Part 107


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

How to Get Your FAA Part 107 Drone Pilot License (1st-Time & Current Pilots)

drone-pilot-license-part-107-checklistThis page is a how-to guide on getting your Part 107 remote pilot certificate which has also been called all sorts of things such as a drone license, commercial drone license, UAV certificate, drone permit, drone pilot license, etc.

Do you need a pilot certificate to make money with a drone? 

Yes, you need the Part 107 remote pilot certificate is the certificate you NEED to make money.

This guide is based upon my knowledge as a current FAA certificated flight instructor (CFI & CFII) and aviation attorney. There are two sections to this page: (1) instructions for first time pilots and (2) instructions for current manned aircraft pilots.

 

I created a free 100+ page Part 107 test study guide.  

(Include 5 “cram” summary pages and 41 sample Part 107 exam questions that are answered and explained.)

 

This is Part of a Series of Part 107 Articles:

commercial drone pilot license

 

You’ll have to take the exam at a knowledge testing center. Note: if you took a test on the FAA’s website and received a certificate like what is on the right, this is NOT a Part 107 initial knowledge test for new pilots. That test is only for current manned aircraft pilots transitioning over to drones.

 

The correct term is remote pilot certificate, but throughout this article I will be referring to the remote pilot certificate and drone pilot license interchangeably.

 

To obtain your drone pilot license you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)
  • Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS
  • Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam at a FAA-approved knowledge testing center

 

Here is your immediate plan of action. Do these steps in the exact order of how they appear in this list:

  1. Immediately schedule a time to take the FAA Part 107 knowledge test at one of the testing sites. There are only two companies that offer the Part 107 exam: CATS and PSI/Lasergrade.
    1. Figure out which test site you want to take the test at. There are currently 696 of these centers around the world. Keep in mind that CATS is currently taking appointments while PSI is not. Also, CATS does a $10 off discount for current AOPA members. If you want to become a current AOPA student member, you can sign up here. 
    2. Find out the site ID so you know who to call. LAS = PSI/ Laser Grade  ABS = CATS
    3. Test option 1: CATS is registering and taking appointments for the test!
      • CATS – call and get an appointment for a date ASAP. The first day to take the test is August 29th. Two phone numbers (Try in this order):
        • This is their main testing number. Call 1-800-947-4228 and press 3. Monday through Friday
          5:30 AM PST to 5:00 PM PST Saturday & Sunday
          7:00 AM PST to 3:30 PM PST
    4. Test option 2: PSI/Lasergrade(August 13) Is also registering people for the Part 107 initial knowledge exam
      •  Call 1-800-211-2754 or  1-800-733-9267 to register for your test.
  2. Start studying. I created free 100+ page Part 107 test study guide. The study guide has the material the FAA suggested you study, but I added essential material they left out. It also comes with 41 sample Part 107 exam questions that are answered and explained. Think of it as your “personal trainer” for Part 107 to get you into a lean mean testing machine. You can read the Part 107 test study guide online or you can sign up for the free drone law newsletter below and be able to download the PDF to study on the go.

Sign up for the Newsletter to Receive Important Updates and Articles.

  1. Now that you know what the rules are, make a business plan for operations under Part 107. Go back and skim over the Part 107 Summary and read about Part 107 waivers (COAs). You might want to branch out into non-107 types of operations.
  2. Once you have figured out what types of industries and operations you plan on doing, you should spend this time:
    • Building or updating your website.
    • Buying the aircraft or practicing flying your current aircraft.
    • Obtaining insurance for the aircraft that will perform the operations.
    • Finding an attorney for each of the particular areas of law listed below. You may not need the lawyer right away but you have time to calmly make decisions now as opposed to rapidly making decisions in the future when your business is growing. You won’t have time in the future as you do now. Put their numbers in your phone. Ideally, you should have a retainer/ billing relationship set up to get answers rapidly.
      • Business / tax – (Preferably both)
      • Aviation – Contact me to get things set up. Remember. I’m not your attorney until you sign an attorney-client agreement!)
      • Criminal – (in case you get arrested because of some drone ordinance you stumbled upon).
  1. Take the Part 107 initial knowledge test.
  2. Complete FAA Form 8710-13:
    • By filing out the paper based version of FAA Form 8710-13 and mailing it off  OR
    • Online for a remote pilot certificate (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application) using the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application system (IACRA).
        • Login to IACRA with your username and password. If you don’t remember them, follow the “Forgot Username or Password” link.
        • Applicant Console
          • From the Applicant Console, you can start new applications and view any existing applications. Click Start New Application
          • Select ‘Pilot’ from the Application Type dropdown list. This will now show the different types of pilot certificates IACRA has available.
          • Click on Remote Pilot. Starting a Remote Pilot Application
        • The Application Process page will open, and the Personal Information section will be open. This section will be prepopulated with the information you entered when you registered. If no changes are needed, click the green Save & Continue button in the bottom of this section.
        • The Supplementary Data section will open. Answer the English Language and Drug Conviction questions. If you would like to add comments to you application, you can do so here. Click Save & Continue.
        • The Basis of Issuance section will open.
          • Enter all the information related to your photo ID. A US passport or US driver’s license is preferred.
          • Enter the knowledge test ID in Search box. PLEASE NOTE : It can take up to 72 hours after you take your knowledge test before it is available in IACRA. When you find the test, click the green Associate Test button. Now click Save & Continue.
        • The Review and Submit section will open.
          • Answer the Denied Certificate question.
          • Summary information info will be displayed.
          • You must view the Pilots Bill of Rights, Privacy Act and Review your application before you can continue.
        • Sign and Complete
          • You should now sign the Pilots Bill of Rights Acknowledgement form.
          • Sign and complete your application.
          • Your application is now complete and will be automatically sent to the Airman Registry.
          • After 2-4 days, your temporary certificate will be available in IACRA. You will also receive an email reminder.
          • Your permanent certificate will arrive by mail.

Click next to see how current manned aircraft pilots can obtain their Part 107 drone pilot license.

next


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

Drone Crash-What Do I Do After I Crash My Drone?

 

 

crashed droneIf you crashed a drone, there are reporting requirements. Below we will discuss the reporting requirements you make to the FAA and the reporting requirements you make to the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) following a drone crash. Just to be clear, this whole page does NOT apply to Part 101 model aircraft. 

 

Quick Info:

  • “Contact the NTSB’s 24-hour Response Operations Center (ROC) at 844-373-9922 to file a report. A phone call is sufficient initially, but a written follow-up may be required.”
  • FAA REGIONALOPERATIONS CENTERS. LOCATION WHERE ACCIDENT OCCURRED:
    • DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, WV, and VA 404-305-5150
    • AL, CT, FL, GA, KY, MA,ME,MS, NC, NH, PR, RI, SC, TN, VI, and VT 404-305-5156
    • AK, AS, AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, ID, MP,MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, and WY 425-227-1999
    • AR, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MI,MN,MO, ND, NE, NM, OH, OK, SD, TX, and WI 817-222-5006
  • The FAA also has a website where you can report a crash.
  • NASA AVIATION SAFETY REPORTING SYSTEM
  • Note that the NTSB’s definitions of accident and unmanned aircraft accident and the FAA’s definition of accident in 107.9 are ALL different. It would have been a good idea for the FAA to just match up the definitions of 107.9 to 830.2 to keep things simple.
  • Keep in mind that this article is primarily focusing on Part 107 operations, NOT  Section 333 exemption operations, but most 333 exemptions have a provisions that requires notification to the FAA UAS Integration Office and NTSB so this article is still very relevant although some the requirements might differ. The language of the exemption and Blanket COA supersedes these requirements.

Times:

  • Mandatory:
    • Report an “accident” or “serious incident” (Part 830’s definitions) immediately to the NTSB Response Operations Center.
    • Send NTSB Form 6120.1 in within 10 days for an accident or 7 days for an overdue aircraft that is still missing. For a serious incident and if requested, send in the form. No time is mentioned in 830.15.
    • Notify the FAA within 10 days of the occurrence of an accident (107.9 “accident”).
  • Voluntary:
    • “NASA Form” is within 10 days of the violation.

