Testing Centers and UAV Rules for U.S. Drone Pilots

Testing Centers and UAV Rules for U.S. Drone Pilots

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:

  1. Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
  2. Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation
  3. Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
  4. Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
  5. Emergency procedures
  6. Crew resource management
  7. Radio communication procedures
  8. Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
  9. Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
  10. Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
  11. Airport operations
  12. 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.

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12 Comments

"Member" of the United States? The word you were looking for is resident.

Ty Poland's picture

just having some fun

Robert, Yes....? But would not a foreigner who wishes to fly a drone in the USA be required to take an FAA test depending on the circumstances. Flying inside a building - probably not. Flying for paid work - almost certainly yes - unless only ever flying indoors?

Adrian J Nyaoi's picture

In Malaysia, as long as the UAV is below 20kg in weight, there is little restriction, but above 20kg you need a PPL, and register, the UAV with DCA

Ty, I am in UK so my knowledge of drone law as it is developing in the USA has been remotely piloted and understood - the mix of FAA and State laws is novel to me.

I have followed the USA drone law approach and would say the UK is about to get a national Drone Strategy - with no doubt changes in our law.

I appreciated your post immensely and the list made me ponder on whether the UK will adopt a similar approach.

Ty Poland's picture

I'm not so sure what will happen in other countries, but I do think laws will be fairly similar to what they are here, I guess we will have to see where it goes.

Why would I want to take this test? I don't see that it's a requirement to fly in the US.

Ty Poland's picture

Taking the test will probably assure you more clients if you are using it for commercial use.

Part 107 licensing only applies to commercial use. Non-commercial or hobby/recreational use does not require a license.

Paul Ferradas's picture

Is the test available now?

Ty Poland's picture

I think August at some point. It's coming up

Matthew Odom's picture

Thanks for this article! I was waiting on this!!