Part 107 Study Guide
Law: Basic Regulation that you must follow!
First, let’s go over some different laws! You should expect to see several if not all the laws so memorizing them is important!
- .55lbs – The minimum weight for a drone to be registered.
- 13 Years – Age an individual must have to register the drone.
- 16 Years – Age an individual must have to take the part 107 Exam.
- 24 months – The time a Part 107 Licence is valid for.
- 400 Feet AGL– The maximum height allowed to operate a drone (Above Ground Level).
- Above/around 400 FT – The maximum height and radius allowed building that you are allowed to fly.
- 500 Feet– Must maintain the minimum distance below and clouds.
- 2,000 Feet – Must maintain the minimum distance away from. clouds
- 2,000 Feet -Must maintain the minimum feet horizontal from guy wires.
- 100MPH – Maximum Speed you can fly a drone.
- 3 SM – The Maximum distance you are able to maintain Visual Line of Sight.
- 8 hours – Amount of time you must abstain from alcohol.
- .04 -Maximum blood alcohol level.
- 1 Year – Amount of time after a narcotic conviction to apply for a Part 107 License.
- 30 minute – Amount of time before sunrise and after sunset that drone is legally able to fly.
- $500 – Of minimum damage is required before you must fill out an FAA incident report.
- 10 Days – of maximum time to file an FAA report accident.
Airspace: Controlled and Uncontrolled
As you go lower, Airports start to claim airspace. You’ll notice that Class Zones contain tiers stacked like an upside-down wedding cake. As you get lower, the tiers get smaller. Air Traffic Control (ATC) grants entry into each tier to keep other aircrafts clear of the land-way.
*You must have permission from Air Traffic Control to enter into CLASS B, C, or D airspace.
Class A Airspace 18,000 feet & Up – At the top, you have Class A airspace that covers pretty much everything within the United States. This airspace is normally reserved for Long-Distance Aircrafts going on International Transit.
Class B Airspace (3 Tiers) – Major International Airports
Class C Airspace (2 Tiers) – Regional Airports
Class D Airspace (1 Tier) – Local Airports
Class G Airspace – Free Airspace
FAA guidelines were created before the days of computers and mobile applications. Radio is the primary method that pilots communicate with ATC and other aircraft. The FAA wants you to be able to listen to ATC and be able to communicate with them. You don’t need to be perfect in pilot language but you will have to distinguish what’s real and what’s not pilot talk.
Here is a list of the pilots’ phonetic alphabet:
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.
CTAF – UNICOM the same as CTAF
This is a radio frequency that Pilots use in order to self announce and communicate with ATC. Each Airport has a different CTAF frequency which can be found on the Airspace maps (more on that later!)
MULTICOM (122.9 or 1.22.95)
This is a secondary frequency reserved for pilots looking to self-announce. Although it’s available at all airports, it is used more in smaller regional or local airports.
Let's Talk Physics!
Stalls – This happens when you exceed the critical angle of attack. For example, if your banking heavily you would be increasing your stall speed (the speed at which you would stall).
Load Factor – Measures the amount of pressure on an aircraft at any given time. For example, if you are banking heavily you would be adding more pressure to the aircraft increasing its load factor.
Center of Gravity – Drones aren’t affected as much as planes are for this variable. But there are times where bigger drones carry heavy camera equipment which shifts the weight. By changing the center of gravity beyond the allowable limits designed will impact the handling and maneuverability of your drone. The allowable center of gravity is defined in your UAS flight manual.
Sectional charts are pieces of paper with a bunch of information about the airspace directly above USA territory. If you want to pass the FAA Part 107 Exam you need to know how to read the map!
When taking the test they will have the legend which will have all the answers. It tells you just about everything you need to know to get the sectional charts questions right on the test.
This section of the legend is a small diagram. Over each airport, there will be some information including the code for the Airport and CTAF Frequency.
