Part 107


How to Fly Your Drone at Night (Waivers, New Regs, Training, etc.) [2019]

Interested in obtaining a Part 107 night waiver to fly your drone at night?

This article will dive into why you want a night waiver, some of the benefits of a night waiver, the different definitions of night, 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.

Table of Contents

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would you want to fly your drone at night?

  • Real Estate Photography – A soon to be built building wants photos of what the night skyline looks like at that elevation.
  • Concerts/Events Filming – Some of these typically last into the night.
  • Wedding Photography – Evening/night weddings or where the reception party lasts into the night.
  • Cinematography – When you need to get that night shot.
  • Perimeter Security – Powerplants, manufacturing plant, sensitive infrastructure, etc.
  • Roof Inspections – You check for warm spots on the roof in the evening/night which reveal the damaged areas of the roof retaining water.
  • Firefighting at Night – Fires happen 24/7.
  • Law enforcement – Bad guys like the night.
  • Monitoring Wildlife/Livestock – You can use the drone to count wildlife or livestock at night.

What is needed for night flying?

Anytime a person or business wants to fly a drone after civil twilight (30 minutes after sunset), they need a night waiver.

Once you obtain the night waiver, you operate under the restrictions in the waiver. One of the requirements says the drone must have an anti-collision light that is visible for at least 3 statute miles. There are after market anti-collision lights you can attach to your drone if it is not equipped with sufficient lighting.

Does a model aircraft flyer need a night waiver? 

No, only non-recreational operators flying under Part 107 need night waivers. Additionally, government entities can obtain waivers for their departments to fly under.

How long does a night waiver last?

4 years.

What airspace can I fly in under a night waiver?

The waiver is good for all of Class G airspace. You can obtain authorizations to operate at night in Class B, C, D, or E @ the surface. The night waivers say, “Operations under this Waiver are to be conducted in Class G airspace only unless specific airspace authorization or Waiver is received from the FAA in accordance with § 107.41[.]” You can apply for the night waiver and an airspace authorization at the same time OR you can do a night waiver now and then later do an airspace authorizations when needed.

Can my company/agency/ department obtain the night?

Yes, the organization can obtain one night waiver and all the employees fly under it.

Can I hire you for a night waiver?

Yes, I charge a 1,000 flat fee which includes:

-1 night waiver application (for you or your company) which lasts for 4 years and is good for all of Class G airspace.

-30 minutes of answering any of your drone law questions.

-Monitoring and pushing the waiver application through the FAA to approval.

-Providing you with night training material that is needed for the waiver.

Why are you qualified to handle my night waiver?

-I’ve been in it from the beginning. One of my night waivers was in the very first batch of FAA 107 waivers approved on August 29, 2016.

-Experience. I have 100+ approvals.

-Time Savings. Let me handle the paperwork as opposed to you figuring things out.

– Qualified. I’m a licensed attorney and FAA certificated flight instructor which means I am extremely qualified to answer your aviation law questions.

-Insurance. I have malpractice insurance which protects you in case I mess up.

-Confidentiality. Our communications are protected by the attorney-client privilege. Additionally, the Florida Bar rules require me to maintain our communications confidential. “Consultants” do not have this requirement and any communication with a consultant is not privileged meaning the FAA or law enforcement can compel the consultant to testify against you.

-Secure. The Florida Bar did a very intensive background check on me. I’m currently in good standing with the Florida Bar and have no disciplinary record. www.floridabar.org/mybarprofile/109249 How safe is your information with other people?

How can I get started hiring you?

Click here to contact me. Send me an email and I’ll send you a contract and invoice.

 

 

107-night-waiver-fly-cow

 

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 44807 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 44807 Operators

  • Section 44807 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 44807 exemption; however, those in the northern latitudes got goofed over and could actually operate longer under a 44807 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

       

  • 14 CFR § 61.57(b) does NOT apply because you aren’t carrying passengers. Interestingly, some of the early section 333 exemptions (now section 44807 exemptions) 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 exemptions.
  • First off, this section is only for 44807 operators, not 107 operators. 14 CFR 91.209(a) is applicable only to those operating at night.

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.”

