FAA Testing for UAS (Drone) Rating Begins August 29

FAA begins UAS (Drone) rating testing nationwide on Monday, August 29, 2016, for the new Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating.

Here is what you need to know to reserve your testing space and prepare for your test to receive your certificate, which will allow you to legally operate a small UAS (or drone) for commercial purposes.

Reserving a Testing Time

You can reserve a test time by:

Requirements to Take the Test

All applicants must be 14 years of age. If you’ve taken the test and failed, you must wait 14 days before you can take the test again. No proof of additional training is required to retest after a failure.

You must bring government issued photo identification with a permanent address listed (no P.O. boxes) to take the test. We describe all the accepted types of identification for U.S. citizens, resident aliens and citizens of other countries on our FAA Testing Page.

You must pay the testing fee. The written test for the Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating costs $150.

Preparing for your Test

While no endorsements are required for your test (you don’t need a flight instructor to sign you off to take it), it’s a good idea to come prepared. The FAA has stated the test will have 60 questions and you will have two hours to complete the test. You will need to receive a 70% to pass.

The FAA has outlined airman certification standards for the Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating. Reading through those standards (found here) as well as the sample questions from the test will help prepare you in advance.  Additionally, we highly recommend reading through the Advisory Circular 107-2, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which clearly outlines the rules and responsibilities of a UAS pilot in preparation. The FAA stated the test will cover the following topics:

  • Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
  • Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation
  • Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
  • Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
  • Emergency procedures
  • Crew resource management
  • Radio communication procedures
  • Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
  • Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
  • Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
  • Airport operations
  • Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures

It’s important to note the FAA has stated no ground school is required to take the knowledge test and no past training or courses taken will count toward your certificate. However, the FAA does encourage self-training, online training or taking a course to become familiar with the regulations.

Whatever you choose, be sure to study or prepare before the test, as a failure of the test requires you to take it again, repaying the fee. If you do fail the test, you’re allowed to take it again 14 days after your last attempt.

More information can be found on the PSI Website.

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