Calling all Hobbyists and those wanting to fly commercially (legally)
There are 2 million flights every day in the US. This doesn’t include recreational aircraft, military flights & those carrying freight. With the introduction of sUAS technology into the navigable airspace, the FAA has been concerned about the safety of all who use that airspace. That’s why this course was developed. It’s proficiency and award based through the FAA Wings Pilot Proficiency Program (after its submission is approved) when you complete the course -AND- we all work together to make the airways safer.
Currently, the FAA requires all small Unmanned Aerial System operators to be licensed pilots (and have their 333 Exemption) in order to operate a UAS for commercial business. This means hundreds of thousands of people in various industries like (Photography, Real Estate, Construction, Land Surveying, Building Inspections, Video & Production companies) are frustrated & can’t legally fly until they met that pilot qualification, which could cost upwards of $15,000 to acquire!
Hundreds of thousands of hobbyists want to make money and are waiting for the FAA to decide their fate. Many didn’t wait and started operating without proper authorization only to be visited by the FAA via phone call or letter. Some who have already filed for their FAA 333 Exemption are still waiting for approval.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. You could pass this course, take the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test, get your TSA background check through the Transportation Security Administration and fly – legally, faster than getting your 333 exemption request approved – without having to become a licensed pilot! The FAA wants you to be educated in flying your sUAS. The background check is under review and may not be required, but we left it in just in case.
These classes are specifically designed for sUAS operators, taking their experience and course knowledge, to pass the FAA Aeronautical Education Test(*). The course will include the following (this is a partial list):
- Aerodynamics of small Unmanned Systems
- For Fixed-Wing and Quadcopter sUAS
- Weather – on a micro level
- From general circulation to weather at the surface
- Wake Turbulence
- Thermal Inversions and Turbulence
- Federal Aviation Regulation
- Rules that pertain to sUAS integration
- Understanding of Controlled Airspace
- Types of Controlled Airspace
- Communicating to operate in Controlled Airspace
- How to file NOTAMS online
- Aeromedical Factors associated with flight operations
This is just a partial list of the course content.
So whether you are only operating as a hobbyist or for commercial purposes, this course will prepare you to pass the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test which will be mandatory and MUST be made available no later than 6 months after the President signs the FAA Modernization and Reform Act into law. The goal of this course is for you to be knowledgeable in FAA rules and regulations associated with operating a small Unmanned Aerial System. While there is no age limit to take this course, to receive FAA certification for commercial sUAS operations, you’ll need to be at least 17 years old. You’ll need to maintain certification through continuing education classes every 2 years once you receive initial certification.
(*) Congress is mandating that this FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test must be made available, electronically, within 180 days of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95) goes into effect.
Greg MacMaster is a former State Representative, an FAA approved Wings Instructor, a licensed private pilot, College Instructor, Aviation Meteorologist and sUAS commercial pilot – FAA approved having flown hundreds of hours and thousands of flights and is committed to providing consumers and prospective business operators of unmanned aircraft systems the tools to know how to fly safely and responsibly before taking to the skies.