UAS aeronautical knowledge test drone faa

FAA Part 107 UAS Aeronautical Knowledge Test: everything you need to know (except the answers)

The Federal Aviation Administration announced today that drone operators will have to pass a UAS aeronautical knowledge test as one of the requirements for legally flying drones commercially.

Here’s a rundown of the entire announcement of its long-awaited Part 107 ruling.

Among the requirements to fly a UAS commercially include flying below 400 feet, flying only during daytime and flying less than 100 miles per hour. But the standout requirement is that commercial drone operators will need to take a written, in-person, drone-specific, aeronautical knowledge test.

“It’s a great idea,” said Logan Campbell, CEO of drone consulting firm Aerotas. “It forces people to understand how to keep the national airspace safe, which is really what the FAA cares about most.”

Drone operators with existing Part 61 pilot certificates can bypass the in-person, written exam and instead take an online course. But for drone operators without that, they’ll have to take the test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center.

The FAA has released a drafted document of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airman Certification Standards, outlining what you can tentatively expect from the test. Here’s the tentative information we know for now:

Where you can take the FAA’s UAS aeronautical knowledge test:

The test can be taken at one of the 696 testing centers in the United States. Here’s a list of locations where you can take the aeronautical knowledge test. Applicants need to schedule the testing appointment in advance and bring a government-issued photo ID.

How do I study for the UAS aeronautical knowledge test?

The FAA released its Part 107 UAS online training course. Though it is intended for Part 61 Pilot Certificate holders, anyone, including non-pilots, can register and take for free. Read more about the training course here.

While the test will include a mix of both drone-specific and general manned aircraft questions, some readers have also pointed out that the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, which is the official FAA handbook, is a good place to start studying for more general airspace knowledge. You can pick up your own copy here.

Many private companies have also put together training sessions (either in-person, webinars, practice tests, etc). that provide a clear look at exactly what you’ll need to know for the test. Check out my guide on UAS aeronautical knowledge test training courses here.

Here are the study courses I would recommend:

  • UAV Ground School: Gold Seal’s online Part 107 course. Use promo code DRONEGIRL to save $25 and take that price down to just $174.
  • Drone Pilot Ground School offers a fantastic online training course with practice tests and repeatable videos (this is actually the course I used…and I passed on my first try!)
  • DARTdrones has a day-long, in-person training course. Use coupon code dronegirl10 to save 10% on  all DARTdrone courses site wide!
  • Drone Launch Academy: this is another online training course with repeatable videos and study guies. Use DRONEGIRL50 to get $50 off!

 

What are the expected areas this commercial drone test will cover?

The FAA’s draft says test areas include:

  1. Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
  2. Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation
  3. Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
  4. Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
  5. Emergency procedures
  6. Crew resource management
  7. Radio communication procedures
  8. Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
  9. Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
  10. Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
  11. Airport operations
  12. Maintenance and pre-flight inspection procedures

Get more in-depth information from the FAA’s website about each of these topics here.

How much will the aeronautical drone test cost?

The FAA estimates the out-of-pocket cost for an individual to become a certified remote pilot with a small UAS rating would be $150, less than any other airman certification that allows for non-recreational operations in the national airspace.

When will I be able to take the test?

Members of the public will be able to take the knowledge test at testing centers on the effective date of the Small UAS Rule in August 2016, an FAA spokesperson told Drone Girl.

How will the test be formatted?

The FAA’s draft says the UAS aeronautical knowledge test is a set of 60 multiple choice questions with a single correct response for each one, according to the FAA’s draft. Each test question is independent of the other questions, so  a correct response to one does not influence the response of another. Here’s the breakdown of questions by topic:

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airman Certification Standards

What happens if I fail the FAA’s aeronautical knowledge test?

No sweat! You may not retake the knowledge test for 14 calendar days from the date of the previous failure, so use that time to relax and refresh on the parts you are unsure of. After two weeks, you can retest. You don’t even have to tell your teachers what happened — no instructor endorsement or other form of written authorization is required to retest.

Happy flying, and studying!

 

36 thoughts on “FAA Part 107 UAS Aeronautical Knowledge Test: everything you need to know (except the answers)”

  1. Ms. French, I’ve called 5 of my local FAA approved test sites the FAA provided and listed. None of them were aware of the 14 CFR Part 107 being codified, that they were to provide the FAA Remote Pilot Airman or Remote PIC testing for this certification with Small UAS rating. These sites have no curriculum or study guide materials, they haven’t been told what fee they are to charge. So the FAA’s AKT sites are in the dark right now so calling them is a waste of time. I’m glad you’re providing us these study materials but I do not have an FAA pilot cert. But those Part 61 pilots can take an online test now (allegedly) and receive a temporary sUAS cert with permanent one to be mailed later. I hope the materials you provide here are for non- certified drone operators such as myself.

