Excitement is buzzing throughout the drone industry since August 29, 2016! The FAA has finally launched their new drone laws under Part 107. So what does this mean? The simple answer is, folks can now become a “remote pilot” and fly drones commercially (for money), without needing a real pilots license (Part 61 certificate).
With improving technology, drones are becoming a regular thing in many different industries. Why… because drones are extremely versatile and they can be customized to do many incredible things. This is certainly great, but I will say, with this great power, comes great responsibility.
The majority of people think drones are toys, and some even think they are dangerous or even invasive. It’s like anything, if in the wrong hands, drones can become a big problem really fast. This is why it’s critical that drone pilots get the proper training and fully understand how to be safe, professional and know where they can and cannot fly.
The FAA has released an aeronautical knowledge test that once you pass, you will be known as an official “remote pilot.” Since this test is so new to everyone, those preparing to take the test don’t know what material to exactly study. I’ve seen many companies jumping on the “drone training” bandwagon and they provide a study guide that looks decent, but won’t help you much. A fair word of warning, be careful which study guide you choose to gain your understanding of the FAA laws of Part 107.
I came across a company called Gold Seal. Gold Seal has been providing study guides for FAA exams for over 10 years. They’ve had over 45,000 students and pilots registered since the inception of the Gold Seal Ground School program. They have also recently created a study guide for the Part 107 knowledge test.
I was able to take their study course and just wanted to give you my honest opinion. The course is broken down into four main sections. Within those sections are a series of lessons and practice tests. The entire course takes about 7 hours to complete. After completing the course, I learned a good bit about the fundamentals of FAAs laws and how they pertain to drones. The UAS sections I already knew from my past 17 years of RC experience.
This study guide prepared me for about 70% of the Part 107 written exam. I took the exam on the first day the FAA launched it, August 29, 2016. About 30% of the questions I was unfamiliar with; thankfully I still passed with flying colors. With that being said, Gold Seal did cover all of the areas that were on the test, however there were specific details in the study guide that were not covered. To be fair, no one knew what questions were going to be on the test since the exam is brand new and was only released two days ago (August 29, 2016).
I know Gold Seal is going to be updating their curriculum as time progresses, which will allow their study guide to better prepare individuals for the Part 107 test. Gold Seal charges $249 for their study guide and your account with them is good for four years before needing to renew. This is great, because once you need to study for the exam again in 2 years, you can go back through the curriculum without having to buy it again. A convenient feature for sure!
After taking Gold Seal’s study guide, and passing the aeronautical test on my first attempt, I would recommend individuals wanting to go for their remote pilot license to go with Gold Seal.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Gold Seal has been in the FAA study guide industry for over 10 years. They know how the FAA thinks and the nature of the written exams.
- Gold Seal is going to be updating their study guide with more accurate information, which will increase the viewer’s knowledge of Part 107.
- Once you sign up with Gold Seal, your account is valid for four years, therefore allowing you to study for the test again in 2 years.
- All of the material you’ll need to know is under one roof (Gold Seal), and you don’t have to research multiple websites for accurate information.
- All of the material is easily explained with simple illustrations to understand.
Aerial Cinema Training
I also wanted to mention that we at VidMuze have produced a Drone Video Tutorial Series (175 tutorials) from a Filmmaker’s perspective for those of you wanting to advance your aerial cinematography skills. You can check out more info about it here.