There is no question that drones are the future in GIS. Sure they have an enormous presence in the industry today, but at a capacity that is microscopic to what it will be in the future. ESRI has even taken recognition by launching the robust Drone2Map software. If you haven’t had the chance to play with this software or at least watch some tutorials on it, I would highly recommend you do so.
So about the CFR Part 107 Exam…
Back in August of 2016 the FAA instituted regulations that must be adhered to when piloting any UAV. This means you must obtain a certificate for commercial use here in the United States. Commercial use simply means that you’re either flying on behalf of your employer or you’re flying it personally to earn money.
Now to get your certificate you must pass an aeronautical exam that was developed by the FAA and is administered by the FAA. This is no joke either.. It isn’t something you can go and pass using the product of elimination or just plain common sense. You MUST STUDY. As long as you care about passing the exam and you study for a good week (about 2 hours per night), you’ll be fine.
Some basic info to know if you’re going to go after your certificate.
- There are 60 multiple choice questions
- There are 3 answers to choose from
- You must earn a 70% to pass
- You must take it at an FAA testing center
- The test costs $150.00
- You must wait 2 weeks to retake it if you fail on your first attempt
- When you finish your test, you’ll know right away what your score is
My studying approach…
I chose to read the actual Part 107 study guide that the FAA released word for word. Once I read all 70+ pages and let it wash over me, I went back through and made some notes. On top of this, I watched YouTube videos discussing airspace classifications, how to interpret weather reports, how to read sectional charts, and other things that I found to be a bit abstract from the FAA’s study guide. Once I did all of these things I had created quite the study guide. Well… my girlfriend had created quite the study guide haha. She took it upon herself to organize all the information into an interpretable document that she could quiz me with. We studied for roughly 5 or 6 days and then I went and took the exam. I earned an 83%. I felt that the amount of studying I did was a bit of an overkill, but I learned quickly during the exam that I was lucky I studied as much as I did. I expected an A, but an 83% gets me off the ground so I was happy with that.
If you’d like to discuss the exam with me please just shoot me an email. I’d love to help in any way I can.
Here is the FAA issued study guide to get you started: