Why We’re Excited to Get Rid of a Drone Academy Course

Usually, we spend most of our time trying to add more training to Drone Academy but today, we’re excited to delete one of our courses!

Why We’re Getting Rid of Our Training

If you’ve been following the FAA news lately, you may know which one we’re talking about. If not, let me be the first to tell you…as of today, we have removed our Part 107 Recurrent Knowledge Exam Prep Course. This means that you can no longer train for the Recurrent Exam on our site.

Worried? Don’t be. We’re only removing this course because as of yesterday, Part 107 Certificated Drone Pilots will never have to take the Recurrent Exam (UGR) ever again!!!

You read that correctly, on April 6th, the FAA finally rolled out their new Part 107 Small UAS Recurrent Non-Part 61 Pilots (ALC-677) training course on FAASafety.gov.

This new training replaces the $160 UGR exam and allows current Part 107 Certificated Remote Pilots to renew their currency window in the comfort of their home by completing the training and successfully passing a short, 45 question ‘exam’ at the end.

This is very similar to the process that Part 61 Pilots have enjoyed for their initial and recurrent training since the beginning of the Part 107 certificate.

What’s New?

As you may be aware, this new training is part of an exciting update to Part 107 which will eventually require Remote ID but will allow night flights without a waiver and flights over people (under certain circumstances.) To that end, this training includes all the old recurrent training information as well as new sections on the following topics:

  • Physiology and unique considerations of operating at night
  • Remote ID
  • The 4 Categories of Operations Over People (OOP)

Once you have completed this training/exam (assuming you are a current Part 107 Certificate holder) you will be able to operate at night and over people once the rule goes into effect April 21st.

It’s worth noting though that the requirements for Operations Over People are a bit tricky at this point. Categories 2-3 require a Declaration of Compliance and Remote ID capability to operate over ‘Open Air Assemblies’. This will be a challenge since RID is not yet active. Category 4 even requires an Airworthiness Certificate, so don’t expect to go flying your fully-loaded M600 or Alta X over a rock concert just yet.

Category 1 UAS Operations (under 250g) will be the most attainable out of the gate but even that comes with some snags. While the Mavic Mini is under the 250g limit for Category 1, the rule requires that the aircraft “Does not contain any exposed rotating parts that would lacerate human skin upon impact with a human being.” This means that even a Mavic Mini will require propeller guards to be Category 1 compliant…and those prop guards will push the aircraft over the 250g limit. You can save about 50g by picking up a Japanese version of the Mavic Mini battery but you’ll sacrifice flight time to get within limits. Alternatively, a tiny whoop or Micro drone will probably get you in the proper weight class to fly under Category 1.

MakerFire Micro FPV, a Ready-To-Go Tiny Whoop - Half Chrome Drones
MakerFire Micro FPV

Even if flights over people aren’t on your bucket list, the ability to fly at night without a 107.29 waiver is worth the minor effort of the new training course. If you haven’t yet taken it, you can get current and unlock the new flight capabilities by taking the training here. In the meantime, we’ll be working on some new training to take up the spot left by our Recurrent Exam training and putting the finishing touches on our new mobile app 🙂

If you are not a Part 107 Certificated Remote Pilot, why not get started now! Our Part 107 Prep Course (UPDATED FOR 2021) will give you everything you need to get certified and our Community will keep you motivated and engaged along the way!

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