Future Regulations For Night Flying

In the beginning of January 2019, the FAA published a notice of proposed rule making which allowed for night flying without a waiver. Unfortunately, I don’t think this regulation will become effective till 3-5 years from 2019. I wrote a Forbes article summarizing what was in the lengthy notice of proposed rule making. Basically, the FAA will require those taking the initial and recurrent knowledge exams to learn night flying information.  I have created a night operations training course.

Night Operations Training (Night Illusions and Physiological Conditions Which May Degrade Night Vision)

The night waivers being granted by the FAA say, “Prior to conducting operations that are the subject of this Waiver, the remote PIC and VO must be trained, as described in the Waiver application, to recognize and overcome visual illusions caused by darkness, and understand physiological conditions which may degrade night vision. This training must be documented and must be presented for inspection upon request from the Administrator or an authorized representative;”

Below is a sample video of the night operations training course I created.

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 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 9-11 PM 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.  Note: the chart supplement legend says this:

When part–time Class C or Class D airspace defaults to Class E, the core surface area becomes Class E. This will be formatted as:
AIRSPACE: CLASS C svc ‘‘times’’ ctc APP CON other times CLASS E:
or
AIRSPACE: CLASS D svc ‘‘times’’ other times CLASS E.

When a part–time Class C, Class D or Class E surface area defaults to Class G, the core surface area becomes Class G up to, but not
including, the overlying controlled airspace. Normally, the overlying controlled airspace is Class E airspace beginning at either 700´
or 1200´ AGL and may be determined by consulting the relevant VFR Sectional or Terminal Area Charts. This will be formatted as:
AIRSPACE: CLASS C svc ‘‘times’’ ctc APP CON other times CLASS G, with CLASS E 700´ (or 1200´) AGL & abv:
or
AIRSPACE: CLASS D svc ‘‘times’’ other times CLASS G with CLASS E 700´ (or 1200´) AGL & abv:
or
AIRSPACE: CLASS E svc ‘‘times’’ other times CLASS G with CLASS E 700´ (or 1200´) AGL & abv.

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.


Ultimate Guide to FAA’s Part 107 (14 CFR Part 107)

The FAA released Part 107 on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Part 107 provides for individuals to obtain their “Remote Pilot Certificate” which is what you need if you want to fly your drone commercially.

Part 107 will provide a certificate as well as operating rules for drone operators who do not fall into recreational drone operations. The two main groups that will benefit will be the commercial drone operators and public sector operators.

A large majority of the drone operators will fall into Part 107 which will be line of sight, under 55 pounds, daylight, less than 100 MPH, and below 400ft; however, this is not a complete fix for everyone. Keep reading below to see what will not be covered by 107. Keep in mind that Part 107 is not the only regulation that could apply to your flight. I created an ultimate guide to U.S. Drone Regulations Guide here which talks about other drone regulations. 

Table of Contents

I. Summary of the Major Provisions of Part 107

1. General:

Part 107 does not apply to:

  • Model aircraft that satisfy all of the criteria specified by 49 U.S.C. § 44809.
  • Public aircraft
  • Section 44807 exempted aircraft operating under regulations.
  • Air carrier operations.

2. Operational Limitations:

  • At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close enough to the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS for those people to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses.
  • Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  • Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
  • Must yield right of way to other aircraft.
  • May use visual observer (VO) but not required.
  • First-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid” requirement but can be used as long as requirement is satisfied in other ways.
  • Maximum groundspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a structure.
  • Minimum weather visibility of 3 miles from control station.
  • Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with the required ATC permission.
  • Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission.
  • No person may act as a remote pilot in command or VO for more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
  • No operations from a moving aircraft.
  • No operations from a moving vehicle unless the operation is over a sparsely populated area.
  • No careless or reckless operations.
  • No carriage of hazardous materials.
  • Requires preflight inspection by the remote pilot in command.
  • A person may not operate a small unmanned aircraft if he or she knows or has reason to know of any physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of a small UAS.
  • Foreign-registered small unmanned aircraft are allowed to operate under part 107 if they satisfy the requirements of part 375.
  • External load operations are allowed if the object being carried by the unmanned aircraft is securely attached and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft.
  • Transportation of property for compensation or hire allowed provided that-
    • The aircraft, including its attached systems, payload and cargo weigh less than 55 pounds total;
    • The flight is conducted within visual line of sight and not from a moving vehicle or aircraft; and
    • The flight occurs wholly within the bounds of a State and does not involve transport between (1) Hawaii and another place in Hawaii through airspace outside Hawaii; (2) the District of Columbia and another place in the District of Columbia; or (3) a territory or possession of the United States and another place in the same territory or possession.
  • Most of the restrictions discussed above are waivable if the applicant demonstrates that his or her operation can safely be conducted under the terms of a certificate of waiver.

