Category Archives: Q&A

Ask Drone Girl: I’m a licensed pilot, so do I need to take the Part 107 test?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about taking the Part 107 test as a manned aircraft pilot. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

Dear Drone Girl,

I’m a licensed pilot (stared flying lessons with my father who taught WASPs during WW2 when he was an Army Air Corp Instructor Pilot). I’m still not positive what I need to do in order to get a commercial drone operator’s license.

I spent a number of years doing aerial photography from my Cessna and I now have three Yuneec Q500 4Ks, but am I simply needing to take an online exam to get the commercial drone certificate?  Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: I’m a licensed pilot, so do I need to take the Part 107 test?

Ask Drone Girl: How can I sell my drone photos legally?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about where you can legally fly, and photography for commercial purposes. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

Dear Drone Girl,

I read about you in the latest issue of “Professional Photographer.” I’m not sure if you’re willing to answer my question, but I thought I would ask anyway.

A few months back, my husband and I purchased a Phantom 4 to play around with aerial photography. When we first bought it, we didn’t think it was a big deal: we knew we had to register it and we knew there were rules to follow. However, we were overwhelmed with what we could and couldn’t do and it seemed that- with so many rules and regulations in place – we were paralyzed and didn’t even know what we could. We weren’t able to get any of our questions answered and we simply didn’t know if we were even doing anything wrong. So, we returned it. Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: How can I sell my drone photos legally?

Ask Drone Girl: Studying for Part 107 for less than $20

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about drone photography classes. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

Dear Drone Girl,

Which do you feel is the best under $20 option used to study for Part107 certification?

-Everett

Hey Everett!

Great question. The Part 107 test already costs $150 to take, so I can certainly see why you wouldn’t want to pay more than that to study for it. Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: Studying for Part 107 for less than $20

Ask Drone Girl: drone photography classes?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about drone photography classes. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

I am photographer who is very interested in learning about drone photography. Do you know of any seminars, workshops, or classes I can take?

best drone photos
Courtesy Dronestagram

-Jody

Hey Jody!

I’ll start by saying that the rules of photography very much apply to drone photography.  Any photography tips, particularly when it comes to landscape photography apply here. That means the classic tips like rule of thirds, geometry and negative space are all worth thinking about.

Since it sounds like you have the photography part nailed down, it seems like a basic introduction to drones class is great for you.  Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: drone photography classes?

What the FAA Part 107 test is actually like (from a drone pilot who passed)

Part 107 tests for commercial drone operators became available for the public to take this week. So what is the FAA Part 107 test actually like?

I have yet to take the test myself (as I still have some studying to do), but I called my friend Abby Speicher, who also happens to be the CEO and co-founder of DARTdrones, a drone training company that provides both in-person and online training for the Part 107 test.

Editor’s note: While Ms. Speicher is the CEO of FAA training course DARTdrones, this is not a sponsored post and this post is not intended to specifically promote or endorse DARTdronesThere are dozens of Part 107 training courses, a few of which are listed hereHowever, DARTdrones is offering a promo code to readers (noted at the end of this post).

abby Speicher dartdrones faa part 107 testHere’s her account of what to expect on the FAA Part 107 test:

Drone Girl: Let’s start by you walking us through what happened when you go there.

Abby Speicher: I went to a local airport, Hanscom Field in Massachusetts, which I had never been to before.  I expected it to be a strict testing center.  It was cool to see the private jets, and everyone at the test center was really nice. I got there at 8 a.m. on Monday, which was interesting because they said the FAA hadn’t sent them any test materials until just then (when the tests were made available) because it was so secretive.

DG: How many other people were there testing?

AS:  No one else was there. They had 5 pilots testing on Monday and 30 all week. They were surprised it was that many!

DG: What was the test process like?

AS: You sign something and your driver’s license signature needs to match. Then you go to the computers. They leave you alone with the FAA testing supplement where they pull all the figures from.

You also get a pen and paper while testing, which I didn’t use, and you can bring a calculator, which I think I just used once.

You have two hours, but I was there for an hour and 10 minutes. You immediately get to see your grade and which questions you got wrong.

DG: And I hear you passed! Congrats! What were the questions like? Continue reading What the FAA Part 107 test is actually like (from a drone pilot who passed)

Are you ready for the drone racing revolution? DRL’s Ben Johnson weighs in

The following post is a guest column from Chidubem Ezinne, Software Engineer, drone enthusiast, and founder and creator of TestingAlpha. The views of guest posters belong to the author and are not necessarily reflective of TheDroneGirl.com.

This past year, the Drone Racing League has been all over the news, from ESPN to Wired. I talked with Ben Johnson, head of communications and a spokesperson for the Drone Racing League. The Drone Racing League is a premier racing league which has secured over $10 million in funding to help bring Drone Racing to the masses.


Chidubem (CJ) Ezinne: How does one become a racer in the Drone Racing League?

DRL’s Ben Johnson: DRL is unique in that it’s open to top pilots all around the world. Our elite pilots are incredibly diverse in background, age and geographical location – we’ve have pilots coming in from countries like Brazil, Australia, and Mexico City. Continue reading Are you ready for the drone racing revolution? DRL’s Ben Johnson weighs in

Ask Drone Girl: Where can I fly?

Got a question for Drone Girl? Ask her here!

Dear Drone Girl,

Perhaps you can point me to someone in San Francisco, my home town. First I’m 64 and just started flying quad copters.  I’m in a public park in San Francisco flying my quad copter and get told I can’t fly there. I go online and can’t find a blog or forum to connect with other quad operators.  Do you know of any active site where I can talk to other ‘flyers’? I’m not real happy since my park has zero people, tons of space and I’m not a safety hazard. Ugh!

-Seeking Out Flying space in SF

Thanks for your question — which seems to actually be twofold. The problem here is 1. you need some flying buddies, and 2. You don’t know how to approach people saying your flying is illegal, or even if it is illegal.

Let’s tackle the second question first. Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: Where can I fly?

Ask Drone Girl: I have never flown a drone before. Should I buy a Phantom 4?

Do you have a question for Drone Girl? Submit it here.

Dear Drone Girl,

My question is in regards to the Phantom 4. I will be purchasing a drone and have never flown one before. The 4 sounds great but I am concerned about not being able to upgrade cameras, etc because of the design. I would like to use my investment money wisely. Do you have any input into this issue?

From, Karen Rphantom

Hey Karen,

I had a chance to fly the Phantom 4 a couple weeks ago, and let me tell you, it’s great! It’s totally counter-intuitive to fly into an object and have it not crash, but hey, that’s what makes the Phantom 4 so fantastic. Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: I have never flown a drone before. Should I buy a Phantom 4?