 

During this 10 day period, you have time to call an attorney to help in figuring out how best to handle the situation and what to say in your report.

Don’t want to read? Watch the video of this article!

 

 

crashed cinematography drone

Who is the NTSB? How Are They Different than the FAA?

crashed drone 2“The NTSB is an independent federal agency, charged by Congress to investigate transportation accidents, determine probable cause, and issue safety recommendations to prevent similar accidents. The agency’s scope extends beyond aviation crashes, as it also investigates selected rail, marine, highway, and pipeline accidents, as well as those involving transportation of hazardous materials.”[1] The NTSB is COMPLETELY separate from the FAA. “The primary role of NTSB is improving safety of our nation’s transportation system. The agency determines the probable cause of accidents and issues safety recommendations to prevent similar occurrences. It does not determine fault or liability. In fact, according to 49 U.S.C. § 1154(b), ‘No part of a report of the Board, related to an accident or an investigation of an accident, may be admitted into evidence or used in a civil action for damages resulting from a matter mentioned in the report.’”[2]


In addition to doing investigations, the NTSB can judge appeals of FAA enforcement actions brought against manned aircraft pilots and drone pilots. There are two levels of appeal with the NTSB: (1) the administrative law judge level (ALJ) and (2) the full board of NTSB members. Some of you might remember the Pirker case. The Pirker case was initially won at the ALJ level, but on appeal to the full NTSB Board, was remanded back to the ALJ to determine if Pirker’s flight was careless and reckless.

next


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

Part 107 Statistics (3 Big Take-Aways)

 

Part 107 Statistics: 3 Big Take-Aways

The data gathered was from a source in the FAA which requested to remain anonymous. I made an effort to cite data. It is current as of October 18, 2016.

 

1. Remote Pilot Pass Rates Are Close to Private Pilot Knowledge Test Pass Rates.

Interestingly, the individuals taking the remote pilot exam had a pass rate of 88.29%, which is close to the private pilot knowledge test for airplanes pass rate of 89.44% for all of 2015[1].

I know that many have had success using the free study guide I put out.

 

 passvfail of Part 107 exam

2. TSA Responded Well to Processing the Applications.

You’ll notice that when you compare the applications filed to applications completed, it is disproportionate at the beginning; however, the TSA, while not catching up fully with the applications filed, responded well by increasing their rate of processing the applications close to that of applications being filed. Many of us were concerned the TSA would be backed up with the surge in applications which would continue to grow and grow.

 filedvcompleted of part 107 iacra applications

3. The Majority of Those Applying Are Current Part 61 Pilots.

You have two ways of obtaining a remote pilot certificate, be a current Part 61 pilot who has taken the online training course or take the remote pilot initial knowledge exam. The green columns below show the number of individuals who have successfully passed the remote pilot initial knowledge exam while the orange columns are the number of people who have applied for their remote pilot certificate.

filedv107taken
There could have been some CURRENT  Part 61 pilots who took the initial knowledge exam (green column), but that is going to be a very small portion because the test costs $150 while the online training course they would need to take as a current pilot is free. The Part 61 pilots in this group will primarily be NON-CURRENT Part 61 pilots.

 

Additionally, to file a remote pilot certificate application you will need select the test you took (the initial knowledge exam will show up in the system otherwise you are stuck till it shows up) or have your identification validated by a certified flight instructor, air a safety inspector, a designated pilot examiner, or an airmen certification representative and they certify that in the application. It is very unlikely that any of those four would commit perjury by certifying a person or that the person applying for the 107 would commit perjury himself. (Yes, it could happen but it would be a small number.)

 

This means that the difference is going to be mostly current Part 61 pilots with an unknown number of non-current Part 61 pilots in the green column. That is a lot of Part 61 pilots moving into the industry!

Conclusion

 

It looks like we are off to a good start. The new remote pilots haven’t really “dropped the ball” but have passed the test. It will be very interesting to see how these new pilots interact with the more highly trained Part 61 pilots who are currently coming into the industry. Hopefully, the culture of professionalism and safety from the Part 61 pilots will transfer over to the drone community.

 

One way to set yourself apart from the typical 107 competition is to obtain waivers or authorizations. The most commonly asked for waiver is the night waiver which allows you to fly past civil twilight (see How to Fly Your Drone at Night).  If you are interested in any of the waivers to stand out from the crowd, don’t hesitate to contact me.

[1] https://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/test_statistics/media/2015/annual/2015_Airman_Knowledge_Tests.pdf

[2] Id. on Page 2.

[3] https://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/civil_airmen_statistics/media/2015-civil-airmen-stats.xlsx

 


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

How to Fly Your Drone at Night-(Part 107 Night Waiver)

107-night-waiver-fly-cowInterested in obtaining a Part 107 night waiver to fly your drone at night? This article will dive into the different definitions of night, civil twilight, and what is legally required to fly at night. To start off, this article is focusing on operations under Part 107, not model aircraft operating under Part 101. Part 107 remote pilots will need a waiver from 107.29 which is sometimes called a Part 107 night waiver.

Their are different standards and definitions floating around causing all sorts of confusion in this area. The FAA uses different terms in the regulations: night, sunset, civil twilight, 1 hour after sunset, and 30 minutes after sunset. I’m going to throw all the terms out on the table and explain them so you know what is required of you.  If you sign up for the newsletter and confirm your email, you’ll be sent an email with a link to download the above infographic to keep with you on your device. Additionally, it is optimized for 8.5×11 pieces of paper. You could print it out and keep it with you or you can give it out.

The Different Definitions in the Federal Aviation Regulations

The bold emphasis is mine. Pay particular attention to the words and context.

14 CFR § 1.1 says, “Night means the time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the Air Almanac, converted to local time.”

14 CFR § 61.57(b) says, “Night takeoff and landing experience. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise, unless within the preceding 90 days that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise[.]”

14 CFR § 91.209 says, “No person may: 

(a) During the period from sunset to sunrise (or, in Alaska, during the period a prominent unlighted object cannot be seen from a distance of 3 statute miles or the sun is more than 6 degrees below the horizon)— (1) Operate an aircraft unless it has lighted position lights; . . .

(b) Operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights. However, the anticollision lights need not be lighted when the pilot-in-command determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to turn the lights off.”

14 CFR § 107.29 says,

“(a) No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft system during night.

(b) No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft system during periods of civil twilight unless the small unmanned aircraft has lighted anti-collision lighting visible for at least 3 statute miles. The remote pilot in command may reduce the intensity of the anti-collision lighting if he or she determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to do so.

(c) For purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, civil twilight refers to the following:

(1) Except for Alaska, a period of time that begins 30 minutes before official sunrise and ends at official sunrise;

(2) Except for Alaska, a period of time that begins at official sunset and ends 30 minutes after official sunset; and

(3) In Alaska, the period of civil twilight as defined in the Air Almanac.”

Notice that different parts of the FARs are cited. Basically, if you are a commercial drone operator, you have the option of operating under Part 107 or under a Section 333 exemption and all the applicable regulations.

Summarizing What is and is NOT Required

  • Part 107

    • You are limited to daylight operations (sunrise to sunset).
    • However, you may operate at civil twilight provided you have an appropriate anti-collision system.
    • You cannot operate at night unless you have a Part 107 night waiver
  • Section 333 Operators

    • 333 operations “may not be conducted during night, as defined in 14 CFR § 1.1.” Part 1.1’s definition of night is tied back to the Air Almanac while Part 107 definition of civil twilight is fixed, unless you are in Alaska.
      • Why is this interesting? The length of twilight changes depending on what latitude you are operating at and also at what time of the year. Florida has a greater duration of twilight during the winter than during the summer. Additionally, Maine has a greater amount of twilight than Florida on the same day because Maine is higher in latitude. See The Duration of Twilight, and if you are in the U.S., page 1 of this graph. Another interesting thing is that for those of us living in Florida, we got a good deal and picked up more operating time under 107 than those operating under a 333 exemption; however, those in the northern latitudes got goofed over and could actually operate longer under a 333 exemption than they could under 107.  I used the U.S. Naval Observatory calculator to compare Miami to Seattle during the winter and summer solstices.