3. Remote Pilot in Command Certification and Responsibilities

  • Establishes a remote pilot in command position.
  • A person operating a small UAS must either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who does hold a remote pilot certificate (remote pilot in command).
  • To qualify for a remote pilot certificate, a person must:
    • o Demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by either:
      • Passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center; or
      • Hold a part 61 pilot certificate other than student pilot, complete a flight review within the previous 24 months, and complete a small UAS online training course provided by the FAA.
    • Be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.
    • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Part 61 pilot certificate holders may obtain a temporary remote pilot certificate immediately upon submission of their application for a permanent certificate. Other applicants will obtain a temporary remote pilot certificate upon successful completion of TSA security vetting. The FAA anticipates that it will be able to issue a temporary remote pilot certificate within 10 business days after receiving a completed remote pilot certificate application.
  • Until international standards are developed, foreign-certificated UAS pilots will be required to obtain an FAA-issued remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

A remote pilot in command must:

  • Make available to the FAA, upon request, the small UAS for inspection or testing, and any associated documents/records required to be kept under the rule.
  • Report to the FAA within 10 days of any operation that results in at least serious injury, loss of consciousness, or property damage of at least $500.
  • Conduct a preflight inspection, to include specific aircraft and control station systems checks, to ensure the small UAS is in a condition for safe operation.
  • Ensure that the small unmanned aircraft complies with the existing registration requirements specified in § 91.203(a)(2).
  • A remote pilot in command may deviate from the requirements of this rule in response to an in-flight emergency.

4. Aircraft Requirements

  • FAA airworthiness certification is not required. However, the remote pilot in command must conduct a preflight check of the small UAS to ensure that it is in a condition for safe operation.

II. Actual Text of Part 107 with Guidance Material

drone-regulation-page-outline

I have created pages for almost all of the regulations below. The pages were designed to help people study the regulations.  Each page has the (1) actual text of the law, (2) my commentary on the law and maybe supporting links, (3) relevant portions of the FAA’s advisory circular on the particular regulation, and (4) the FAA’s discussion on the topic or particular regulation from the preambles of final rule.

PART 107

Subpart A—General

§ 107.1 Applicability.
§ 107.3 Definitions.
§ 107.5 Falsification, reproduction or alteration.
§ 107.7 Inspection, testing, and demonstration of compliance.
§ 107.9 Accident reporting.

Subpart B—Operating Rules

§ 107.11 Applicability.
§ 107.12 Requirement for a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.
§ 107.13 Registration.
§ 107.15 Condition for safe operation.
§ 107.17 Medical condition.
§ 107.19 Remote pilot in command.
§ 107.21 In-flight emergency.
§ 107.23 Hazardous operation.
§ 107.25 Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft.
§ 107.27 Alcohol or drugs.
§ 107.29 Daylight operation.
§ 107.31 Visual line of sight aircraft operation.
§ 107.33 Visual observer.
§ 107.35 Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft.
§ 107.36 Carriage of hazardous material.
§ 107.37 Operation near aircraft; right-of-way rules.
§ 107.39 Operation over human beings.
§ 107.41 Operation in certain airspace.
§ 107.43 Operation in the vicinity of airports.
§ 107.45 Operation in prohibited or restricted areas.
§ 107.47 Flight restrictions in the proximity of certain areas designated by notice to airmen.
§ 107.49 Preflight familiarization, inspection, and actions for aircraft operation.
§ 107.51 Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft.

