Drone Pilot | Part 107 Drone Operations

What do Drones Pilot AKA Unmanned Aircraft do?

A drone pilot’s job is to fly a drone – sometimes called an unmanned aerial system (or something like “UAS”). A drone pilot uas, sometimes referred to as a remote pilot, operates the craft remotely, which is why they also have responsibilities involving systems’ performance type and remote tests. They have to ensure vehicles remain in suitable health type and see that they won’t crash while flying around during remote fly! They may be asked to control other onboard equipment like cameras or GPS mapping scanners.

Drone pilots uas can be responsible for all sorts of things; however, they must always, above all else, make sure and see that the drone is functioning correctly. If there are issues with the drone, these should be addressed immediately so as not to put a pilot or any other person at risk. Drone pilots also ensure that the business’ drone footage is as high quality as possible and safe if needed.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Drone Pilot

As more and more people are looking to get into drone piloting uas as a hobby or even a career, you must understand what you’re getting yourself into. Being a drone pilot is not as easy as it looks. You have to maintain control with the remote, not to mention it’s a potentially dangerous activity.

Here is a list of the typical duties and responsibilities of a drone pilot uas:

  • Pre-flight preparations to ensure the safety of operations and UAV
  • Weather forecasts analysis for UAV safety
  • Information gathering (aerial photographs)
  • Documentation of pre and post-flight logs
  • Planning drone flight routes
  • Drone navigation along designated routes
  • Equipment testing and maintenance of UAV

How to get a Drone Pilot License

Drone pilots are needed in almost every industry. From agriculture to law enforcement to filmmaking, drone pilots can make a difference in how a business works. You must have a drone license to fly a drone with a remote. Getting a drone license is not as easy as you would think, and you will need to pass a test to get it.

Requirements for Remote Pilot Certificate current

To fly your drone under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107), you must obtain a Remote Pilots including Certificate from the FAA. This certificate demonstrates that you understand the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones, as it is necessary for certificated remote pilots.

There are different requirements for first-time pilots and those with existing Part 61 certificate holders. Always analyze the pilot certificate current; the system should be detailed in air defense.

For First-time Pilots

To become a pilot using remote uas, you must be at least 16 years old and able to read, speak, write, and understand English. You must also be at the peak of your health – mentally and physically – to safely fly a drone. Lately, you must pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam (Unmanned Aircraft General – Small).

For Existing Part 61 Certificate Holder

All pilot certificates except student certificates fall under the Part 61 certificate classification. This includes sport pilot, recreational pilot, private, commercial, and air transport pilot certificates.

The eligibility requirements to obtain a drone pilot uas certificate for Part 61 Certificate Holders are as follows:

  • Pilot certificate holder (issued under 14 CFR part 61)
  • Completed a flight review within the past two years

The Part 107 Commercial Drone License Course

Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Recurrent – Non-Part 61 Pilots training describes the operational requirements to continue to operate sUAS in the National Airspace System (NAS) under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107, small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

For non-part 61 pilot certificate holders (or part 61 certificate holders without a current flight review (by 14 CFR § 61.56)), successful completion of this online training satisfies the recurrent training requirement to remain present as a part 107 remote pilot with an sUAS rating. Note: Part 61 pilot certificate holders, with a current flight review, may satisfy the recurrent requirement by completing this training or the separate, tailored recurrent online training that assumes knowledge of 14 CFR parts 61 and 91.

How and where can I take the Part 107 Test?

More than three years have passed since the FAA started requiring drone pilots to take and pass the Part 107 knowledge test before they can legally fly drones uas for commercial purposes. Despite this lag in time passing, we still often receive questions sent to us that ask us to clarify minor details of the knowledge test because many of them don’t understand its complexities.

Santa Monica Flyers offers a test preparation course for the Part 107 knowledge test. Before taking the test, you must secure an FTN (FAA Tracking Number). The FTN is the FAA’s new registration system that makes droning safer, easier, and more streamlined. The bright side? All drone pilots who pass their tests can access those systems through their unique FAA number – the same code on every pilot’s logbook.

You can take the knowledge test at authorized testing centers.

Is it possible to take the Part 107 knowledge test online?

Currently, the FAA offers no online testing provisions under Part 107, although test-takers are provided a computer to take on their own time. Because the FAA is concerned about site security, potential flyers must go to designated testing centers to ensure that all tests are taken legitimately under remote operations. Furthermore, testing candidates are not allowed to bring electronics of any kind into the exam center, nor do they have access to any tools or reference materials. Security cameras also monitor candidates during their entire duration in the exam room.

The Federal Aviation Administration is working to develop more convenient ways of testing. The recently discussed proposal involved an online simulation where the applicant could demonstrate the ability to control a drone. Overall, many feel that such measures would help curb the number of accidents occurring with unmanned aerial vehicles, making for a safer flying environment overall.

Three-step Guide to obtain a Drone Pilot License and satisfy unmanned aircraft systems

Getting an FAA drone pilot uas license takes 4 to 6 weeks from start to finish

Step 1: Study with Santa Monica Flyers and on drone pilot ground

Most of our students at Santa Monica Flyers spend 15-20 hours during two weeks working through our lessons and practice tests on drone pilot ground.

