you want to fly drones for non-recreational purposes.

This certificate is also known as a Part 107 license or a drone license.

You can use your Certificate to fly a drone in any of the U.S. States and Territories.

The Certificate must be renewed every 2 years.

What Is A Drone License?

Do you need a license to fly a drone?

 

The short answer is that drone pilots who are commercially flying drones do not require a drone license. This certificate is known as the Part 107 certificate.

The FAA’s 2016 implementation of 14 CFR Part 107 regulations led to the creation of the drone license. Also known as remote pilot certificate, it was one of the requirements for the new drone license. Part 107 was created to provide legal guidelines for drone commercial flight in the United States.

Part 107 regulates drone flight and requires commercial drone pilots to obtain a drone license. These restrictions include the prohibition of flying drones above crowds or moving vehicles, the restriction that they must fly within a visual line-of-sight, and the requirement to yield the right-of-way to manned aircraft. Part 107 rules are constantly evolving and have been subject to several rounds of revision and review in the past few years.

Part 107’s most important component is the drone license.  Drone pilots must meet a few requirements, pass a Part 107 knowledge test, and be vetted by TSA. This imposes a minimum level of proficiency on all commercial drone pilots. It also ensures that they are familiar with the Part 107 restrictions and procedures. This allows the FAA to record these commercial drone pilots and allows them to gather data that will help them make informed decisions.

Get A Drone License

If you are interested in obtaining a drone license, there are a few steps to follow, a few hundred dollars to spend, and a wait of about two months. This is a guideline for the certification process. We have detailed articles on the subject on our website.

These are the basic qualifications required by FAA before you can apply for a drone license.

  • At least 16 years old
  • Learn English to read, write and understand.
  • Flying a drone requires you to be physically and mentally fit
  • After passing the 60-question multiple-choice exam, submit your application to FAA

Before you can register for the knowledge exam, you will need an FAA Tracking Number (FTN). This is a unique code that is assigned to all pilots. This number will be with you for your entire aviation career.

The knowledge test can be taken at any of the over 700 FAA-certified testing centers in the US. Computer-Assisted Testing Service is responsible for administering the test. A $160 non-refundable testing fee will be required.

We won’t discuss the details of how to prepare for your knowledge test. There are tons of online study materials, both paid and non-paid.Pilot Institute offers Part 107 Made Easy online training that includes more than 13 hours worth of video tutorials, over 250 practice questions, an illustrated cheat sheet, and a flashcard application.

You must get at least 70% correct to pass the knowledge test. Each item is automatically chosen from a larger number of questions to ensure that each set is unique. The test will take 120 minutes.

After passing the test, you will have to pass a background check by the TSA before you can apply for the drone pilots license. It could take up to a week but it can also take up to two months depending on the backlog. You don’t need to do anything other than wait for the results.

When you receive your temporary certificate via e-mail, you’ll know you have passed the background check. You can now fly your drone commercially by printing this document and carrying it around. The temporary certificate is valid for now, but your permanent certificate should be arriving via regular mail.

The Cost Of Getting A FAA Drone License

Part 107 must be taken at an FAA-authorized testing center. The flat $175 testing fee must be paid directly to the testing center that you have scheduled your test.

A commercial drone pilot has very low initial costs. Your drone must also be examined. This costs $5 and lasts for three years. Commercial drone operators must register. To register your drone, create an account at the FAADroneZone website.

Here are some additional costs to consider when you plan on starting a business.

The average cost of establishing a Limited Liability Company (LLC), is $150-$200

Drone Insurance – Companies that offer on-demand insurance such as SkyWatch.AI are a popular option for ensuring drone operation.

Can I Fly My Drone With No Drone License?

Do you need a drone license to fly a drone?

 

When it comes down to drone licensing, remember the keyword “commercial”. The FAA requires drone licenses only for individuals who intend to use their drones to make a profit or advance any kind of business. Drone pilots who fly for pleasure or recreation are exempted from this requirement.

If a drone pilot plans to fly without a license, they must be careful not to cross the line. The drone pilot must not receive compensation for any of their operations. However, the output from the operations cannot be used to promote any type of business. This includes using a drone for advertising purposes, drone-based monitoring of a business, or data collection by drones to manage the health and condition of crops on a farm.

While recreational drone pilots do not need to obtain any type of license, they are required to follow certain rules set forth by the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Many of these rules are similar to the Part 107 restrictions, which include the prohibition against flying over people in controlled airspace and beyond the visual line of sight.

You’ll need to adhere to other guidelines and rules depending on where you are located. Because of concerns about privacy, safety, and security, some states and cities have their own rules for drone flight. Some places where people gather, like parks, might also have drone flight restrictions. It is important to do your research and speak with the authorities before you fly your drone.

You have two options if you want to fly commercially, but do not possess a drone license. Either you can fly under the control of a licensed pilot or hire a licensed pilot to fly your drone. You will need to follow Part 107 rules in both instances.

Part 61 Certificate_ The Exception To Rule

You don’t have to take the Part107 exam or go through training if you are already licensed as a manned aircraft pilot.

Pilots of manned aircraft need to take a free online course called “Part 107 small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), ALC-451”. This course is available on the FAA FAASTeam site. You can find more information and steps here.

Once you have successfully completed the course, you will need to complete FAA Form 8710-13 (FAA Airman Certificate/or Rating Application for a remote certificate) and validate your identity. Next, you’ll need to make an appointment with your local FSDO or FAA-designated flight examiner (DPE), an FAA-certified flight instructor (CFI), or an FAA pilot certification representative (ACR) in person to sign your form.