Subpart C—Remote Pilot Certification

§107.53 Applicability.
§ 107.57 Offenses involving alcohol or drugs.
§ 107.59 Refusal to submit to an alcohol test or to furnish test results.
§ 107.61 Eligibility.
§ 107.63 Issuance of a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.
§ 107.64 Temporary certificate.
§ 107.65 Aeronautical knowledge recency.
§ 107.67 Knowledge tests: General procedures and passing grades.
§ 107.69 Knowledge tests: Cheating or other unauthorized conduct.
§ 107.71 Retesting after failure.
§ 107.73 Initial and recurrent knowledge tests.
§ 107.74 Initial and recurrent training courses.
§ 107.77 Change of name or address.
§ 107.79 Voluntary surrender of certificate.

Subpart D—Waivers

§ 107.200 Waiver policy and requirements.
§ 107.205 List of regulations subject to waiver.

III. Important Documents or Websites:

IV. Important Articles on Part 107:

V. NON – PART 107 OPERATIONS

For any of the operations listed below, a drone operator could NOT fly purely under the FAA’s Part 107 operating rules but would need to be authorized via a waiver, Public COA, a special Section 44807 Exemption (formerly called a Section 333 exemption), or a SAC/COA combo.  Contact me if you are interested in any of these types of operations.

  • Beyond Visual Line of Sight
    • Power line inspections
    • Search and rescue
  • Night Operations
    • SAR at night
    • Firefighting at night
    • Inspections using thermal equipment in hot environments and night is the best time to use the equipment.
    • Cinematography for TV/movie night scenes
    • Inspections on critical time/sensitive material that require 24/7 monitoring (example: turbidity monitoring for dredging operations)
    • Sports at night.
  • 55 Pounds and Heavier
    • Package delivery
    • Crop dusting
    • Firefighting retardant delivery
    • High-end LIDAR to monitor crops such as lumber. The LIDAR is used to detect the diameter of the wood so the loggers know which forest to harvest first.
    • Cinematography (Dual Red Epics for 3-D filming or full Arri Alexa with lens and a large stack of batteries for extra flight time.)
  • Higher than 400ft and 400ft away from the object.
  • 100 MPH and Faster
    • Survey large areas fast
    • Fast package/medical delivery
  • Operation Over Persons
    • Concerts
    • Live news events
    • Sports
  • Operations from a Moving Vehicle in non-sparsely populated areas.

VI. Summary of Important Changes From Proposed Part 107 to the Final Rule

Anything that is in BOLD and UNDERLINED is different. Anything in [BRACKETS] means I inserted it because there were a few typos that needed clarifying. Small little differences were NOT noted so as to improve readability.

PART 107 NPRM

FINAL PART 107

“Pilots of a small UAS would be considered ‘operators’”Called Remote Pilots
“Be at least 17 years old.”“Be at least 16 years old.”
“Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center.”“Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center (or pass this online course, for Part 61 certificate holders).
“Report an accident to the FAA within 10 days of any operation that results in injury or property damage.”“Report an accident to the FAA within 10 days if the sUAS operation results in serious injury or property.”
“Maximum altitude of 500 feet above ground level.”“Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level.”

The change from 500ft to 400ft makes sense in that there is a buffer zone now between drones and fixed-wing manned aircraft. See 14 C.F.R. 91.119 which places fixed-wing aircraft at a minimum of 500ft in non-congested areas. Remember that altimeters for manned aircraft can be incorrect sometimes, especially when going from high pressure to low pressure or high temperature to low temperate. (High to low, look out below.)


Remote Pilot Airmen Certification Standards Explained (2019)

Tape measureIf you are wanting to become a remote pilot, you need to know what is in the Remote Pilot Airmen Certification Standards (ACS).

What Are the Airmen Certification Standards (ACS)?

An ACS 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.” There are multiple types of airmen certificates (private, commercial, remote, etc.) that are issued by the FAA which each have their own privileges an  Each of these certificates have their own ACS.  The ACS is really a standard by which to measure if an applicant is qualified in an objective way. The FAA released a pdf of FAQ’s on ACS in general.

Here is a video explaining the ACS as it is being implemented generally.

How Do I Use the Remote Pilot Airmen Certification Standards to Study for the Part 107 Exam?

The Remote Pilot Airmen Certification Standards 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)

The ACS also tells you how the test will be weighted which can allow you to more wisely spend your time when studying. Some topics make a large portion of the knowledge exam which means you should master those topics.