    1. Hey Bert!

      These are all good points you raise. Since the rule was just implemented this week, my guess is the news hasn’t been passed to all the test sites. Alas, I am sure many are unfortunately experiencing this same confusion. I look forward to see what types of training materials the FAA puts out between now and August, when Part 107 goes into effect!
      To be clear, I didn’t provide these training tools. I am just sharing what the FAA has put out as the online course for Part 61 pilots.

      1. Thanks, I pretty much figured that is what’s happened. Somehow I would’ve thought that if the FAA had an online portal for Part 61 pilots, it would not have been much of a stretch to do the same for non-certified pilots like myself. I’m thinking the FAA study materials for Remote Pilot certification tests will not be as rigorous as it is for manned aircraft pilots, at least I hope so. Fingers crossed, glad I found your site, it’s refreshing.

      2. Ms. French,
        May I call you Sally?

        I’ve begun the process of taking the FAA’s online test for part 61 pilots for the sUAS rating. The FAA states during the preview portion of the test that non-part 61 drone operators should take this test to familiarize themselves for what may come in the full-fledged Remote Pilot w/ sUAS rating test.

        Furthermore the FAA states that Part 107 cannot become become part of the Federal Register until 60 days have passed, meaning, August 21 it gets entered into the Federal Register.

        My question to you is this:
        Since you were involved and probably still are involved in Part 107 being created and now codified, when will Part 107 study guides for non-part 61 operators become available for the rest of us non-pilots to obtain and review? Before August 21st or after?

        Any info would be greatly appreciated.

        1. Hey Bert! I wasn’t actually involved in codifying the laws at all! I simply report the news. So, I have no idea about the study guides, but I’ll post here when I do. Sorry!

  2. One other thing…
    I’ve been in contact, twice now, with my local Knowledge Test site’s managers and was asked to provide his staff a demonstration of my drone as he pretty much said they know little to nothing about how they operate and their performance capabilities. He also said they have an empty room and was talking about my possibly providing his staff training about drones and its technology.

    They know I’m not an FAA certified Remote Pilot trainer ( or Remote PIC IP ?) but they just want to know more about drones so when they start testing operators, they have a better handle on it.

    I’m not tooting my horn here, I’m looking for any advice you could provide so I could better present this new (to them) technology?

  3. Hi Sally,

    I actually spoke with someone who is ex-FAA and he thinks that since this hasnt been codified yet, we probably wont be able to get a physical cert until at least August 27 (if it was finalized tomorrow). Also, he stated that it will take some time for this to trickle down, but it is through the FAA so no on-site demonstration is needed, just need to pass the written test.

    Bert, I wouldn’t demonstrate to those pilots asking as it is up to the FAA, and they should be going directly to them. I would imagine you should make an appointment as soon as you are able, as I am sure we will get bumped for traditional pilots taking the test.

    Lastly, just an FYI you can pick up the Handbook of Pilot Aeronautical Knowledge from the FAA for free at this link posted below. It is in PDF format. The amazon link you posted is a 2013 kindle re-print of the original. This one is FREE!

    https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/pilot_handbook/

    1. This man needs to be hoisted upon our shoulders in celebration.

      Thank you Brian as I was looking EVERYWHERE for SOMETHING to study with for my sUAS cert. I think the FAA could use some help with their website development as I can’t find anything on it anywhere.

      Thanks for the link to the handbook!

  4. Interesting they want your time & drone to satisfy their curiosity. I’m looking at becoming an airmen knowledge testing facilitator and from all I’ve read (regs, FSIMS, FAQs) there’s no requirement to understand drones; one simply administers the test provided by the FAA (after qualifying the facility, computer set-up, verified ID of the test taker, etc.).

      1. Hey Flygirl,

        You are probably looking at the computer test for Part 61 certificate holders. They don’t need to take a practical test.

  5. So the FAA has released its final rules for the routine use of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”) that will allow the general public to earn a “Remote Pilot” license without any previous aviation experience. What this basically means, however, is that non-recreational or non-hobbyist users will have to pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test — which can be difficult, especially for those of use who are new to the rules and regulations governing the National Airspace. Nevertheless, several of my friends have recommended the Drone Safety Corporation as a resource to quickly and easily learn what you need to know to pass this test. It’s an online class at a reasonable price, which is perfect for me since I have a full time job. Hope this helps. Best of luck!

    Maybe they could help you Bert… 🙂

  6. I would like to express my gratitude for your kindness giving support to men and women that should have help on this important concern. Your personal dedication to getting the message around appears to be quite important and has truly allowed some individuals much like me to achieve their ambitions. Your entire warm and friendly key points means a whole lot to me and extremely more to my peers. Regards; from everyone of us.

