In this video I describe the essential things you need to know about drone training in the USA. If you want to become a drone pilot who operates UAV for hire or reward in the USA’s National Airspace System then stay tuned. I’m going to explain the basics in plain English and mention some websites that may be of use to you in your training and career.
This video is specific to drone training in the USA. There is another video in this playlist about the processes for training in the UK. Check my channel and playlist for details and perhaps you’d like to subscribe so that you’ll be the first to hear about new videos on related sujbects.
The information I provide here is based on my understanding of the information provided by the FAA. You are strongly advised to check the details yourself and discuss them with your training organisation for clarity.
Know Your Regulations and Laws
Let’s discuss some of these rules, specifically tose for the professional pilot, as laid out on the FAA’s website at http://www.faa.gov/uas/
This is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommend that you check the FAA website for the most recent updates and the full list of regulations. Everything you need to know is there and it should be your prime source of information.
Professional Drone Pilot Requirements
1. You must be at least 16 years old. There is no minimum age requirement for drone hobbyists but due to labor laws one must be of a certain age before being paid for a service.
2. In order to fly a UAS under the Small UAS Rule (Part 107) you must have the Remote Pilot Airman Certificate. There are hundreds of FAA approved training organisations accross the USA who can train you for the exam. If you’re a Private Pilot with a Part 61 certificate and you’ve had a flight review in the past 24 months then you can elect to take an online training course that focuses on UAS knowledge. See http://www.faasafety.gov for details.
3. You will need to pass TSA (Transportation Security Administration) vetting. As most Americans already know, they’re the ones who control who can fly, even as a passenger on an airplane. They carry out security checks on would-be professional drone pilots in the interest of clients, companies, and the government.
UAV Aircraft Requirements:
Your drone must weigh less than 55 lbs for safe and legal flight and it must be registered with the FAA if it weighs over .55 lbs. You can register your drone at registermyuas.faa.gov. If your UAV weighs more that 55 lbs then it must be registered using the paper based registration process.
Your UAV flights will be restricted to Class G airspace. There are various apps available as well as physical aeronautical charts that show the division of airspace in a given area.
Download the FAA’s own B4UFLY app and it will tell you if there are any restrictions in your location. Your training school will teach you how to read aeronautical charts and how to understand the division of airspace.
You will also need to do a pre-flight check of your UAV. This should be obvious to anyone operating any aircraft for any reason. Pre flight checks reduce the risk of mechanical malfunctions and the potentially disterous and expensive consequences of your drone crashing.
Small Unmanned Aircraft Regulations (Part 107)
The fastest route to obtaining an RPC, Remote Pilote Certificate is to attend a course provied by an FAA approved training organisation. There are actually many of these available online, but you may need to be willing to go to an on-site campus for part of the course so you can get hands-on training.
In addition to certification courses, there are also supplemental classes you can take to enhance your skillset.
With the right education and training you will be well on your way to becoming a successful professional drone pilot in the field of your choosing.
If you’re looking for information about how to start a drone business using RPAS in the USA then watch this video and pick up some tips on getting certified.
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