         

        Difference Between Sunset & Sunset Civil Twilight at the Summer SolsticeDifference Between Sunset & Sunset Civil Twilight at the Winter Solstice

        Miami, Florida

        26 Minutes

        25 Minutes

        Seattle, Washington41 Minutes

        37 Minutes

        So for those of you operating in the higher latitudes, you could try and figure out all of this juggling of the 107 and 333 exemption stuff, or just hire me to get you a Part 107 night waiver so you do not have to worry about this. 🙂

    • 14 CFR § 61.57(b) does NOT apply because you aren’t carrying passengers. Interestingly, some of the early 333s had a 90-day currency requirement (see Aerial Mob’s exemption at restriction 12) but the 90-day currency situation was done away with as time went on with the 333s.
    • First off, this section is only for 333 operators, not 107 operators. 14 CFR 91.209(a) is applicable only to those operating at night. To date, Industrial Skyworks is the only 333 exemption to have been approved for night operations. Interestingly, they received an exemption from 91.209. 14 CFR 91.209(b) is applicable only to those drones equipped with anti-collision lights.

Why the FAA Requires a Part 107 Night Waiver for 107 Operators

The FAA gave us very insightful comments on pages 42,102-103 of the Operation and Certification of Small
Unmanned Aircraft Systems that was published in the Federal Register.

Nighttime operations pose a higher safety risk because the reduced visibility makes it more difficult for the person maintaining visual line of sight to see the location of other aircraft. While the existence of other lighted manned aircraft may be apparent due to their lighting, the distance and movement of small unmanned aircraft relative to the distance and movement of those aircraft is often difficult to judge due to the relative size of the aircraft. In addition, visual autokinesis (the apparent movement of a lighted object) may occur when the person maintaining visual line of sight stares at a single light source for several seconds on a dark night. For this reason, darkness makes it more difficult for that person to perceive reference points that could be used to help understand the position and movement of the lighted manned aircraft, the small unmanned aircraft, or other lighted object.

The lack of reference points at night is problematic for small UAS subject to part 107 because they are not required to have any equipage that would help identify the precise location of the small unmanned aircraft. As such, a remote pilot in command operating under this rule will generally rely on unaided human vision to learn details about the position, attitude, airspeed, and heading of the unmanned aircraft. This ability may become impaired at night due to a lack of reference points because all a remote pilot may see of his or her aircraft (if it is lighted) is a point of light moving somewhere in the air. For example, a lighted small unmanned aircraft flying at night may appear to be close by, but due to a lack of reference points, that aircraft may actually be significantly farther away than the remote pilot perceives. An impairment to the remote pilot’s ability to know the precise position, attitude, and altitude of the small unmanned aircraft would significantly increase the risk that the small unmanned aircraft will collide with another aircraft.

In addition to avoiding collision with other aircraft, remote pilots in command must also avoid collision with people on the ground, as well as collision with ground-based structures and obstacles. This is a particular concern for small UAS because they operate at low altitudes. When operating at night, a remote pilot may have difficulty avoiding collision with people or obstacles on the ground which may not be lighted and as a result, may not be visible to the pilot or the visual observer. As such, this rule will not allow small UAS subject to part 107 to operate at night (outside of civil twilight) without a waiver. . .

Civil twilight is a period of time that, with the exception of Alaska, generally takes place 30 minutes before official sunrise and 30 minutes after official sunset. The FAA agrees with commenters that operations during civil twilight could be conducted safely under part 107 with additional risk mitigation because the illumination provided during civil twilight is sufficient for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished during clear weather conditions. As a result, many of the safety concerns associated with nighttime operations are mitigated by the lighting that is present during civil twilight. That is why current section 333 exemptions permit twilight UAS operations. Accordingly, this rule will allow a small UAS to be operated during civil twilight.

However, while civil twilight provides more illumination than nighttime, the level of illumination that is provided during civil twilight is less than the illumination provided between sunrise and sunset. To minimize the increased risk of collision associated with reduced lighting and visibility during twilight operations, this rule will require small unmanned aircraft operated during civil twilight to be equipped with anti-collision lights that are visible for at least 3 statute miles.

A remote pilot in command may reduce the intensity of the anti-collision lights if, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to do so. For example, the remote pilot in command may reduce the intensity of anti-collision lights to minimize the effects of loss of night vision adaptation. The FAA emphasizes that anti-collision lighting will be required under this rule only for civil twilight operations; a small unmanned aircraft that is flown between sunrise and sunset need not be equipped with anti-collision lights.

The FAA acknowledges that current exemptions issued under Public Law 112–95, section 333 allow civil twilight operations without a requirement for anti-collision lighting. However, the section 333 exemptions do not exempt small UAS operations from complying with § 91.209(a), which requires lighted position lights when an aircraft is operated during a period from sunset to sunrise (or, in Alaska, during the period a prominent unlighted object cannot be seen from a distance of 3 statute miles or the sun is more than 6 degrees below the horizon). As such, UAS currently operating under a section 333 exemption have lighting requirements when operating during civil twilight.

However, while current section 333 exemptions rely on position lighting, it would be impractical for this rule to prescribe specifications for position lighting for civil twilight operations because a wider range of small unmanned aircraft will likely operate under part 107. Position lighting may not be appropriate for some of these aircraft. Thus, instead of position lighting, small unmanned aircraft operating under part 107 will be required to have anti-collision lights when operating during civil twilight. The FAA also notes that meteorological conditions, such as haze, may sometimes reduce visibility during civil twilight operations. Accordingly, the FAA emphasizes that, as discussed in the following section of this preamble, this rule also requires that the minimum flight visibility, as observed from the location of the ground control station, must be no less than 3 statute miles.”

One Big Benefit to Possessing a Part 107 Night Waiver

Want to Fly Near a Class D Airport Without an Airspace Authorization? A Part 107 night waiver might be your solution.

Sometimes we you get a job that is last moment. You don’t have time to obtain an airspace authorization or airspace waiver. You can just wait till the airport tower closes and fly under a Part 107 night waiver. 
Most controlled airports close at around 9-11PM local time. Not every airport is 24/7. Check the chart supplement (formerly known as the airport facility directory)  for the airport and see when the airport closes. You should also see which type of airspace it turns into. MAKE SURE IT TURNS INTO CLASS G! The time the tower will be in operation will be listed in Zulu time. Remember to convert to local time by looking at the UTC correction at the top. Just check to make sure in the chart supplement as I think a few towered airports might revert to Class E at the surface which requires an authorization.

You might have noticed something that looked like a  double plus + symbol right next to the Z in the tower’s operational time. It is important that you know what it means so you know WHEN exactly the tower closes or opens. This is what the chart supplement’s legend says:

Hours of operation of all facilities are expressed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and shown as “Z” time. The directory indicates the number of hours to be subtracted from UTC to obtain local standard time and local daylight saving time UTC–5(–4DT). The symbol ‡ indicates that during periods of Daylight Saving Time (DST) effective hours will be one hour earlier than shown. In those areas where daylight saving time is not observed the (–4DT) and ‡ will not be shown. Daylight saving time is in effect from 0200 local time the second Sunday in March to 0200 local time the first Sunday in November. Canada and all U.S. Conterminous States observe daylight saving time except Arizona and Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. If the state observes daylight saving time and the operating times are other than daylight saving times, the operating hours will include the dates, times and no ‡ symbol will be shown, i.e., April 15–Aug 31 0630–1700Z, Sep 1–Apr 14 0600–1700Z.

class-g-chart-supplement-part-107-night-waiver

Procedures

Step 1: Check the airport’s chart supplement listing to make sure it reverts to class G.

Step 2: Figure out what the hours are. Keep in mind the ++ thing mentioned above.

Step 3: Check the NOTAMs for that airport to make sure those hours haven’t changed. I did come across this one time where the tower hours were changed via NOTAM. You might get a chance to take off sooner or have to wait till later.

 

Conclusion:

I have 14 Part 107 night waiver approvals already. I’m noticing that night waivers are on average taking about 26 days for my clients. The fastest ever was 13 days. The FAA is sure speeding things up. If you need help with a night waiver, please contact me.