Floors & Ceiling
These are the upper and lower limit of any given airspace. The FAA removes ’00’ at the end of each altitude which is measured in MSL (Mean Sea Level) as oppose to AGL (Above Ground Level).
Why does the FAA still use MSL instead of AGL?
Nowadays airplanes come with GPS and sensors to determine the elevation from ground level but back when the FAA was created, planes relied on altimeters to determine sea level.
(VFR) Visual Flight Reference Checkpoint.
Planes use VFR as beacons that pilots can use during navigation during flight. There might be more planes in this area. They are concerned about drones flying into airplanes.
Towers – Towers have two altitudes the top one which is MSL and the one in parenthesis is AGL. Sectional map mark towers at their actual height.
Parachute Area – Some Airports have skydiving. It’s important to know which airports have one because divers will cross the drone flying space.
CTAF – Going back to the Airpot Data you will find a C within a circle look to the left and you will find the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency.
ATIS – Automatic Terminal Information Service monitors, broadcast weather, active runways & NOTAM.
Blue Paths (indicating frequent flight paths) – Use extra caution when flying a drone.
Prohibited Area – DO NOT FLY
Restricted Areas – denote the existence of usual often invisible hazards to aircraft, such as artillery firing aerial gunnery or guided missiles.
Military Operation Area – Drones may have the ability to fly within these areas. Exercise caution and know-how to decipher one on the map.
Military Training Routes (MTF/IR/VFR)
Latitude & Longitude
You need to know how to find a section according to the latitude and longitude. Every tick mark is one minute. You’ll be tested on counting tick marks on a map!
Latitude – goes north and south (Numbers get higher the farther you go north.)
Longitude – goes east and west (Numbers get higher the further you go west.)
True North vs Magnetic North
True North – goes straight up and goes to the North Pole. Much how you read maps you can take a perpendicular line. Sectional maps are drawn to True North.
Magnetic North – is where the earth’s polarity is. This is what traditional compasses, used by the planes, determine their position.
The FAA wants you to know a lot about flying at an airport. Basically, they want you to appreciate the complexity of flying and its most dangerous times which is taking off and landing. You still need to respect this.
Planes take off into the wind. If you have a headwind you can take off at a lower relative ground speed. Landing into the wind can help you maintain a certain amount of lift with a lower ground speed.
Planes will generally circle to the left when approaching the landing way. If ATC denies landing, the airplane will then circle left for the next opportunity to land. This keeps things orderly and prevents head-on collisions.
The runway is represented by the number of degrees that it points with a “0” dropped. Runway 9 is pointed 90° degrees (East). Runway 18 is pointed 180° degrees (South). Runway 270° is pointed to 270° degrees (West). Runway 0 is points 0° degree (North).
User Manual – This is where you look for things like a maintenance schedule and how to take care of your battery.
Maintenance Schedule – Manufacture provides it in the User Manual. If they don’t provide you one you must create one for yourself.
Chart Supplement – Have some information on Military Operation Areas (MOA), Protected Areas, and Different Airports.
*The User Manual nor Maintenance Schedules are created by DJI Products but the FAA wants you to know that in case DJI did, they would want you to know what they’re called and what they have.
Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) – Regarding Time-critical information and Emergencies. This is we’re temporary restriction over particular airspace is shown to the public.
For updated information make sure to go:
Meteorological Aviation Report (METAR) & TAF Terminal Aerodrome Forecast
Here’s an example of a METAR post:
- METAR KGG 161753Z AUTO 14021G26KT 3/4SM TSRA BR BKN008 OVC012CB 18/17 A2970 RMK PRESFR
Let’s Break it down and make some sense of the report.
- METAR – The type of report
- KGGG – K + 3 letter code for the airport.
