It feels like a long time since commercial drone pilots in the US were asked to gain a Remote Pilot Certificate to fly drones for business purposes. Which is fair enough: it was almost two years ago that the first wave of exams was taken with the introduction of the Part 107 ruling.
As a quick refresher, the FAA’s regulations for commercial pilots went into effect at the end of August 2016, requiring that drone operators pass a UAS aeronautical knowledge test in order to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate with a small UAS rating. The Part 107 Ruling also built a much-needed framework for the dos and don'ts of commercial flight.
In case you missed it in the small print, drone pilots flying under the Part 107 banner are required to re-pass the FAA’s Remote Pilot Exam every two years. It's updated periodically, so you’ll have to get up to speed with the latest material if you want to keep your license valid.
The recertification process
This week the FAA released some details on the recertification process. Just like before, the test can be taken at one of hundreds of testing centers across the United States. But the content is a little different.
In the initial test, you might remember covering topics such as air traffic, weather and general aviation safety. According to the teaser document released by the FAA, the recertification test doesn't include questions on weather, performance or loading.
The format is similar to the initial test, though. Pilots have 90 minutes to complete the multiple choice test, which once again will require a fee at the test center of around $150.
Once you re-pass, you'll be good to go for another two years.
Don't forget to re-certify
Thousands of drone pilots in the US have licenses under the Part 107 Ruling. Many of those completed the test first time around, within days of the August implementation. With that in mind, there are plenty of pilots out there who are a matter of weeks away from needing to re-certify.
Don't make the mistake of forgetting or putting off recertification. Pretty soon you might find yourself flying illegally by accident, which could end badly.
Going back to school
Not feeling too confident about passing the test for the second time? Want to brush up on your aeronautical knowledge? We recently partnered with UAV Coach to give the next generation of drone pilots access to the best Part 107 test prep course on the market: Ground School.
Drone Pilot Ground School features a bunch of online resources to help you perfect your prep, including lecture quizzes and 5 full-length practice tests. With over 10,000 pilots trained and a frankly silly first-time pass rate of 99%, it really is a no-brainer.
Interested in joining the 99%? Use the code DRONEBASE50 at checkout to receive $50 off your enrollment!