I highly suggest you take time to browse through the other high quality Part 107 Articles I have created.


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

Press Release: Rupprecht Law’s Client Just Received a Part 107 Night Waiver

Part-107-night-waiverImmediate Press Release:

Rupprecht Law, P.A.’s client Red Raptor just picked up a night waiver today. Here is a picture from the first page.  The waiver is good for the entire United States in Class G airspace. It lasts until 2020. The manual used was developed by Airspace Consulting.

 

Why are night waivers so important?

14 CFR 107.29 requires:

(a) No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft system during night.

(b) No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft system during periods of civil twilight unless the small unmanned aircraft has lighted anti-collision lighting visible for at least 3 statute miles. The remote pilot in command may reduce the intensity of the anti-collision lighting if he or she determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to do so.

(c) For purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, civil twilight refers to the following:

(1) Except for Alaska, a period of time that begins 30 minutes before official sunrise and ends at official sunrise;

(2) Except for Alaska, a period of time that begins at official sunset and ends 30 minutes after official sunset; and

(3) In Alaska, the period of civil twilight as defined in the Air Almanac.

All sorts of jobs need night waivers:

  • Search and rescue at night
  • Inspecting roofs using a FLIR camera to spot water damage
  • Firefighting or law enforcement at night
  • Aerial cinematography
  • Sport or event filming
  • Security
  • Wildlife monitoring/filming

pilotheadshot

If you are needing help in obtaining a night waiver, please contact Rupprecht Law, P.A. today.

In selecting an aviation attorney to help your company, it is important to look at their background to see if they have any aviation experience. Don’t hire a poser, hire an aviation attorney who is also a commercial pilot. Jonathan is a commercial pilot and current flight instructor, has co-authored an American Bar Association legal treatise on unmanned aircraft law, co-authored a book on UAS flight instructing soon to be published by the ASA, has helped over 100 individuals or companies with drone law, and received a 100% on his Part 107 initial knowledge exam which he took to validate the principles he taught in his FREE Part 107 study guide.


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

Free Part 107 Test Study Guide For FAA Remote Pilot Airmen Certificate

FAA-Part-107-study-guideI created this free Part 107 test study guide to help my clients and the drone community based upon my experience as a FAA certificated flight instructor and aviation attorney.

 

The FAA compiled a list of many references in the final airmen certification standards for the remote pilot knowledge exam and FAA created study guide.

 

Unfortunately, they did NOT include everything you need or would find helpful. Below I have included the material the FAA suggested you study along with extra items that the FAA should have included, which are in the bold text, that I added.

 

I want to emphasize, after you pass your test, you should be looking for quality mentorship for the long term. Being a professional is not just about passing a test. If you are looking to be mediocre, I suggest you go to another industry and do us all a favor. It should be about learning the material AND how to apply it properly in practice. Passing the Part 107 exam is merely the key unlocking the door to begin your journey into aviation, Passing the Part 107 exam is merely the key unlocking the door to begin your journey into aviation, not a certificate saying you have arrived. To reemphasize, once you pass your test, go find a competent flight instructor who can help you apply the knowledge you will learn to real life situations so you can be profitable, legal, and safe.

 

Update: I wrote an article on the Part 107 statistics (pass/fails, applications filed, applications approved, etc.)

 

I find it interesting the FAA did not note anything about Part 830 (except for one small reference in a PLT code) or the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). Both of those programs are focused on safety while the FAA’s accident reporting requirement in Part 107 is focused on safety and enforcement.  A pilot needs to know both of these programs. I find it also interesting the FAA didn’t mention anything about the NASA ASRS which is there for the pilot’s benefit, not the FAA’s, regarding enforcement actions.  Let that sink in for a second. This shows the importance of why you need to have a good aviation attorney in your corner to look after you, as the FAA won’t. Read What Do I Do After I Crash My Drone?

 

Disclaimer:  You aren’t guaranteed to pass the test based off this material.

The total number of regulations and pages is large. I chopped it up into what pieces of material you should know in entirety and what you should pick pieces and parts of based upon the ACS and other pieces of FAA material.

 

The total test will be 60 questions and you will have 2 hours to complete it. The minimum passing score is 70% which is a maximum of 18 questions wrong or a minimum of 42 questions right.

 

If there are any errors or broken links in here, for the greater good of everyone studying, contact me so I can correct it.

 


Game Plan:

Step 1. Read all the steps.

 

Part-107-study-guide-summaryStep 2. Sign up for the test. Instructions on signing up for the test getting your pilot license is here. You should pick a date based upon how much time you have in relation to how much material you need to go through. You are looking at around 300-350 pages of material you need to read.

 

Step 3. Learn about the Airmen Certification Standards (ACS) and read over the Part 107 ACS.

 

Step 4. Start studying the material below. Note: I have 5 “cram” summary pages (like what you see on the right and up above), the regulations you need to study for the exam, 41 Part 107 sample test questions answered and explained, and the text of this article with hyperlinks in a 100+ page PDF you can download to study offline!  The cram summary pages are only available in the PDF. Everything else is below. I did not incorporate all the FAA PDFs into this PDF as I anticipate they will be updated over time so ALL the FAA material is hyperlinked, but the 100 + pages of regulations are included.

 

How do you get the PDF? Sign up for the free drone law newsletter below!!!

Sign up for the Newsletter to Receive Important Updates and Articles.

 

Step 5. Once you are done or feel competent. Take the test of 40 sample questions. For your deficient areas, go over those particular areas in the ACS. All 40 questions are answered and explained here.

 

Step 6. In the final stretch of time, study Area II and Area V from the ACS since both of those areas will make up 50-70% of the test. Make sure you read and re-read the FAA Part 107 test study guide. Additionally, to start getting familiar with searching around for material, I would suggest trying to answer as many of the questions I created in More Part 107 Test Questions for Remote Pilot Knowledge Test. They are designed to be extremely super hard to force you to start becoming familiar with researching how to find answers. In the process of answering these hard questions, you’ll also be studying for the test!

 

Tips:

You will be able to take the test with the Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement for Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, and Private Pilot which is a great resource. Make sure you have the current version of the supplement as I heard about one horror story where the test center gave the test taker the old 2013 edition and they couldn’t use it to take the test. There are two reasons why you should look over this supplement and know what is in it:

(1) There are helpful legends which will be great for answering sectional map questions and chart supplement questions. Don’t know what that symbol means on your exam? There is a good chance the legend will help you decode it!

(2) Many questions on the test will reference some of the figures. At the end you should skim through and ask yourself questions based upon the numbered areas on the sectional charts.

See a term you don’t know in the ACS? Look it up in the glossary of the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (PHAK) to see what the term means in a short statement. Want to learn more about the term in the ACS? Look up the term in the index of the PHAK and/or Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) which will tell you where to find more information.

Hit ctrl + f and type in the word to search through the PDF rapidly.

All of the study material below is free.

 

Reference

Title

Read Entirely

14 CFR Part 45 (Subpart A & C)Identification and Registration Marking
14 CFR part 47Aircraft Registration
14 CFR part 48Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
14 CFR part 71Designation of Class A, B, C, D and E Airspace Areas; Air Traffic Service Routes; and Reporting Points
14 CFR part 73 [this should have been in there]SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE (Restricted and Prohibited Airspace).
14 CFR Part 91 Sections Referenced in Part 107.Sections:

·       91.17 Alcohol or Drugs

·       91.19 Carriage of narcotic drugs, marihuana, and depressant or stimulant drugs or substances.

·       91.137 Temporary flight restrictions in the vicinity of disaster/hazard areas.

·       91.138 Temporary flight restrictions in national disaster areas in the State of Hawaii.

·       91.139 Emergency air traffic rules.

·       91.141 Flight restrictions in the proximity of the Presidential and other parties.

·       91.143 Flight limitation in the proximity of space flight operations.

·       91.144   Temporary restriction on flight operations during abnormally high barometric pressure conditions.

·       91.145 Management of aircraft operations in the vicinity of aerial demonstrations and major sporting events.

·       91.203(a)(2) Civil aircraft: Certifications required.

