I’m utterly surprised and/or confused by the FAA’s required test for drone “pilots”. Am I reading the correct information? I’m a tree scientist, landscape architect, arborist. I use my DJI 4 on DroneDeploy auto to make simple landscape maps at roughly 150-200 feet over residential properties. Sometimes I fly it around a 50-150 foot tall tree to identify tree diseases.
According to the FAA, I’m expected to answer questions like: "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… " and “With ATC authorization, you are operating your small unmanned aircraft approximately 4 SM southeast of Elizabeth City Regional Airport (ECG). What hazard is indicated to be in that area?..”
Is this real? Or am I completely in the wrong loop here? Is there versatility for people in my situation who have absolutely zero intent on learning this level of aeronautics? DJI seems to be moving towards producing nearly-autonomous products…
-Confused and possibly ranting.
From what I understand, if you are using the UAS for personal, hobby, Non-Commercial use, you are NOT required to take part in Part 107. However if the intent of flying is to earn money from the results of flying then its in your best interest to pass Part 107. That said, I think the FAA has to cover A LOT of possible factors when putting together a 60 or so question test to give a person license to fly in our friendly sky (50 ft or 500ft). Thus I am afraid you will want to prepare for answering questions that are outside of your current use case. There are a multitude of YouTube videos and other venues to find knowledge to use in preparation. Good luck… I don’t think you are alone in your feelings… The 107 ruling is significantly better than where things were with the 333 exception process. One step at a time.
If you are using your drone for commercial gain (you’re being paid for your work), then you are required to be certified under Part 107. I took it and passed a few days ago, and yes those are questions which are the majority of the test. Its because while you may not intend to use your equipment in such a manner, the certification also allows you to fly your drone within controlled airspace and you need to understand how to do so in a safe manner and communicate safely with Air Traffic Control.
Just study and pass. Its not that hard.
I’m 75 you know my mind is going but I took the test on the first day it was available Aug 29 and passed.
You can take a free class at FAASafety.gov after the online class you can take the a practice test. This is the course that existing pilots take to get their sUAS certificate.
The actual test I needed, not being a pilot is 60 Questions 2 hour time limit but at $150.00 – I did and would advise most to spend a little time preparing.
Or Hire a professional Drone Pilot. That’s what we do best
Just because it seems idiot proof doesn’t mean it is. Autonomous is only as Autonomous as the next contingency limited by the people who programmed it.
What is DJI going to do for you when you say “I programmed it to fly using third party software” and there is a problem?
Best story I ever heard was a professional pilot passed over because of a 10% difference in salary requirements. He said “I hope you don’t meet any $87,000 emergencies with your $78,000 pilot”
He was hired the next day.
If you’re a landscape architect and using a drone in your business, then yes you need Part 107 Certification. If you’re a roofer using a drone for before and after pics for your own portfolio then yes…same applies because they consider that commercial use!
I ended up getting a pilot’s licence to fly a drone commercially. Then the law changed when I was mostly through flight school, which removed this requirement. The side benefit is that I can rent and fly a plane. But, I also found that getting blanket liability insurance for drone operation was a lot easier and cheaper with an airplane pilot’s licence.
I will also say that understanding airspace from a pilot’s perspective has been valuable. Frequently, DJI’s information about airspace class is incorrect. I use a sectional to figure out the airspace I am flying in, rather than the DJI app.
For example, most of Nashville, TN city limits is Class C airspace down to the surface, while the DJI app states Class E.