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.”

Has the FAA Change the Remote Pilot Airmen Certification Standards?

Yes. The FAA issued a draft Remote Pilot ACS in 2016 and later issued an updated ACS in July 2016. The most current ACS is dated June 2018. Two of the most significant changes below are the percentages of certain test subjects were INCREASED. Many created study courses, guides, material, etc. to help individuals study for the Part 107 exam used the draft Remote Pilot ACS. I’m not sure how many of them knew that the ACS was updated so buyer beware online.

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.)

Changes Between the Draft and the July 2016 Remote Pilot ACS.

LOCATION

NEW

DRAFT

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)

 

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.


Free Part 107 Test Study Guide For FAA Remote Pilot Airmen Certificate (Updated 2019)

 

Needing a Part 107 study guide to help really focus in on what needs to be studied so you can pass on the first try?

I 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. 

There are two tests: the initial and recurrent knowledge exam. Pick which one of these tests below to be taken to the portion of this page that is directly applicable to you.

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.

 

Part 107 Test Study Guide Table of Contents (Pick One)

First time test taker study guide.

Recurrent knowledge exam study guide.

 

 

First Time Test Taker Study Guide

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, 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.)

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

First Timers Step-by-Step Game Plan:

Step 1. Read all the steps.

Step 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 538 pages of material you need to read. Yes, I know there are only 135 pages in THIS document. I reference pages in other documents below.

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

Step 4. Start studying the material below.

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 in this document in the back.

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.

Step 7. After you passed 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. Now go find a competent flight instructor who can help you apply the knowledge you learned to real life situations so you can be profitable, legal, and safe.

 

Tips For While You Are Studying:

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. There are two reasons why you should look for this supplement and know what is in it: (1) there are helpful legends which will be great for answering sectional map questions and (2) many questions on the test will reference some of the figures in this supplement. At the end of your studying, you should skim through and ask yourself questions based on 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.

 

Free Material to Start Studying

The FAA compiled a list of references in the final ACS and FAA study guide. Unfortunately, they did not include everything you need or would find helpful. Below I have included the extra items that the FAA should have included, which are in the bold text.

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?

The total number of regulations and pages is very 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.

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, let me know so I can correct it and inform everyone.

Reference

Title

Read Entirely

14 CFR Part 45 (Subpart A & C)Identification and Registration Marking
14 CFR part 47 Aircraft 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 (65 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)

·         More Part 107 Test Questions for Remote Pilot Knowledge Test (22 Super Hard Practice Questions)

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 (21 pages)

·         Pages 13-44

AC 00-6  (200 Pages)Aviation Weather  (42 Pages)

·         Thunderstorms (19-1 through 19-11)  (11 Pages)

·         Winds / Currents (Chapter 7 – 6 pages) (Chapter 9 – 9 pages) (Chapter 10 – 9 pages).

·         Density Altitude (Sections 5.3 through 5.5 – 6 pages).

·         Effects – Temperature (Pages 5-10 through 5-12 already covered)

·         Effects – Frost Formation (Section 22-4  – 1 page)

·         Effects – Air Masses and Fronts (Section 10-1 through 10-8  – already covered)

AC 00-45 – Aviation Weather ServicesAviation Weather Services (17 pages)

·         Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF) (Pages 5-75 through 5-92 – 17 pages)

·         Thunderstorms

AIM Aeronautical Information Manual (54 pages)

·         General Airspace (3-1-1 through 3-5-10  – 26 pages)

·         Authorization for Certain Airspace

·         Airport Operations (4-3-1 through 4-3-4  –  4 pages)

·         Aeronautical Charts (9-1-1 through 9-1-4 Don’t read past Caribbean VFR aeronautical charts.  – 3 pages)

·         Radio Communications – Non-towered & Towered  (4-2-1 through  4-2-8  6 pages)

·         Traffic Patterns

·         Traffic Advisory Services

·         Phonetic Alphabet

·         Scanning / See and Avoid  (4−4−14 & 8−1−6   –  4 pages)

·         NOTAMs (5−1−3  –  6 pages)

·         Temporary Flight Restrictions (3−5−3 Overlap)