14 CFR 99.7§99.7 Special security instructions.
14 CFR Part 101 Subpart ESubpart E—Special Rule for Model Aircraft
14 CFR Part 107Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
49 CFR Part 830Notification And Reporting Of Aircraft Accidents Or Incidents And Overdue Aircraft, And Preservation Of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail, Cargo, And Records
SAFO 15010 (2 Pages)Carriage of Spare Lithium Batteries in Carry-on and Checked Baggage
SAFO 10015 (1 Page and 23 minute video)Flying in the wire environment
SAFO 10017 (3 Pages)Risks in Transporting Lithium Batteries in Cargo by Aircraft
SAFO 09013 (1 Page and a 10.5 minute Video)Fighting Fires Caused By Lithium Type Batteries in Portable Electronic Devices
AC 150/5200-32 (11 Pages)Reporting Wildlife Aircraft Strikes
AC 107-2  (53 Pages)Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)
FAA-S-ACS-10 (33 Pages)Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airman Certification Standards
FAA-G-8082-22 (87 Pages)Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide
FAA-G-8082-20 (17 Pages)Remote Pilot Knowledge Test Guide
Articles I wrote that will help you understand some of the areas you need to know for the test. (12 webpages total)
·       Part 107 (ACS) Airmen Certification Standards Explained (2 pages)

·       Part 107 Knowledge Test (41 Questions Answered & Explained) (4 pages)

·       TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) (1 page)

·       What Type of Criminal Punishment (Prison Time) or Fines can Result for a TFR Violation? (1 page)

·       8 Different TFRs – Flight Restrictions for Good Reason (1 page)

·       FAA Part 107 Waiver (COA) – What Drone Pilots Need to Know (1 page)

·       What Do I Do After I Crash My Drone? (1 page)

·       How to Fly Your Drone at Night-(Part 107 Night Waiver from 107.29) (1 page).

More Part 107 Test Questions for Remote Pilot Knowledge Test

Things you should NOT Read in Entirety but ONLY the relevant sections I list or ctrl +f the term in the document for the relevant sections. (The AC00-06, AIM, RMH, PHAK points came from the Knowledge Test Guide Pages 12-16)
Aeronautical Chart User’s GuideAeronautical Chart User’s Guide (12th Edition)

·       Pages 1-36

AC 00-6  (200 Pages)Aviation Weather

·       Thunderstorms

·       Winds / Currents

·       Density Altitude

·       Effects – Temperature

·       Effects – Frost Formation

·       Effects – Air Masses and Fronts

AC 00-45 – Aviation Weather ServicesAviation Weather Services

·       Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF)

·       Thunderstorms

AIMAeronautical Information Manual

·       General Airspace

·       Authorization for Certain Airspace

·       Airport Operations Aeronautical Charts

·       Radio Communications – Non-towered

·       Radio Communications – Towered

·       Traffic Patterns

·       Traffic Advisory Services

·       Phonetic Alphabet

·       Scanning / See and Avoid

·       NOTAMs

·       Temporary Flight Restrictions

·       Hyperventilation

·       MOA

·       Sources – Weather Briefings / Sources

·       Prescription and OTC Medications

FAA-H-8083-2Risk Management Handbook

·       Situational Awareness

FAA-H-8083-25Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

·       Loading/Performance –  Balance, Stability, Center of Gravity

·       Aeronautical Decision Making – Crew Resource Management

·       Aviation Routine Weather Reports (METAR)

·       Military Training Routes

·       Other Airspace Areas

·       Reading a Chart

·       Aeronautical Charts

·       Informational Sources

·       Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF)

·       Hazardous Attitude

·       Crew Resource Management

·       Situational Awareness

·       Effective Scanning

·       Drugs and Alcohol

·       Effects – Atmospheric Stability and Pressure

·       Effects – Temperature

·       Weather Briefings / Sources

·       Prescription and OTC Medications

FAA-CT-8080-2GAirman Knowledge Testing Supplement for Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, and Private Pilot

·       Know how to use the two legends. Pages 1-19. This supplement will be provided to you when you take the test. If they do not, ask for it. Read Page 7 of this FAA document for proof.

·       Know all the terms in Figure 1. (Look these terms up in the PHAK)

·       Figure 2 – Know how to use.

·       Figure 12- Decode these and study them. You should know how to read these for the real world, not just memorize these so you can pass the test.

·       Figure 13 – You should read over this and know what information is important for you as a drone pilot and what is not.

·       Figure 15 – This is important to know so you can plan operations.

·       Figure 55 – Picture 3 and 7.  This is how pilots dance at parties. After the party, if you ever have a flag and you need to hide it so it doesn’t get stolen at an airport, a great place to hide it is under the tail of an airplane. See Picture 4.

·       Study Figure 20-26, 59, 69-71, 74-76, 78, 80

·       Decode 31, 52, 63, 77, 79, 81,

 

This is Part of a Part 107 Series of Articles.


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

FAA Form 8710-13 (Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate)

FIlled out FAA Form 8710-13

Most people will attempt to get their remote pilot certificate via the FAA’s Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (“IACRA”); however, that is NOT the only way. FAA form 8710-13 is the paper form you fill out instead of using IACRA when you are either (1) a current Part 61 certificated pilot who wants to pick up a temporary remote pilot certificate quickly or (2) you are a first time pilot and don’t want to do IACRA.

Why Is FAA Form 8710-13 Valuable?

It allows already existing, and current, Part 61 pilots to obtain their remote pilot certificate the same day as they apply for it at the local FSDO.  This is very valuable if you have a job that needs to be done ASAP. It will NOT allow new first-time pilots to obtain their remote pilot certificate that day. New pilots will have to pass a TSA background check.

This route is for current pilots meaning they have a biannual flight review in their logbook and took the online training exam (different than the initial knowledge exam). Non-current pilots will have to take the online training exam and get current with a BFR or have to pass an initial knowledge exam.

It is still unclear whether non-current Part 61 pilots who have passed the initial knowledge exam are also eligible to pick up their temporary remote pilot certificate in person using the 8710-13 in person at the FSDO instead of getting their biannual flight review. The FAA has said the non-current pilots with the initial knowledge exams can do the IACRA route, but I don’t know how long the turn around times on that will be.

Why Would A Non-Current Pilot Want To Do The Initial Knowledge Exam?

Yes, the Part 61 pilots have the option of doing the free online training course BUT they also need to be current. An initial knowledge exam costs $150. If doing your BFR will cost more than $150, it might be more beneficial to only do the initial knowledge exam route. For example, take a Cessna 152 running at $95/hr wet and an instructor at $40. For most people, they will need a minimum of 1 hour of ground and 1 hour of air time with that instructor. The cheapest it will be for most people is 2 hours of instructor at ($40) + ($95)= $175.

Why Don’t The Part 61 Pilots Have To Do A TSA Background Check?

“The FAA notes that after initial vetting, TSA conducts recurrent or daily vetting to ensure that certificate holders do not subsequently become a security threat. All FAA certificate holders are subject to this recurrent vetting, which serves to identify any certificate holder that may later become a security threat.”[1]

How Can A Current Part 61 Pilot Get His Remote Pilot Certificate?

