Step by step instructions to Become a Drone Pilot

With a little work on, steering a robot can turn out to be natural. In the event that you simply need to fly one for the sake of entertainment, you should simply figure out how to control it and keep laws that manage drone use. Nonetheless, directing robots industrially is a quickly developing industry, and you could transform your leisure activity into a check. To work a robot industrially in the United States, you’ll need to get a distant pilot confirmation from the FAA –Federal Aviation Administration.

Learning to Fly a Drone

Register your robot in the event that it gauges more than 0.55 pounds (250 g). In the United States, you should enlist a robot that weighs between 0.55 pounds (250 g) and 55 pounds (25 kg) with the FAA. Enlisting your robot online is straightforward:

  • You’ll be prompted to register a new account by entering your email address and creating a password. You’ll receive a verification email with a link. After clicking the link, you’ll enter your information and agree to FAA safety guidelines, then you’ll receive a registration number.
  • You only need 1 registration number, even if you have multiple drones.
  • You’ll need to fill out a paper form to register an unmanned vehicle over 55 pounds (25 kg). In addition, you’ll need to apply for a special exemption in order to fly it. Exemptions are rarely given to those without a pilot license

Start practicing with a toy drone. If you’ve never flown a drone before, practice with an inexpensive toy before trying to fly a vehicle that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. You wouldn’t want to risk damaging an expensive model. Once you’ve gotten a feel for the controls and can maneuver a toy, move on to a more advanced model.

  • Go for a toy under $100 (US) with a separate transmitter (the remote control) that mimics larger, more advanced models. Don’t practice with a toy operated by smartphone.
  • Most inexpensive toy drones weigh less than 0.55 pounds (250 g) and don’t need to be registered.
  • When you’re ready to upgrade, choose a drone that fits your needs and budget. Battery life is key, so look for models that can fly for 20 to 30 minutes. Most consumers want drones with cameras, but models with good quality video cameras cost a minimum of several hundred dollars. You can find drones with lower quality cameras for around $250.
Learn the controls. Transmitters that control drones come in all shapes and sizes, but they all feature basic, universal controls:

  • The left thumb stick controls throttle, or propeller speed, and yaw, or the direction the drone points. Push the thumb stick forward and backward to increase and decrease the throttle. Push it left and right to rotate the drone clockwise or counterclockwise.
  • The right thumb stick controls pitch and roll. Push it forward and backward to adjust the pitch and move the drone forward or backward. Push it left and right to control the roll and turn the drone left or right.
  • Remember that when the drone is facing you, the directions are switched. Think about when you and another person face each other. From your perspective, their right arm and leg are on your left side.
Take off by pushing the throttle forward. With gentle pressure, push the left thumb stick forward to open the throttle. Keep applying pressure until the drone rises off of the ground. Practice slightly increasing and decreasing the throttle to get a feel for how it causes the drone to lift higher and lower.

  • Don’t lift the drone any higher than eye level when you’re just starting to practice.
  • You’ll engage the throttle constantly while the drone is in the air.
Hover by making slight adjustments with both sticks. The drone will hover when you engage the throttle, but you’ll probably find that it starts to waver. Try making small adjustments with the right stick until the drone steadily hovers without wavering. While it’s hovering, rotate the drone by turning the left stick to the right (for clockwise rotation) or left (counterclockwise).

  • Experiment with the controls to get a feel for what happens when you move the sticks in different directions. Make slight adjustments instead of pushing the stick as far as you can.
Practice flying straight, in square patterns, and in circles. Once you get the hang of hovering, push the right stick slightly forward to move the drone forward, then push it backward to move the drone back. Push it forward, right, backward, and left to fly the drone in a square. Try pushing the right stick diagonally to the upper right corner, then gradually rotating it clockwise to fly the drone in a circle.

  • While you practice flying and turning, the drone’s height might decrease. Increase throttle by pushing the left stick forward. Remember to make small adjustments and keep the height low when you’re practicing for the first time.
Land the drone by gently pressing down on the throttle. To land the drone, have it hover by returning the right stick to the center position. Decrease the throttle by slowly taking pressure off of the left stick. When the drone is hovering very close to the ground, disengage the throttle to make your landing.

  • A soft patch of grass or dirt is a better landing spot than hard pavement.
  • Always turn off the transmitter when you’re done flying.
Follow the FAA’s unmanned aircraft rules. Lots of FAA regulations apply to drones, and you should familiarize yourself with the full list ( Key rules include no nighttime flying, keeping the drone within sight, no flying over people (other than people involved in flying the drone), no flying above 400 feet (120 m), and no flying from a car, boat, or other vehicle.