·         Hyperventilation (8−1−3  – 1 page)

·         MOA (3−4−5  Overlap)

·         Sources – Weather Briefings / Sources (7−1−2   –  1 page)

·         Prescription and OTC Medications  (8−1−2   –  3 pages)

FAA-H-8083-2Risk Management Handbook

·         Situational Awareness (2 pages)

FAA-H-8083-25Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (77 Pages)

·         Loading/Performance –  Balance, Stability, Center of Gravity (Pages 5-33 through 5-43  – 11 pages)

·         Aeronautical Decision Making – Crew Resource Management (Pages 2-4 through 2-32  29 Pages)

·         Aviation Routine Weather Reports (METAR) (13-6 through 13-8  – 3 pages)

·         Military Training Routes

·         Other Airspace Areas (15-4 through 15-7 – 4 Pages)

·         Reading a Chart

·         Aeronautical Charts (14-3, 16-2 through 16-7 – 7 pages)

·         Informational Sources (1-9 through 1-12  4 pages)

·         Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF) (13-9 – 1 page)

·         Hazardous Attitude (Page 2-4  through 2-6    –    4 Pages)

·         Crew Resource Management  (G-8  – 1 page)

·         Situational Awareness  (2-22  1 page)

·         Effective Scanning  (17-23   1 page)

·         Drugs and Alcohol  (17-15 through 17-18   – 4 pages)

·         Effects – Atmospheric Stability and Pressure   (12-12  through 12-17  – 6 pages)

·         Effects – Temperature

·         Weather Briefings / Sources  (13-5  1 page)

·         Prescription and OTC Medications

FAA-CT-8080-2HAirman 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,

 

Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Taking Tips:

A bunch of the questions on your test will be answered right by the legend in the supplement. You CAN refer to this while in the test. Make sure the test proctor gives you the correct one that is up to date prior to going into the test. I heard one horror story where the person had an old one so the questions didn’t match up. Make sure you have a current one!

Go with the “spirit of the question,” not the letter of the question. Try and figure out what the FAA is trying to test you on. Remember that these questions were most likely created very hastily and do not make perfect sense. When I took the test, I remember a few questions that looked like they were written by someone who was up at 2AM trying to crank out tons of questions. If you are stumped, then ask yourself, “What is the guy up at 2AM in the morning trying to test me on?”

Always keep in mind how the answers can answer OTHER questions. If you don’t know the answer, or eliminate the wrong ones, keep moving on. Sometimes the questions and answers further down will provide you the answers to the one you are having trouble with. When I took the test, I noticed that there were two questions that were very similar in topic. One of the questions had two really dumb answers which basically gave away the correct answer. If you knew nothing about the topic, just using common sense to eliminate the two bad answer, you could have used the correct answer to answer the first question.

Brain dump everything immediately onto your scrap paper when you start the test. You want to write down everything you think you will forget on the scrap piece of paper. Just dump it all out and any pictures and diagrams you have up in your head.

Try and answer the question BEFORE you read the answers so you don’t get tricked. The FAA likes to create answers where one is a slight “one-off” from the correct answer. By reading the answers, you can introduce doubt. For example, Federal Aviation Administration or Federal Aviation Agency? Which is it? They both seem like good answers.  Is it MSL or AGL?

Eliminate the wrong answers. If you can’t fined the correct answer, find the wrong ones.

Read the test question AND answers carefully. I cannot over emphasize this.

Sleep and eat well. I would just sleep 8-10 hours. Take the test around 10AM-12PM. This way you aren’t rushed and can miss rush hour traffic as you drive there. When I was in law school (3-4hour exams) and taking the Florida bar exam (2 full 8 hour days), I had to make sure my body wouldn’t go out on me. I would eat very greasy foods right before I would go in so I wouldn’t be hungry while I would take a Kombucha vitamin B shot right. Check with your doctor to make sure this is ok with you. The vitamin B would start metabolizing by the time I took the test or started answering questions.

 

 

 

 

Recurrent Knowledge Test Study Guide

If you need help calculating when you need to take your test by, see my article on 107.65 Aeronautical Knowledge Recency. 

Game Plan:

Step 1. Read all the steps. Understand this is for the recurrent exam, NOT the initial exam. That is another study guide on my website.