  1. Complete the online training course “Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) ALC-451” available on the FAA FAASTeam website.
  2. Complete FAA Form 8710-13 (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for a remote pilot certificate)
    1. Online at IACRA or print out a paper copy.
    2. Validate applicant identity on IACRA.
      • Contact a FSDO, a FAA-designated pilot examiner (DPE), an airman certification representative (ACR), or a FAA-certificated flight instructor (CFI) to make an appointment to validate your identity. I would suggest doing this with the FSDO because the inspector can give you a temporary certificate at the same time! Look up where your local FSDO is located and make an appointment. Note: FSDOs almost always do not take walk-ins.  You can also go to a DPE but I think it is better to meet your local FSDO employees because they are the ones that will be doing the investigations in your area.
      • Present the completed FAA Form 8710-13 along with the online course completion certificate or knowledge test report (as applicable) and proof of a current flight review.
      • The completed FAA Form 8710-13 application will be signed by the applicant after the FSDO, DPE, ACR, or CFI examines the applicant’s photo identification and verifies the applicant’s identity.
        • The identification presented must include a photograph of the applicant, the applicant’s signature, and the applicant’s actual residential address (if different from the mailing address). This information may be presented in more than one form of identification.
        • Acceptable methods of identification include, but are not limited to U.S. drivers’ licenses, government identification cards, passports, and military identification cards (see AC 61-65 Certification: Pilots and Flight and Ground Instructors)
    3. The FAA representative will then sign the application.
  1. An appropriate FSDO representative, a FAA designated pilot examiner (DPE), or an airman certification representative (ACR) will issue the applicant a temporary airman certificate (a CFI is not authorized to issue a temporary certificate. They can process applications for applicants who do not want a temporary certificate).
  2. A permanent remote pilot certificate will be sent via mail once all other FAA internal processing is complete.
  3. Start thinking about what types of waivers from Part 107 you will need so you can remain competitive and profitable since you are now up and running. Do you need a night waiver, certain types of airspace waivers, etc.?

FAA Form 8710-13 is located here.

This article is part of an overall Part 107 series of articles. Make sure you check the other articles out!

Sign up for the Newsletter to Receive Important Updates and Articles.

[1] Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, 81 Fed. Reg. 42063, 42181 (June 28, 2016).


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

Part 107 Test Questions (41 Sample Questions Explained)

This article will discuss the 41 Part 107 test questions the FAA released. The 41 sample Part 107 knowledge test questions based upon my knowledge as a practicing aviation attorney and current FAA certificated flight instructor. I’m going to break the pages up into 10 questions a piece so as to decrease page load time.

One reason I did this page was to benefit my drone clients. Thank you guys for your business! 🙂

The FAA issued 40 sample questions to help individuals study for the Part 107 Knowledge Test. Later they issued a study guide which included 1 new question.

The Part 107 initial knowledge exam will be 60 questions and you will have 2 hours to complete it. The minimum passing score is 70% which is a maximum of 18 questions wrong or a minimum of 42 questions right.

The information on the internet was based upon the draft airmen certification standards for the Part 107 knowledge test but the FAA updated it which INCREASED the overall amount tested in two areas.

The 40 sample questions document was updated, but there were no significant changes. Unfortunately, since the ACS was updated, certain ACS codes ARE WRONG and the FAA didn’t update those codes when they updated the sample questions. Also, I caught some errors made by the FAA. All of the material below is correct and is keyed to the final ACS codes.

I think the FAA will update the ACS sometime soon. The reason I say that is there are some principles that need to be taught that are not in the ACS such as the theory of flight.  Area IV, Task A has nothing talking about stalls but the original sample question 10 is keyed to this ACS code. Either provisions in the ACS will have to be added or questions not keyed to the ACS will have to be removed. Most likely, as the question bank gets created, the ACS will naturally have to be updated to add more areas.

How to use this page to study for the Part 107 Knowledge Test

  1. You should have already studied Part 107. If you have not, I created free 100+ page Part 107 test study guide. The study guide has the material the FAA suggested you study, but I added essential material they left out. It also include 5 “cram” summary pages of test material. It also comes with 41 sample Part 107 exam questions that are answered and explained.
  2. You should try to complete the FAA sample Part 107 knowledge test questions without looking below. The testing supplement is located here.
  3. Once you have completed those questions, you should come back and study the questions below. I will show you the correct answer and the wrong answers along with explanations.
  4. For the areas you are deficient, you should study the subject based upon the ACS code listed. Here is an article I did on the ACS.
  5. Once you feel you have mastered these questions, move on to Part 107 Test Questions for Remote Pilot Knowledge Test (my super insanely hard 22 questions page) which I created to help people really dig super deep.
  6. Sign up for my free drone law newsletter to keep up to date on Part 107 by reading articles.If you sign up, you’ll receive a welcome email with a link to the PDF of the entire 41 questions!

Sign up for the Newsletter to Receive Important Updates and Articles.

This Article is Part of a Series of Part 107 Articles:

Sample FAA Part 107 Knowledge Test Questions:

The correct answer is bold and italicized. My comments are in the brackets.

 

Figure 21 of the Part 107 sample knowledge test questions

1 (Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2G, Figure 21.) What airport is located approximately 47 (degrees) 40 (minutes) N latitude and 101 (degrees) 26 (minutes) W longitude?

  1. Mercer County Regional Airport.  [This is definitely not even close. This airport is in the low minutes of 47 degrees North.)
    B. Semshenko Airport. [Ah yes, this is a close private airport. You can tell it is private because of the Pvt. Careful measurements will let you know that this is not the airport]
    C. Garrison Airport. [Let’s make this simple. Ladder sounds kind of like latitude. You climb the ladder going north. (Keep in mind it is north only if you are in the Northern Hemisphere) For minutes, just think of them as tick marks. There is a box with 30 tick marks in it, a line, and then another 30 tick marks. Total you get 60 minutes. For longitude, also called meridians, think of the Prime Meridians running through Greenwich, England. Why is this useful? To figure out if the coordinates of the potential job site are in airspace which requires a COA. I use coordinates all the time when I’m working with my clients to figure out if they need a COA or not. Can your attorney do that?]

UA.V.B.K6a Sources for airport data: Aeronautical charts.

 

Figure 26 of the Part 107 sample knowledge test questions

2 (Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2G, Figure 26.) What does the line of latitude at area 4 measure?

  1. The degrees of latitude east and west of the Prime Meridian. [This is partially true. It is correct to say degrees of latitude but incorrect to say west. Latitude goes north & south like you are climbing a latter.]
    B. The degrees of latitude north and south from the equator. [Like you are climbing a ladder going up or down. Just remember which hemisphere you are in. 99% of you guys aren’t going below the equator so it will be north most of the time.]
    C. The degrees of latitude east and west of the line that passes through Greenwich, England. [Just answer A repackaged.]

UA.V.B.K6a Sources for airport data: Aeronautical charts.

Figure 23 of the Part 107 sample knowledge test questions

3 (Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2G, Figure 23, area 3.) What is the floor of the Savannah Class C airspace at the shelf area (outer circle)?

  1. 1,300 feet AGL. [It is NEVER AGL. There is a lot that can be said here, but if you want to know more, study out barometers and the different types of altitude.]
    B. 1,300 feet MSL. [Remember the two zeros are chopped off. SFC means surface. Why is this important? Because you might need to do a job under the Class C shelf. If you don’t know this right off the top of your head, you are leaving money on the table. Remember that Class C operations require a waiver (COA). You need to be able to say quickly, “Yes, we can do that job” or “No, we can’t do that job and I’ll have to file a COA to fly in Class C airspace.” If you need help filing a COA in Class C, contact me.]
    C. 1,700 feet MSL.

UA.II.A.K1b General airspace: Class C controlled airspace.

Figure 59 of the Part 107 sample knowledge test questions

4 (Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2G, Figure 59, area 2.) The chart shows a gray line with “VR1667, VR1617, VR1638, and VR1668.” Could this area present a hazard to the operations of a small UA?

A. No, all operations will be above 400 feet.
B) Yes, this is a Military Training Route from the surface to 1,500 feet AGL. [Here is what the AIM says: “(a) MTRs with no segment above 1,500 feet AGL must be identified by four number characters; e.g., IR1206, VR1207. (b) MTRs that include one or more segments above 1,500 feet AGL must be identified by three number characters; e.g., IR206, VR207.” What does this mean? They can ALWAYS be flying in your airspace.]
C) Yes, the defined route provides traffic separation to manned aircraft.

UA.II.A.K2 Special use within airspace. (Prohibited, restricted, warning, military operations, alert, and controlled firing.)

Figure 23 of the Part 107 sample knowledge test questions

5 According to 14 CFR part 107 the remote pilot in command (PIC) of a small unmanned aircraft planning to operate within Class C airspace

A. must use a visual observer. [Nope. Only Part 107 FPV racers or 333 operators need a VO.]
B. is required to file a flight plan. [You don’t have to be on a flight plan to fly in Class C.]
C. is required to receive ATC authorization. [Bingo. Why? Because the FAA ATC wants to make sure you can fly in certain locations. Pro tip: Look at the runway of the Class C airport in Figure 23. The runways are North, South, East, and West. If you are flying in the “doughnut hole,” then you better know where the landing and departing traffic will be flying. Keep in mind that for some airports, especially at coastal airports, almost rarely use their northerly or southerly runways because the wind is almost always blowing east or west. You might be able to get a COA for those north or south areas of the airport easier. As always, if you need help getting one, contact me.]

