How To Start Studying For The FAA’s New Part 107 Commercial Aeronautical Knowledge Test For Drone Pilots



Are you looking to start making money flying your drone here in the US?

Then as of August 29, 2016 it’s a really good idea to get familiar with the FAA’s new Part 107 drone rule for commercial pilots. Otherwise, if you fail to comply with this new rule you could be liable for fines of $1,100 per violation. Yikes!

Maybe you’ve thought about using your drone to capture imagery from the air for real estate agents, weddings, films and commercials or maybe you want to use your drone to inspect homes, construction sites, or to conduct aerial surveying. Or maybe you have been doing all of the above already and have been operating in some of the “gray”.

Well if there is money being exchanged then you will definitely want to make sure you take the necessary steps to become an FAA-Certified Commercial Drone Pilot starting August 29, 2016.



For starters, the new Part 107 rules require drone pilots to get a Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small Unmanned Aircraft Rating, which is basically a license you get after passing an in-person 60 question test that costs about $150.

Part 107 rule - question breakdown

Part 107 rule – question breakdown

The test is said to be pretty hard and after researching the sample tests I can see why. The test includes an aeronautical knowledge test, which requires you to be able to read and understand aeronautical charts, understand and decipher aviation weather reports and learn the new operational drone rules.

Check out some of the sample questions via this 40 question FAA sample test to get a feel for what I am talking about or check out a couple sample questions below:

FAA Part 107 practice question 5

FAA Part 107 practice question 4

If you’re starting to feel a little overwhelmed like I was check out a great resource down below that I highly recommend!

FAA Part 107 practice question 0

Once you are ready, call one of the 690 FAA approved knowledge testing centers to make your appointment to take the test (you can schedule it right now if you want). Then study up, and take the test!


Long banner part 107



Once you pass the test you then move on to the next step, which is having to pass a background check by TSA (Transportation Security Administration) to determine whether or not you are a security risk.

Once all of those steps have been successfully completed the FAA will issue you a certificate giving you permission to fly a drone for commercial purposes.

If you think all this seems a bit crazy I have to say the new Part 107 rule is a much better and faster process compared to the old way. Before this new rule, you were required to fill out a massive application, then get very expensive flight training and obtain an actual aircraft pilot’s license which costs thousands of dollars and hours and hours of studying.

That was pretty overkill considering we just wanted to fly a drone. Thankfully the new Part 107 addresses much of the original problems for obtaining commercial permission as a drone pilot.

If you have more questions about the Part 107 rule then chances are the answers can be found on this very detailed FAQ post here.



With all that being said, if you are anything like me you will want some help with studying for this test. I’m a visual learner and tend to easily doze off and daydream, especially after scanning through the all the documents the FAA has put out (like this 624-page document and this 122-page handbook).

So I’ve purchased, with my own hard earned money, an online test-prep course called Drone Pilot Ground School.

Drone Pilot Ground School course 2

The Drone Pilot Ground School course was created by Alan Perlman, founder of UAV Coach, along with David Jensen, a Certified Flight Instructor and aviation professor.

The goal of this online course is to prepare you to pass the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test so you can get up and running as a commercial drone pilot as soon as possible.

Drone Pilot Ground School course 3

The Drone Pilot Ground School cost $299 and features:

  • 30+ video/text lectures on exactly what you need to know
  • 5 practice tests to test what you are learning
  • top notch phone/email support from the instructor
  • a clean and simple interface
  • and a 30-day money back guarantee!


This course contains a wealth of knowledge on the following topics: drone flight operations, National Airspace System (NAS), Small UAS Loading & Performance, Drone Laws & FAA Regulations and Weather & Micrometeorology.

Drone Pilot Ground School course 1

Here are a few reasons why I personally purchased this specific course:
  • The FAA’s test will cost $150 so I want to pass it the first time and avoid having to take it again and cough up another $150
  • It saves me time because I would rather spend my time doing what I love, like capturing aerial imagery, rather than take a gamble weeding through all the FAA’s documents and handbook guessing what I need to know in order to pass the test
  • The training can be completed in a quick 10-15 hours
  • If I am going to be making money with my drone, I see this as a small but worthwhile investment
  • Alan actually worked with a certified flight instructor and aviation professor to develop this course so you know it is top notch
  • I learn better watching someone else
  • Alan’s other courses on Aerial Mapping, Modeling, Cinematography and Thermal Imaging have all been wildly successful and very well received
  • And to top it all off Alan has a 30 day 100% money back guarantee which helped ease my always skeptical mind whenever I am looking to buy something on the internet


UAV Coach Drone Pilot Ground School

I’m currently making my way through the course and I have to say it is very well put together. I honestly would not recommend it if I didn’t believe in the quality of what was being offered.

There is so much to know so I am thankful that this course has structured everything for me in an easy to understand and organized way so I can learn exactly what I need to know, how to study and how to be a better, safer drone pilot.

If you’re looking for a $50 discount on Drone Pilot Ground School then click on any of my links on this page or enter “DIRK50” at the checkout window!

Quick disclaimer: This blog is simply a hobby and labor of love for me. Therefore, if you’re interested in purchasing the Drone Pilot Ground School course I would be grateful if you would help support this website by purchasing it through one of my affiliate links or any of the banners that you see. I became an affiliate partner after purchasing the course and running through it. If you decide to use my affiliate link, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks so much for your support in this way!

Long banner part 107
Tell me in the comments below what you plan to do as a result of the FAA’s new Part 107 ruling. I would love to hear your plans!


Have a question or comment? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or just drop a comment down below.

About the author
Dirk Dallas, also known as @dirka online, is the founder and curator of From Where I Drone, a blog dedicated teaching drone pilots how to capture better aerial photos and videos.









13 Comments on “How To Start Studying For The FAA’s New Part 107 Commercial Aeronautical Knowledge Test For Drone Pilots

  1. Just so I have this right and from what I have read so far, this will not apply to me and I won’t need this certificate if I do not fly my drone for commercial purposes(hobby flying/photography)?

  2. How is the training going? Have you taken the exam yet? If so, how did it compare to the preparation course you are writing about?

    Thanks for all of the great info on this site!

    • Hey Adam, about 98% of our students have reported passing their test so far. In total, just over 350 students since August 29th. It’s not rocket science, but it takes deliberate study, particularly when it comes to weather and micrometeorology and understanding airspace and airport operations. Most of our students take about 15-20 hours to study.

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  6. your drone school course, how long do I get to use it. Time limit or use it at my pace?

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  8. I’m having trouble finding the answer to my dilemma.I live and work in China, all of my footage are within China. Do I need the part 107 to sell my footage, say in a stock agency?

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