Step 2. Figure out when you need to take the test by. See the section below talking about when aeronautical knowledge currency expires.

Step 3. Sign up for the test. Instructions on signing up for the test 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 335 pages of material you need to read. Yes, I know there are only 138 pages in THIS document. I reference pages in other documents below.

Step 4. Learn about the Airmen Certification Standards (ACS) and read over the Part 107 ACS.

Step 5. Start studying the material below based upon what was listed in the ACS regarding the recurrent knowledge exam.

Step 6. 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 in this document in the back. Keep in mind that some of those questions are on things that won’t be on the recurrent exam such as weather. You might want to skip those questions or take a crack at it to see if your knowledge is still good.

Step 7. In the final stretch of time, study Area I (the regulations) and Area II (airspace & chart reading) from the ACS since both of those areas will make up 60-80% of the test. Maybe go through the 107 regulations paid video course at Rupprecht Drones with 100+ questions?

 

Helpful Comparison Tables Between the Initial and Recurrent Knowledge Tests

Not everything is on the recurrent knowledge exam like it was with the initial. Here is a table I created for the online video training course on Part 107 being sold over at Rupprecht Drones.

initial versus recurrent remote pilot (aka drone license) test

The percentages of questions on topics have changed also.

Let’s dive into the three areas to see what is covered.  All of Area I (Regulations) and Area II (Airspace & Requirements) are on the recurrent exam. Nothing from Area III (Weather) or Area IV (Loading & Performance) is on the exam.

Area V (Operations) is mixed.

A. Radio Communications ProceduresNOT on Test
B. Airport OperationsOn Test
C. Emergency ProceduresOn Test
D. Aeronautical Decision-MakingOn Test
E. PhysiologyNOT on Test
F. Maintenance and Inspection ProceduresOn Test

 

Tips For While You Are Studying

  • 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. The test center should provide you a copy. You can’t bring your own. 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 (2) many questions on the test will reference some of the figures in this supplement. At the end of your studying 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 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.

 

Free Material to Start Studying

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

The FAA compiled a list of references in the final ACS and FAA study guide. Unfortunately, they did not include everything you need or would find helpful. Below I have included the extra items that the FAA should have included, which are in the bold text.

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?

The total number of regulations and pages is very 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.

The recurrent knowledge exam will be 40 questions and you will have 1.5 hours to complete it. The minimum passing score is 70% which is a maximum of 12 questions wrong or a minimum of 28 questions right.

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

Reference

Title

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 (65Questions 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)

·         More Part 107 Test Questions for Remote Pilot Knowledge Test (22 Super Hard Practice Questions)

Area I (Regulations)- Read Entirely

14 CFR Part 45 (Subpart A & C)Identification and Registration Marking
14 CFR part 47 Aircraft 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

Area II. (Airspace Classification and Operating Requirements) & Area V (Operations)

Aeronautical Chart User’s GuideAeronautical Chart User’s Guide (21 pages)

Pages 13-44

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

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)

AIM Aeronautical Information Manual

·         General Airspace (3-1-1 through 3-5-10  – 26 pages)

·         Authorization for Certain Airspace

·         Airport Operations (4-3-1 through 4-3-4  –  4 pages)

·         Aeronautical Charts (9-1-1 through 9-1-4 Don’t read past Caribbean VFR aeronautical charts.  – 3 pages)

·         Traffic Patterns

·         Scanning / See and Avoid  (4−4−14 & 8−1−6   –  4 pages)

·         NOTAMs (5−1−3  –  6 pages)

·         Temporary Flight Restrictions (3−5−3 Overlap)

·         MOA (3−4−5  Overlap)

FAA-H-8083-2Risk Management Handbook

·         Situational Awareness (2 pages)

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

·         Aeronautical Decision Making – Crew Resource Management (Pages 2-4 through 2-32  29 Pages)

·         Military Training Routes

·         Other Airspace Areas (15-4 through 15-7 – 4 Pages)

·         Reading a Chart

·         Aeronautical Charts (14-3, 16-2 through 16-7 – 7 pages)

·         Informational Sources (1-9 through 1-12  4 pages)