  • You also need to let any airports within 5 miles (8.0 km) know that you’re flying a drone.
  • You can apply for an exemption to any FAA drone regulation (for instance, if you want to fly at night), but it can take months to process and there’s no guarantee they’ll approve the exemption.
  • Visit the FAA guidelines page to start your exemption petition. You’ll need to write a letter that includes all of the following information: your name and contact info, the specific regulation that your exemption request is for, why you need the exemption, why flying the drone would still be safe without the exemption, how long you’d need it, and any additional relevant information that might support your case. You’d then submit your petition online or mail a paper copy.

Taking the Remote Pilot Test

Make sure you meet the minimum licensing requirements. You must be 16 years or older to apply for a remote pilot certificate. In addition, you must be able to read, write, speak, and understand English. You need to be physically and mentally fit to safely operate an unmanned vehicle.

  • For example, conditions like epilepsy or equilibrium and balance problems could disqualify you.
  • In the United States, you’ll need a remote pilot certificate to fly a drone commercially. You don’t need a license if you’re just flying for fun, but you’ll need it if you want to make money as a drone pilot.

Locate a nearby test center. There are nearly 700 test centers across the United State

Make an appointment with one of the test management companies. Some test centers allow you to walk in and schedule a test date, but many require you to make an appointment by phone or online. When you register for the test, you’ll have to pay a fee of $150 (US).

Use the FAA’s study materials. The FAA offers plenty of resources to help prepare you for the test, which covers topics like airspace classification, operational requirements, and effects of weather on aviation. You can find a full list of resources here:

Look for third-party study guides. While the FAA offers lots of helpful resources, they’re not always in plain, simple English. Third-party test guides, such as those on drone manufacturers’ websites, typically include less jargon.

  • Search online for “remote pilot certification knowledge test” to find study guides, videos, and other resources. Keep in mind that, other than the FAA, drone manufacturers will probably offer the most reliable information.
Bring a valid ID when you take the test. When your test date arrives, make sure you bring a valid and current photo ID, like a driver’s license, passport, or alien resident card. If your address is different than the one listed on your ID, you’ll also need proof of residency, like a utility bill.

Retake the test after 14 days if necessary. You’ll have 2 hours to complete the test’s 60 multiple choice questions, and you’ll need to score a 70 or higher to pass. If you don’t do so well the first time, you can take the test after 2 weeks.

  • Aside from waiting 2 weeks, there aren’t any limits on how many times you can retake the test. However, keep in mind you’ll have to pay the registration fee each time you retake it.

Applying for a Remote Pilot Certificate

ake the FAA online course if you’re a licensed pilot. If you’re already a licensed pilot, you don’t have to take the knowledge test. You can just take the free FAA online course on piloting unmanned vehicles:

  • When you take the test, the test center verifies your identity. If you’re a pilot and aren’t going to a test center, you’ll need to meet with a certified flight instructor or other FAA-authorized official to have your identify verified.
Use the IACRA system to submit an online application. It’s easiest to apply for your certificate online using the IACRA (Integrated Airmen Certification and Rating Application) system: Register, then log in with your newly created username and password, and follow the prompts to fill out the application.

  • After passing the knowledge test or, if you’re a pilot, completing the online course, you’ll receive a code to enter into your application.
  • You can also file a paper application, but it takes longer to process.
  • There is no application fee. The only cost involved in getting your remote pilot certificate is the test registration fee.
Check your email for a link to your temporary certificate. After you submit your application, the FAA will forward your information to the TSA (Transportation Security Agency) for a security background check. After successfully completing the check (typically within 48 hours), you’ll receive an email with instructions about printing your temporary license.

  • Your permanent license will arrive in the mail. It can take up to 90 days to receive your hard copy, but your temporary license is valid for 120 days. If the expiration date approaches and you haven’t received your hard copy, contact the FAA at (877)-396-4636.
Renew your certification in 2 years. Congratulations! You can now start making money by flying your drone. However, your remote pilot certification expires after 2 years, and you’ll have to retake the knowledge test in order to renew it.

  • You’ll also have to pay the $150 registration fee every time you retake the test.
Put your certificate to use. You can now start applying to jobs in the entertainment industry, real estate, military, and other fields. Search online for job postings for commercial drone pilots or unmanned aircraft systems operators. Contact businesses such as real estate firms and utility companies in your area and ask if they might be interested in your services now or in the future.

  • In the United States, you can earn as much as $1000 per day operating a drone. Create a business card and website. Most drone piloting jobs are freelance, so you’ll essentially be building your own business.
  • You can also advance your skills to make yourself a more competitive applicant. Universities and drone operation schools offer general piloting lessons and courses on specific jobs, such as flying a drone to film a movie scene or to inspect cell phone towers.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.