If you are going to start a drone business or make money flying a drone, the first thing to do is to get commercially certified. We think this is the first step even before purchasing your first drone. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that drone pilots have a commercial certification (license) and follow a specific set of rules in order to fly drones for business. The certification is issued after the pilot successfully passes a written test and a background check. Click here for more information from the FAA.
How to pass the test:
The FAA provides a test prep booklet for free. Click here to download it. This book can be intimidating especially for people that are new to the aviation world. If you need a little more help than the FAA book, there are a few options.
There are many apps available to help study for and pass the FAA test. Some are better than others and ultimately, you want an app that will teach you what you need to know, not just help you memorized questions and answers. Make sure the app you choose is not just an electronic version of flash cards.
There are courses available both in person and online to teach pilots what they need to know for the test. If you take a course, make sure it’s reasonably priced. Some courses are too expensive for what they teach. An online course may be similar to an app that you download so compare what you get with what you pay. If a course costs substantially more than the comparable solution, make sure to ask questions before signing up. Remember, the FAA Remote Pilot Certification is the only certification that matters. If a course promises a certification by the company that provides the course, it may not have any real value.
The most important thing is to learn the material. The goal is to get the certification but you must understand the material. The more you fly, the more you will use the information you learned.
Here’s our pro tip for commercial certification:
Sporty’s Pilot Shop is a very well respected and longtime provider of aviation products including pilot training solutions. We recommend starting with them for test prep. Click here to see their solutions.
They also have an app so check the app store to see if it’s available for your mobile device.