·         Hazardous Attitude (Page 2-4  through 2-6    –    4 Pages)

·         Crew Resource Management  (G-8  – 1 page)

·         Situational Awareness  (2-22  1 page)

·         Effective Scanning  (17-23   1 page)

FAA-CT-8080-2HAirman 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,

TEST TAKING TIPS

  • USE THE SUPPLEMENT LEGEND! A bunch of the questions on your test will be answered right by the legend in the supplement. You CAN refer to this while in the test. Make sure the test proctor gives you the correct one that is up to date prior to going into the test. I heard of one horror story where the person had an old one so the questions didn’t match up. Make sure you have a current one!
  • Go with the “spirit of the question,” not the letter of the question. Try and figure out what the FAA is trying to test you on. When I took the test, I remember a few questions that looked like they were written by someone who was up at 2AM trying to crank out tons of questions. If you are stumped, then ask yourself, “What is the guy up at 2AM in the morning trying to test me on?”
  • Always keep in mind how the answers can answer OTHER questions. If you don’t know the answer, or eliminate the wrong ones, keep moving on. Sometimes the questions and answers further down will provide you the answers to the one you are having trouble with. When I took the test, I noticed that there were two questions that were very similar in topic. One of the questions had two really dumb answers which basically gave away the correct answer. If you knew nothing about the topic, just using common sense to eliminate the two bad answer, you could have used the correct answer to answer the first question.
  • Brain dump everything immediately onto your scrap paper when you start the test. You want to write down everything you think you will forget on the scrap piece of paper. Just dump it all out and any pictures and diagrams you have up in your head.
  • Try and answer the question BEFORE you read the answers so you don’t get tricked. The FAA likes to create answers where one is a slight “one-off” from the correct answer. By reading the answers, you can introduce doubt. For example, Federal Aviation Administration or Federal Aviation Agency? Which is it? They both seem like good answers.  Is it MSL or AGL?
  • Eliminate the wrong answers. You don’t have to always find the correct answer, just the wrong ones.
  • Read the test question AND answers carefully. I cannot over emphasize this.
  • Sleep and eat well. I would just sleep 8-10 hours. Take the test around 10AM-12PM. This way you aren’t rushed and can miss rush hour traffic as you drive there.

Having Trouble Learning the Material?

All the material you need to pass the remote pilot knowledge exam is in this page.  To help speed up the learning process, I’ve been creating online training courses for the sister company Rupprecht Drones. Some people want to learn quicker or don’t have to read so I created online courses to meet their needs that are on Rupprecht Drones. I’m planning on creating many more online courses to help individuals quickly learn the material for the remote pilot knowledge exam so frequently check in. These courses also are great for company training and recurrent training to keep the pilots and crew proficient. The courses on Rupprecht Drones are:

Part 107 Regulations Online Training Course (test prep, waiver compliance, recurrent training, etc.)  40 videos and 35 quizzes totaling to over 100 questions for the entire course!

Night Operations Online Training Course for the Night Waiver. This is the training needed to fly under the Part 107-night waiver. It consists of 8 videos and 8 quizzes. If you pass it, you print out the certificate and keep it for your records in case the FAA audits you.

This is Part of a Part 107 Series of Articles.


FAA Part 107 Test Questions (65 Questions Explained) [2019]

part-107-test-questions

Interested in finding some practice FAA Part 107 test questions to help study?

This article will discuss the 65 sample Part 107 knowledge test questions based upon my knowledge as a practicing aviation attorney and current FAA certificated flight instructor.

The Part 107 initial knowledge exam will be 60 questions and you will have 120 minutes 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 Part 107 recurrent knowledge exam has 40 questions. You have 80 minutes to complete the exam. You need 70% to pass.

Both the initial and the recurrent quizzes are below.

Table of Contents:

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 the test material. It also comes with 65 sample Part 107 exam questions that are answered and explained.
  2. You should take the practice quiz that I have below. At the end of the quiz it will give you a breakdown of what areas of the quiz you need to study.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. If you sign up for my drone law newsletter, you’ll receive the PDF of the entire 65 questions answered and explained.

Part 107 Practice Initial Knowledge Exam Quiz

Loading

Part 107 Practice Recurrent Knowledge Quiz

Loading