What Is Considered Commercial Drone Use?

do you need a pilots license to fly a drone 4

 

A drone license is required for commercial drone use. Drone operation that is used to direct compensation or advance any business is considered commercial. These activities are easy to spot – taking photos at weddings or surveying construction sites are two examples of commercial drone usage.

There may be some circumstances where it is more difficult to make this distinction. You can’t take aerial photos of your house to market it online if you are trying to sell it. If you are a contractor and need to use a drone for surveillance, the same applies. Law enforcement can’t be exempted as they must also have a licensed drone pilot in order to use drones for surveillance or search and rescue.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the FAA requires the intention of drone operations to be clearly defined before the drone takes flight. You cannot take aerial photos while you are flying recreationally and then sell them to someone else later. If you make any kind of monetization out of such photos, you cannot also post them on your social media accounts.

Even if you have a drone license, and are flying under Part 107 rules, it is still important to be aware of local drone laws. Even though some laws in these states or cities are not consistent with FAA regulations, it is still a bad idea for anyone to be caught in such a conflict.

FAA Part 107 Rules

do you need a pilots license to fly a drone 5

 

  • Operators of small UASs should avoid flying near other aircraft. They also need to be careful and cautious.
  • Keep your drone in sight
  • With appropriate anti-collision lighting, you can fly in daylight or twilight (from 30 minutes before official sunrise to thirty minutes after official sunset local time).
  • The minimum visibility for weather conditions is three miles away from your control station.
  • The maximum altitude allowed is 400 feet above the ground. If your drone is within 400 feet of any structure, it can go higher.
  • A small UAS cannot be flown over someone who isn’t directly involved in the operation.
  • An FAA-approved knowledge testing center may allow you to pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test.
  • You must have a Part 61 pilot certificate (other than a student pilot) and have completed a flight review within the last 24 months.
  • You must make your drone accessible to the FAA to inspect or test on request. Additionally, you must provide any records required by the rule.
  • Any operation that causes serious injury, loss of consciousness, or property damage (to property not under the UAS) exceeding $500 must be reported to the FAA within ten days.

Pass Part 107 Drone Pilot License Exam

DARTdrones is just one of the many companies that have created a Part107 Test Prep Course both in-person or online. The course is designed to help you pass the FAA Part 107 Exam. We currently have a 99% success rate. You will need to answer 60 questions on 12 FAA exam topics, including aeronautical decision-making, aviation weather, and sUAS regulations and rules, in order to pass the exam. The majority of people can study and pass the exam in 15-25 hours.

How Long Does It Take To Get An FAA Drone License?

Drone pilots are fortunate that the certification process isn’t as difficult and time-consuming as it is for manned aircraft pilots. Consider how much time you will spend studying and preparing for the Aeronautical Knowledge Test.

There are many options when it comes to Part 107 exam prep. You can purchase $5 apps that provide practice questions and $20 workbooks on Amazon. There are also online courses such as Drone Pilot Ground school.

You can also find a free study guide from the FAA on their website. There are also some YouTube videos that you can use to help you pass the exam.

We recommend Drone Pilot Ground School. Yes, we are biased as we built it. But we are proud of the content and believe we offer the best product (and company support!) in the drone industry.

Students reported spending between 15 and 20 hours studying for the exam. Although you don’t have to take a preparatory course, the over 99% passing rate of our students speaks volumes about the importance of studying before the test.

The FAA expects to issue a permanent remote pilot certificate by snail mail six to eight weeks after you have passed the Aeronautical Knowledge Test.

Temporary remote pilot certificates are issued in approximately 10 business days to speed up the process. The certificate holder will be able to use all privileges under the temporary Remote Pilot Certificate.

If I Have A Manned Pilot’s License, How do I Obtain My Drone Pilot License?

If you already have a pilot certificate under 14 CFR Part 61, you will need to take the FAA’s online course. This will take approximately two hours. You must have successfully completed a flight review in the last 24 months. More information about this process can be found here.

It is free and accessible to anyone, even those without a drone pilot license. This course covers topics that manned pilots might not know about, including recommended maintenance procedures, weather effects on drones, and emergency procedures.

After completing the online course, you will receive a completion certificate. You can then register in the FAA IACRA system by completing the online course. Within a few weeks, your FAA-issued permanent certification will be in the mail.

Here is the full information on the pilot’s license, if you are interested in knowing more about other information. Let’s see it: Where Do I Register My Drone 2020: Top Full Guide

FAQs

I don’t fly drones for profit. Do I still require a license?

Every drone pilot must have some type of certification. The FAA categorizes drone flying into two types: commercial (operating for a business) and hobby (operating for pleasure).
Hobby pilots also require a certificate, but it is much easier to obtain. You must pass the FAA recreational drone exam (referred to as TRUST). You must complete an online course to fly recreational drones. It takes approximately 45 minutes and includes a quiz. You can find out more.

Which drone size requires a license>?

All drones must have a registration, except for those weighing less than 0.55 lb (less than 250 g). These drones are only allowed to fly under the Exception For Recreational pilots. Part 107 drones may also be used for recreational purposes.

Where and how do I take the Part 107 exam?

This is a list of places where you can take the aeronautical knowledge test. Applicants need to schedule the testing appointment in advance and bring a government-issued photo ID. . The test fee is $150 in most test centers.

Conclusion

Part 107 remote pilot certificates, also known as drone licenses, have been one of the most important changes in drone aviation over the past few years. It was mostly a positive change.

The knowledge test requirement was a great way to improve the skills and knowledge of commercial drone pilots, particularly in the context of safety in airspace. It’s clear that this change was welcomed, given the number of drone pilots licensed.

The responsibility of a certified drone pilot goes beyond passing the test. Understanding the information is key to operate safely, legally, and proficiently. Lucidcam hopes this article will helpful for you! Thank you for reading!

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