Step 2: Pass the FAA Drone Pilot License Knowledge Test from any pilot ground school

As a candidate taking the FAA Drone Pilot License Knowledge Test, you will have 2 hours to answer 60 multiple-choice questions. You will be able to know that your answers were correct on this exam as soon as you’ve completed it from any pilot ground school.

What is on the FAA Drone Pilot License Knowledge Test

The FAA test has 60 multiple-choice questions, and you have 2 hours to take. You must get a 70% or higher to pass. There are 120+ concepts in the Airman Certification Standards, but some of the biggest things you’ll be tested on relate to:

  • FAA Drone Laws
  • National Airspace System (NAS)
  • Reading Sectional Charts
  • Airport Operations
  • Weather & Micrometeorology
  • Flying a Drone at Night
  • sUAS Loading and Performance
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Crew Resource Management
  • Radio Communications
  • Effects of Drugs & Alcohol
  • Aeronautical Decision-Making

Step 3: Obtain FAA Drone Pilot License

Upon passing the FAA Drone Pilot License Knowledge Test, you will be given access to our online application by a representative of the FAA. You can have your temporary certificate within five business days and legally fly drones commercially!

Reasons to enroll in Drone Pilot Test Prep Program

Santa Monica Flyers has been providing comprehensive training and preparing commercial drone pilots for the Federal Aviation Administration’s airman knowledge test and online test prep, which must be passed to earn the FAA Part 107 remote pilot course certificate required to fly a drone with remote for commercial use legally. They also have kits for customers who want to try flying drones for fun.

To help you decide, we listed some reasons why you should enroll in our program.

  • Flying drones is exhilarating.

If you’ve ever been on a drone flight, flying one is so much fun. You don’t have to be a professional pilot to know how enjoyable it can be – even sharing that experience with your friends is thrilling!

  • Previous students have fun in our classes.

Many students want to refresh their skills and improve upon a few critical competencies after a long period. We offer bite-size modules of up-to-date information and practice what we preach by providing helpful but not too hard quizzes at the end of each chapter so the student can assess their progress and celebrate with each other if they have done well on any specific chapters. We couldn’t be more proud to hear student feedback on how much they enjoy our course and how it sticks in their mind, unlike others which often come and go.

  • You can take FAA exams with confidence.

Probably the most important reason I can give you to take this course is that if you hope to make money flying drones, you will need a remote pilot certification. If you pass without the correct certificate, it’s only natural that you are violating federal law. This course allows you to learn what the pilot exam will cover and, even better, gives you test-taking strategies so that success is on your side!

  • You can add a professional certification to your resume.

Whether you are just starting your new drone business or looking to apply for a new job, it’s always an intelligent decision to reap all the benefits of receiving the accreditation and becoming certified in any related field. When you have acquired your certification, you can wow future employers and stand out from other applicants when you update them about your qualifications.

  • An additional source of income!

If you want an extra source of income, you can find many great opportunities around you that may be an opportunity for a part-time job or freelance. With technology moving forward, it’s no surprise that drones are becoming more and more popular. You don’t need to go back to school for this one either—all you need is your drone and some common sense. This class will tell you everything you need to know about finding a small job here and there, and how far off flying drones may get you some extra income for your household!

Frequently Asked Questions about Drone Pilots

How much money do drone pilots make?

Drones are used in many industries, and their uses can vary depending on the output your client or customer needs. Some people might want to use them for basic photography, but others may be looking for help with more complex projects like the analysis of aerial data sets. A pilot does many other technical inspection projects with a thermal camera, which involves using it to work on equipment and machinery with faulty electrical systems on set.

For full-time, salaried drone operator positions, they make as much as $33,000 to $79,000 per year. The rate depends upon the agreement between parties for freelance and client-based work.

Many home renovation projects pay well for drone pilots offering services. For example, on average, one might make between $200 to $300 per project. Of course, prices could vary depending on the services offered (piloting a helicopter versus piloting a drone, etc.), but this is generally understood as the going rate.

Does Santa Monica Flyers administer the FAA exam?

We are a test preparation firm that helps people pass their FAA drone pilot testing. First, students will go through our extensive training modules, and then they’ll be able to practice the material via our question bank. Once they’ve prepared enough and feel confident, they will schedule an appointment at an official test center in their area and take the exam in person.

How long will it take for me to get through the FAA exam course?

Since you get lifetime access to the course materials once you buy them, you can work through them at your own pace with suitable jobs. Most of our students have full-time jobs and can get through the content in about 2-3 weeks. When considering breaks for meals, the restroom, sleep, and exercise, you would need about 10 hours to complete the course materials.

Become a Certified Drone Pilot with Santa Monica Flyers

We are interested in becoming a drone pilot and gaining valuable experience that you can leverage to build a career in aerial technology. We can help you do that! We offer a program that takes experienced drone pilots uas through our courses and trains them to become even more skilled in operating and piloting drones, as well as becoming proficient in the latest drone regulations and technology. We’ll help you gain everything you need to know to get a job in this exciting field!


Sign up for your Intro Flight today!