As most of us know, those who would like to fly for commercial use (any flying where the pilot will be paid) must now pass a test from the FAA and score 70% or over to fly legally. Now, I am a few days into studying for the test and realize that there is really a decent amount to know.
After going through most of the official study guide, I've noticed this feels like a test for actual pilots flying planes. However, whether I feel that way or not, the test is so anyone flying a UAV is aware of the airspace and rules that come with it. The study guide is mainly a reminder to us pilots, but has plenty of information most UAV Pilots wouldn't know or even expect.
Sections Directly Dealing With Drones
- Chapter 3b: Effects of Weather on Small Unmanned Aircraft Performance
- Chapter 5: Emergency Procedures
- Chapter 8: Determining the Performance of Small Unmanned Aircraft
- Chapter 10: Aeronautical Decision-Making and Judgment
- Chapter 12: Maintenance and Preflight Inspection Procedures
- Appendix 1: Study References
This is obviously my personal opinion, but I do believe a lot of these are common sense. It is good to learn a little more about these things and understand what we can do to gain knowledge in this area so no one is hurt and nothing is damaged. I may not hurt myself if I crash, but I sure will hurt my wallet if I need to replace anything, which is one of the biggest reasons I know to fly safe and responsibly.
I would also advise everyone taking the test to get familiar with all of the acronyms used because there are plenty of them. In almost every paragraph in the study guide, something is abbreviated, and you will probably want to understand what that abbreviation means in case it comes up on the test. Again, the test will cost $150 to register for and consist of 60 multiple choice questions. You must take the test in one of the testing centers approved by the FAA. Also check out Becoming a Pilot for more.
Lead image by Flickr user Walter, used under Creative Commons.