At Drone Universities, we love teaching people how to fly drones. It’s safe to say it’s in our blood; our core team has over 150 years of Aviation and UAS experience. That’s why I love reading articles like Peter B. Nichol’s “Drone certification: how to earn your wings.” Peter contributed this piece to the IDG Contributor Network and I found it on CIO.com.
“Drone certification: how to earn your wings” is a great read that highlights what you need to learn to legally operate your drone. In it, Peter covers recreational usage under FAA Part 101, commercial drone usage under FAA Part 107, drone registration requirements, and even a short glossary of industry terminology. Interested? Then read on …
Before you read how to become a drone operator, I wanted to share my aviation journey briefly and explain why I’m qualified to help you on yours. I earned a pilot’s license many years ago in Schenectady, N.Y., and hold FAA commercial pilot certificates for single-engines, multi-engines, seaplanes and a handful of others. Recently, in December, I added the “Remote Pilot” certificate, and it’s definitely one of the most fun certificates to use.
If you’d like to fly a small unmanned aircraft system, there are four methods:
- Public aircraft flying with a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA)
- A civil aircraft, flown under an exception (Section 333)
- Non-recreational (Part 107)
- Recreational or hobby use (Part 101)
If you picked number four and are ready to fly drones commercially? Then let us get you ready for FAA Part 107.
Did you register your drone? Unsure if you need to? You need to register your drone when:
- The drone is over 0.55 lbs. (250 grams)
- The drone is 55 lbs. (25 kg) or less
- The drone will be flown within the United States
When should you be flying under Part 101?
- The drone be flown for recreational (non-compensated) use only
- At no time will the drone be flown at night or above 400 feet AGL
- The drone will be flown in compliance with community-based standards
When should you be flying under Part 107?
- The pilot operating the small UAS holds a remote pilot’s certificate from the FAA
- The drone weight does not exceed 55 lbs. (25kg)
- Drone speeds will not exceed 100 mph (87 knots)
- At no time will the drone be flown above 400 AGL
- The drone will only operate in uncontrolled airspace (Class G)
- The drone will be not be flown at night and flown only during the daytime (within 30 minutes of sunrise and sunset)
While you may have just skimmed through my TL;DR, I highly recommend you take the time to read Peter’s “Drone certification: how to earn your wings” article. It’s highly informative and worth the time.