  7. Guys i am so sorry but i am such a newbie that i am a bit confused…do i need to learn “part” 61 and “107” to pass the test or just “107”. If so what do i need to study exactly….
    i mean the links where i need to study….i would prefer the do it yourself that spend money for a class…
    can someone would be so kind to point to the right direction?
    Thank you so much
    ps. becouse i want to start to study asap

    1. Don’t be intimidated. In the flight instruction Part 61 is generally referred to “Rules for Getting your license” and Part 91 is “Keeping Your License” 61 is actually entitled “Certification: Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors.” 91 is entitled “General Operating Flight Rules”

      In the FAR/AIM (Federal Aviation Regulations/Airman’s Information Manual) Pt61 is 100+ pages long in small, small print…no pictures. The good news?… it is broken up into several Subparts, many of which you can ignore. It starts with Subpart A: General (stuff) outlines requirements for Private, Commercial and Airline Transport pilots etc, and, for manned aircraft the various training requirements/hours. Just read the part that applies to everybody and the part that applies to UAS pilots.

      Instead of part 91, Drone pilots will become familiar with part 107, although 91 does actually make for some interesting reading. For example 91.15 “Dropping objects from airplanes”…fun. 91.107 “Use of safety belts”…not applicable, right? But if you read it, you’ll know why children under 2 years can ride as lap children on the airlines. 91.113 “Right of way rules”…there’s a gotcha. Hopefully its covered in 107 because if you fail to yield the right of way and have a crash with either a manned aircraft or UAS, well…. The way they were written in the past, (circa 1980) you had to think like a lawyer to intrepret them but the FAA has inserted intrepretation language right into the rules making them easier to understand.

      I didn’t see mention of Part 71 which is “Airspace.” This info is what I thought spurred the whole certification discussion in the first place. Generally, the operation limit of 400′ and below will keep you out of most of the overlying controlled airspace except within 5 statute miles of the centers of Class B, C, and D airspace where controlled airspace goes right to the ground. You know where to find those airspaces, yes? 😉

      So, in summary, (me long winded) out of the 1021 pages of my regs and ops manual, drone pilots will probably only have to know about 21 pages worth, but you will have to know them well. They are all online at the FAA’s website as well as other publications that might come in handy.

      As we speak there is somebody somewhere (flight instructor or drone school staffer) with an iron cauldron busy boiling down 750-odd thousand pages of goo that constitutes the sum of aviation knowledge and codifications into a handy 25 page training guide with a 1/2 page syllabus to guide you. Look for a training course online or hard copy to include sample test questions. The real ones won’t be much different.

  8. Found this site while searching for test prep materials. My question for you is this: Where do you find study materials? Not test sample questions. Actual, fact driven, FAA study materials? The http://learn.uavcoach.com/courses/drone-pilot-ground-school is not open for enrollment. The test prep links listed above are simply sample exam questions, and that doesn’t help those without aviation/prior flight knowledge. Also, the FAA site provides a free 40 question sample exam.

    Where are the study guides? Can anyone advise me? Thanks.

    1. yes you have to pay if you fail, but you only need a 70% and now they only have 3 Answers, not 4 like they use to have.. Soon I bet they go down to 2 Answers. The FAA just want the Money and know who to go after if there is a Problem. When I took my Test for Private and then Commercial there were 1000 Questions and they gave you 100 on each test. The FAA should just Give out the Drone License after you pay your cash Does any one think knowing some Answers on a Test will make you a Good Pilot of any aircraft I think not. So now you take your 107 test and you can now go flying around Building in NYC with out ever even owing a Drone or Fixed Wing Radio Controlled Air Craft. WOW I cannot wait to see all the news reports of Drone hitting building. At the very least there needs to be Flight Time before you can just go out in the world and hurt someone.

      1. Not likely. The regulations prevent flying over people, which would include sidewalks, roads, and many other restrictions, as listed in their rules. Line of sight rules, additional ground crews needed for many ops.
        Wouldn’t take much to lose your license, and get sued to boot.

  9. So from what you are saying any one so to speak can just take the test for the 107 and then become a pilot and charge money for the flights. How the hell can that be. So an person that has an ATP and a 16 year old can now both take money to fly a Drone for Money. The 16 year old pays 150$ and takes quick test and bingo is ready to make Money. that is Bull crap.

  10. Took the test and passed today, barely!
    So many different questions on their then what I expected.
    Thanks for the links as they proved to be worth the time!

  11. After taking the recommended Part 107 UAS training course, I sifted through the list of resources and found a study guide for the sUAS pilot:

    http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/media/remote_pilot_study_guide.pdf

    I haven’t taken my official test, so I don’t know *exactly* how helpful it is, but I’m going to study through that before tackling the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge!

    (resources associated with the training course: https://www.faasafety.gov/files/helpcontent/courses/5095_lms_faast/resources/index.htm)

  12. I bought the course from Jason Shappert at remotepilot101.com and passed my written with an 87%. I have been flying drones for awhile but didn’t have any previous knowledge of FAA rules and regulations. I felt extremely confident going in to the test and did not find it difficult.

Leave a Reply