- 161753Z – Indicates UTC time code
- 16 – the day of the month
- 1753 – Time of day
- Z – UTC time
- AUTO – Automatically generated by METAR
- 140 – Compass Heading Wind Direction
- 21 – Wind Speed in Knots
- G26KT – (Abbreviation) Gusting to 26 Knots
- You will also see this: VRB05KT
- VRB – Variable Winds
- 05KT – 5 Knots
- 3/4SM – 3/4 Statute Miles
- +TSRA BR – Indication of what the weather is actually like. Thunderstorms with Rain & Mist. The intensity of weather is described as
- + is Heavy
- • is light
- ” ” means moderate
BKN008 – Broken Clouds at 800 feet indicate the cloud cover just like earlier they are indicating altitude by dropping two zeros.
18/17 – Indicating temperature and dew point in celsius.
The FAA wants you to know about the effects of changing weather conditions on the performance of your aircraft!
Density Altitude – High altitudes have a lower density of air and Low altitudes have a higher density of air. Your drone will have the worst performance at higher altitudes. That’s why you can’t fly your drone into space, at some point the air will be so thin that the propellor won’t produce enough lift and prevent it from going any higher.
Fronts – Separate weather patterns, they are the division between the worm and cold masses of air.
Wind Shears – Are drastic changes in wind speed. Wind Shears can happen at any Altitude.
Structural Icing – Ice forming on the wings of the structure. There needs to be some sort of precipitation and it needs to be at 0 degrees celsius. Structural Icing is bad for drones.
The life cycles of a thunderstorm.
Although you shouldn’t be flying within a thunderstorm the FAA wants you to know some information about the lifecycle:
- Cumulus – Not all cumulus clouds turn into thunderstorms but all thunderstorms start as a cumulus cloud.
- Mature – The most dangerous and Intense.
- Downdraft – This is when downdrafts occur and disappear.
Humidity makes the air hazier which reduces your visibility but it also makes the efficiency of your drone a little better because the air is denser.
Unstable Air – tends to be hot and humid. Turbulence occurs when the air mass is unstable. Turbulence is caused by air that is unstable and showery.
Stable air – will have poor visibility and steady rain.
Nimbus clouds – are big heavy clouds.
Stratus clouds – are High wispy clouds.
Your Drone Team
Even though you can operate a drone as an individual, the FAA doesn’t necessarily want you to operate alone they want you to consider the fact that you might have other people on your team!
Visual observer – are just watching the drone and watching out for flying obstruction.
Remote Pilot in Command (PIC) – This is You! Or rather the individual who is actively operating the drone during flight. Remote PIC is responsible for, pre-check flight inspection, determining drone performance, etc. The FAA basically wants you to acknowledge responsibility as the REMOTE PIC.
Crew Resource Management – Must be integrated into all phases of the flight.
Hyperventilation – Breathing too much. You might be asked questions about hyperventilation, calm down, and recognize that hyperventilation is a risk to pilots.
Alcohol – Alcohol and flying drones should never mix! The presence of alcohol within the human body will adversely affect judgment and decision making abilities even by a small amount of alcohol.
Fatigue – Fatigue can be recognized as being in an impaired state.
Scanning the Sky.
The technique you should use to scan for traffic: Systematically focus on different segments of the sky for short intervals.
There are certain personality traits that increase the risk of flying they are:
Macho – behavior intended to show off or show they are the best.
Impulsivity – Lack of planning and acting at the moment
Invulnerability – Pilots who think this way are more likely to take chances and increase risk.
Resignation – Pilots who do not see themselves as being able to make a great deal of difference in what happens to them.
Anti-authority – Found in pilots who do not like anyone telling them what to do.
How to schedule a time to take the test?
To take the test you need to schedule time at an exam center near your home town but calling 24-hours prior is enough. You find all the contact information here. Part 107 is an exam of sixty multiple-choice questions. To pass the exam, you need a passing score of 70% which is 18 questions wrong or 42 questions right. The test costs 150$ each time you take it. Meaning that if you fail you’ll need to retake and pay the fee again!