UA.II.A.K1b General airspace: Class C controlled airspace.

Figure 21 of the Part 107 Devils lake MOA sample knowledge test questions

6 (Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2G, Figure 21.) You have been hired by a farmer to use your small UA to inspect his crops. The area that you are to survey is in the Devil`s Lake West MOA, east of area 2. How would you find out if the MOA is active?

Devils Lake MOA

A. Refer to the legend for special use airspace phone number. [Ok. This answer is wrong. You won’t be getting any telephone numbers here. You’ll get VHF frequencies on the side of the map where the MOAs are listed.   How do you find the MOAs on the side? This is annoying because most of you guys are using some type of digital map. This is how you find it on Skyvector. You make sure the sectional chart at the top right is clicked and then you move over all the way to the left and you’ll see a list of all the MOAs. This MOA is from 4000-17,999. For practice, let’s pretend that it goes all the way to the ground. We need to figure out if it is active. The 135.25 frequency won’t help because you’ll almost never get ahold of anyone with your handheld. This is how to figure out if it is active or not. You can either (1) Check to see if there is an active NOTAM on https://www.notams.faa.gov/dinsQueryWeb/ which has its own MOA tab, (2) check on https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/ (3) check on DUATS, (4) call up 1-800-WX-BRIEF, or (5) call via phone the ARTCC over the area which would be Minneapolis Center. Here is the FAA web page to find the ARTCC phone numbers. I personally would use DUATS because it records that you requested the information which is handy if things go bad. You can’t prove if you read it, but you can prove you at least requested it. See my article on 5 ways to prove you did a pre-flight briefing. If you are interested in setting up flight programs and want a more comprehensive set of guidelines that includes this information and more, contact me. I work with other highly skilled commercial pilots to develop flight operations and procedures manuals that are integrated with the exemptions and waivers. Advertisement over.]

B. This information is available in the Small UAS database. [What? I don’t know what this means. What database?]
C. In the Military Operations Directory. [No such thing.]

UA.II.A.K2 Special use within airspace. (Prohibited, restricted, warning, military operations, alert, and controlled firing.)

Figure 20 area 3 of the Part 107 sample knowledge test questions

7 (Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2G, Figure 20, area.) How would a remote PIC “CHECK NOTAMS” as noted in the CAUTION box regarding the unmarked balloon?

A. By utilizing the B4UFLY mobile application. [That would be a nice feature but I don’t know how much money the FAA will put into this app. That app is more like an airspace for dummies app. Airmap also dumbs things down and says you can’t fly in a lot of places you can. Learn how to read charts so you know where you can legally fly to make more money.]
B. By contacting the FAA district office. [Nope. However, you should reach out to meet with these guys sometime. Let them know you are trying to be compliant and professional. Better to “set the stage” with that than if they come after you and remember you as the guy who did _________.]

C. By obtaining a briefing via an online source such as: 1800WXBrief.com. [You could do this. I suggest reading my article on 5 Ways to Prove You Did a Pre-Flight Briefing.]

UA.II.B.K5 The NOTAM system including how to obtain an established NOTAM through Flight Service.

 

8 To ensure that the unmanned aircraft center of gravity (CG) limits are not exceeded, follow the aircraft loading instructions specified in the

A. Pilot’s Operating Handbook or UAS Flight Manual. [I don’t know of any drone manufacturers who have created a manual which allows you to calculate the CG.  Manned aviation manuals have ways you can calculate so you don’t exceed CG limits. I think some of the reasons why the drone manuals don’t have them are because (1) the manufacturers are “toy” manufacturers who know little about aerodynamics, (2) they don’t want to waste money on something that isn’t required, and (3) the drones they sell can’t carry any payload so the CG is static.]
B. Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). [Great for general aviation info but bad for specific aircraft info.]
C. Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook. [This looks like a great answer but it isn’t. This handbookis helpful for studying for the test but won’t tell you anything about your specific aircraft.]

UA.IV.A.K1b General loading and performance: Balance, stability, and center of gravity.

9 When operating an unmanned airplane, the remote pilot should consider that the load factor on the wings may be increased anytime

A.the CG is shifted rearward to the aft CG limit. [This wouldn’t increase load factor. If the airplane uses an elevator for pitch, this would actually DECREASE load factor.]
B. the airplane is subjected to maneuvers other than straight and level flight. [Here is a helpful video explaining this. Here is another helpful link. See next question for more discussion.]
C. the gross weight is reduced. [Gross weight reduction would DECREASE load factor.]

UA.IV.A.K2. The importance and use of performance data to predict the effect on the aircraft’s performance of an sUAS.

10 A stall occurs when the smooth airflow over the unmanned airplane`s wing is disrupted, and the lift degenerates rapidly. This is caused when the wing

A. exceeds the maximum speed. [You won’t stall at this speed. Your wings will pop off because of drag.]
B. exceeds maximum allowable operating weight. [This isn’t true. You can fly somewhat overweight all day long (not legally), but it isn’t going to cause your wings to stall or pop off. We care about flying overweight in turbulent air or when doing abrupt maneuvers that can over stress the aircraft and break it. This is why we have maneuvering speed in manned aircraft so we know what speed to keep our aircraft below so we don’t break it in the event of a full control deflection because the aircraft will stall before it exceeds its category limits for what the aircraft was certificated for.  There are no aircraft category G limits like manned aircraft. All Part 107 aircraft are not required to have an airworthiness certificate like manned aircraft. So flying a drone “overweight” isn’t the same as flying a certificated manned aircraft over the weight which might exceed category limits in a full control deflection.]
C. exceeds its critical angle of attack. [You aren’t going to be flying if you hit this angle no matter how fast you are going. Here is a great example of a Sukhoi Su-35 Russian jet doing the Cobra maneuver which exceeds its critical angle of attack. ]

UA.IV.A.K1b General loading and performance: Balance, stability, and center of gravity.

next


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

Part 107 Draft ACS Updated!

What Changed Between the Draft and Final Version of the 107 ACS?

The FAA released a draft Airmen Certification Standards [“ACS”] around the time Part 107 was released. Read why the ACS is important. It was updated and a final version was published.

Two of the most significant changes below are the percentages of certain test subjects were INCREASED. If you are studying for the exam, it is extremely important to know what was changed so you can properly allocate your time.

Many created study courses, guides, material, etc. to help individuals study for the Part 107 exam, but I’m not sure how many of them knew that the ACS was updated and the 40 sample question released were based upon the outdated DRAFT ACS so buyer beware.  ALL of my material was based upon ONLY the final ACS version, including the 41 sample questions which I answered and explained.

Keep in mind there were many small edits for continuity or fixing errors, but they didn’t matter. The same message was still conveyed. (One funny one was Appendix 5 which defined CFI as Chief Flight Engineer.)

In this article, I’m focusing on only the substantive changes. That ones that matter.

If you are also wanting to know why the ACS mentions AC 107-2 and not AC 107-1, it is because Part 107 was originally used a long time ago for airport security but this safety function was transferred from the FAA to the TSA. The old AC 107-1 was referring to the airport security Part 107 so 107-2 was used in the ACS to prevent confusion if you looked up “AC 107” which was what was listed in the draft ACS.

