How we’re certified
In order to fly your drone under the FAA ‘s Small UAS Rule (Part 107), you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA . This certificate demonstrates that you understand the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones.-FAA May 19, 2021
First, I took training from remotepilot101.com. I really liked this course. It was easy to understand. I could complete the entire class on my iPhone. Practice exams and recurrent testing are all included for one price. You can go back any time to refresh your skills as needed. RemotePilot101.com covers unmanned aerial vehicle rules and regulations, airspace, weather and weather sources, UAS loading and performance, crew resource management, airport field operations, radio communications, emergency procedures, preflight and maintenance and they prepare you to take the final exam. Airspace was by far the most difficult category.
Then, I obtained an FAA Tracking number called an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile prior to registering for the knowledge test.
After that I scheduled an appointment with a FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center. In Sacramento where I was licensed, it was at the old Executive Airport.
I had to pass the initial aeronautical knowledge test: “Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG)”. Plus, I had to pass a TSA Security Background check.
With that done, I was issued my first Remote Pilot Certificate in April 2017. Every 24 months, I have to re-certify with a written exam online. So I recertified again in 2019, and 2021. No additional license is issued, just your updated certificates. We call it ‘recurrent’. I keep my recurrent certificates handy in a binder, that I carry with me at all times. My binder has copies of my maintenance logs, FAA equipment registration numbers, insurance certificates, and handy items like regulations for flying in or near state parks. I wear my license around my neck in a lanyard case.