If you are a member of the United States and you own a drone, you know that some rules were made. Thankfully these rules didn’t kill us, they didn’t stop us from flying for commercial use, but they did give us a reasonable way to deal with drones in all kinds of different situations.
After living in the U.S. for 22 years and flying for about a year, I realize that there are people who use drones for other things than work or art. I myself use the drone for both “work and art” and can say that I am happy with what the FAA announced, after assuming they were going to announce something a lot worse.
Now, as a photographer myself, I know that everyone loves tests because they prove how much you actually know about something. I am happy to say that they have come up with a test to be a UAV Pilot and you will have to answer 60 multiple choice questions. Welcome back to school. Here is a link to the study guide you can use and I will also include a link to the testing centers throughout the U.S. (If you don’t live in the U.S., these rules and tests may be different if it’s something they do all over).
Things to Be Aware of:
- Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
- Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation
- Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
- Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
- Emergency procedures
- Crew resource management
- Radio communication procedures
- Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
- Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
- Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
- Airport operations
- Maintenance and pre-flight inspection procedures
Overall, as sarcastic as I was about the test, it is going to be a thing that all pilots need to do. Make sure you know what you need to know so you can pass; it's only a one time thing. When flying, we should always be serious and understand the laws, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun every once in a while. Fly safe, especially for commercial use, and understand the consequences if you want to take a risk and break the rules.
Lead image by Flickr user Alberto G., used under Creative Commons.