 

 

LOCATION

NEW

OLD

I. Regulations References14 CFR parts 47, 48 and 107, subpart B; AC 107-214 CFR part 107, subpart A; AC 107
I. Regulations

Objective (Add)

To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable of the operating rules of 14 CFR part 107, the registration rules of 14 CFR parts 47 and 48, and other associated operating requirements.To determine that the applicant exhibits competence in knowledge and risk management associated with the general regulatory requirements of 14 CFR part 107.
UA.I.B.K6 (Split)6. Hazardous operations.

a. Careless or reckless

b. Dropping an object

6. Hazardous operations, such as careless or reckless behavior or allowing an object to be dropped.
UA.I.B.K21 (Split)21. Operating limitations for sUAS.

a. Maximum groundspeed

b. Altitude limitations

c. Minimum visibility

d. Cloud clearance requirements

21. Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft.
UA.I.B.K22 (Complete change)22. The requirements for a Remote Pilot Certificate with an sUAS rating.22. Model aircraft operations status.
UA.I.B.K23 (Delete)23. Flights defined as public aircraft operations.
UA.I.B.K24 (Delete)24. Requirements for a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.
UA.I.D.K1 (Subtraction)1. The waiver policy and requirements.1. The waiver policy and the understanding of the regulatory subject matter, equivalent level of safety requirement, and special provisions in a waiver.
II. Airspace Classification and Operating Requirements

References (Add)

14 CFR part 71; AC 107-2; FAA-H-8083-25; AIM [NOTE: I believe the FAA should have also included 14 CFR Part 73 in here as well]AC 107; FAA-H-8083-25; AIM
UA.II.B.K2ATC authorizations and related operating limitations.Concepts relating to ATC clearances and permissions.
UA.II.B.K3 3.(They merely deleted “maximum altitude limit” from the draft and everything moved up.)Maximum altitude limit.
UA.II.B.K5The NOTAM system including how to obtain an established NOTAM through Flight Service.(this moved up to K4).
UA.II.B.K6 (Deleted)It looks like this was combined into UA.II.B.K56. Temporary flight restrictions (TFR) airspace.
UA.II.B.K7 (Deleted)It looks like this was combined into UA.II.B.K57. Notice to airmen (NOTAMS) system including how to obtain an established NOTAM through Flight Service.
UA.V.A.K8 (Subtraction)

 

Phraseology: altitudes, directions, speed, and time.Phraseology: figures, altitudes, directions, speed, and time.
V. Operations

Task B. Airport Operations

References (Addition)

AC 107-2, AC 150/5200-32; FAA-H-8083-25; AIMAC 107; AIM
V. Operations

Task D. Aeronautical Decision-Making (Subtraction)

AC 107-2; FAA-H-8083-2; FAA-H-8083-25AC 107; FAA-H-8083-25; AC 60-22
UA.V.F.K5 (Addition)5. Persons that may perform maintenance on an sUAS.
Appendix 1 (Add)The knowledge test applicant has up to two hours to complete the test.
Appendix 1 Table (Change)II. Airspace & Requirements

15 – 25%

II. Airspace & Requirements

8- 15%

(Change)V. Operations

35 – 45%

V. Operations

13-18%

Appendix 4 (Add)Part 47
DeleteAC 60-22 (Aeronautical Decision Making)
DeleteAC 91-57 (Model Aircraft Operating Standards)
AddFAA-H-8083-2 (Risk Management Handbook)
Appendix 5 (Abbreviations and Acronyms)  (Delete)AAS (Airport Advisory Services)
AddACR (Airman Certification Representative)
AddAKTC (Airman Knowledge Testing Center)
AddATC (Air Traffic Control)
ChangeCFI (Certified Flight Instructor)CFI

(Certified Flight Engineer)

DeleteDPE (Designated Pilot Examiner)
AddDOT (Department of Transportation)
AddFTN (FAA Tracking Number)
DeleteGCS (Ground Control Station)
AddIACRA (Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Applicant)
DeleteIFO (International Field Office)
DeleteIFU (International Field Unit)
DeleteMOA (Military Operating Area)
AddODA (Organization Designation Authorization)
AddRPE (Remote Pilot Examiner)
ChangeUNICOM (Aeronautical Advisory Communications Stations)UNICOM (Universal Integrated Community)
DeleteUTC (Coordinated Universal Time)
DeleteVMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions)
AddVLOS (Visual Line of Sight)

Sign up for the Newsletter to Receive Important Updates and Articles.

The FAA Part 107 ACS also included a helpful table.

 

AC 107-2 sUAS

Part 61 Pilot Certificate Holders with a Current Flight Review

Online Application After Knowledge Test [1] 

Paper Application [2] After Knowledge Test [1]

Online Application After Online CoursePaper Application [2] After Online Course
Submit an online application using Integrated Airman Certification and/or Rating Application (IACRA.)

 

Receive email notification to print and sign a temporary certificate through IACRA.

 

Receive a permanent certificate by mail.

Complete FAA Form 8710-13 and mail it with the original copy of your Knowledge Test Report to:

 

DOT/FAA Airmen Certification Branch, AFS-760 PO Box 25082 Oklahoma City, OK 73125

 

Do not receive a temporary certificate

Receive a permanent certificate by mail.

Submit an online application using IACRA.

Meet with an FAA-authorized individual [3] to validate your:

• IACRA application ID number

• FAA Tracking Number (FTN)

• Identification

• Online course completion certificate

• Pilot certificate

• Flight review documentation

Receive a temporary certificate in person (or if meeting with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), receive email notification to print and sign a temporary certificate through IACRA) [4].

Receive a permanent certificate by mail.

Complete FAA Form 8710-13.

Meet with an FAA-authorized individual [3] to validate your:

• FAA Form 8710-13

• Identification

• Online course completion certificate

• Pilot certificate

• Flight review documentation

Receive a temporary certificate in person (except when meeting with a CFI)[4]

Receive a permanent certificate by mail.

 

Continue to the 41 Part 107 Sample Test Questions and Answers………….


Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.

Part 107 (ACS) Airmen Certification Standards Explained

Tape measureWhen Part 107 was released, a flurry of other documents and website material came out also. Everyone skimmed through but did not take the time to really study things carefully. The FAA released a draft version of the Part 107 (ACS) Airmen Certification Standards for remote pilots. The ACS is really a standard by which to measure if you are qualified.

Did you know that the ACS draft version and the final version differ significantly in certain places? Two of the most significant changes were the percentages of certain test subjects were INCREASED. Keep reading to find out. Everyone went out and started studying or developing courses based upon it, but I don’t think anyone paid attention to the little things. This ACS, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airman Certification Standards, is what you are going to need to know going forward to study. If it is not in the ACS, then it isn’t on the test.

UPDATED: I created free 100+ page Part 107 test study guide. The study guide has the material the FAA suggested you study, but I added essential material they left out. It also include 5 “cram” summary pages of test material. It also comes with 41 sample Part 107 exam questions that are answered and explained.

What is the Part 107 ACS?

It is a “comprehensive presentation that integrates the standards for what an applicant needs to know, consider, and do in order to pass both the knowledge test . . . for a certificate or rating.”

The FAA released a pdf of FAQ’s on ACS in general.

How do I use the ACS to study for the Part 107 exam?

The sUAS ACS includes Areas of Operation and Tasks for the initial issuance of a Remote Pilot Certificate with an sUAS rating. You should study to know the material listed. Each task in the ACS is coded according to a scheme that includes four elements. For example:

UA.I.B.K10:
UA = Applicable ACS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems)
I = Area of Operation (Regulations)
B = Task (Operating Rules)
K10 = Task element Knowledge 10 (Visual line of sight (VLOS) aircraft operations)

I’m a Part 61 pilot. What about those Practical Test Standards (PTS)?

“The ACS is basically an enhanced version of the Practical Test Standards (PTS).” If you are a manned aircraft pilot, you most likely remember the PTS. The ACS will replace the PTS, but since this Part 107 exam is brand new, their is no remote pilot PTS. It is just a brand new remote pilot ACS. Unfortunately, if you are taking a knowledge exam, the areas you missed on the exam will be displayed on a print out as a learning statement code (LSC ), not an ACS code. “The [FAA] is contracting for a test management services system that will include this capability. In the initial ACS implementation phase, however, applicants, instructors, and evaluators will continue to see PLT codes on the airman knowledge test report.”

Is there a video explaining the ACS?

Here is a video explaining the ACS as it is being implemented generally. This isn’t a Part 107 specific video but is helpful to understanding more about the ACS.

 

So what significantly changed between the draft and final version?

 

Continue to the next page…………….