The Part 107 Aeronautical Knowledge Test for UAS operators is a mandatory test for anyone looking to fly drones commercially in the United States. Pass the test, and you’ll get a drone pilot’s license.
That allows you to operate under the standards set under Federal Aviation Administration Part 107 (and allows you to make money off drones). But to pass the test, you’ll almost certainly want to enroll in some sort of Part 107 drone training course, or at the very least get some sort of Part 107 study guide.
The Part 107 test was first made available in August 2016. Since then, thousands of people (like me) have taken and passed the test. In fact, as of Dec. 31, 2023, the FAA has certified 368,604 pilots.
While today’s Part 107 test is largely the same as the 2016 version, there have been a few changes. That includes new questions about night flying. The FAA also changed the process for taking your recurrent test.
But one thing hasn’t changed: the Part 107 test is not easy to pass if you don’t have a pre-existing knowledge of aviation. Never gear though. It’s not actually tough to pass if you take this next step: enrolling in a Part 107 study course.
Here are some of the best ways to study for the FAA Part 107 test:
- Best Part 107 online course overall (most resources, live support, etc): Drone Pilot Ground School
- Best Part 107 online course on a budget: Drone Launch Academy
- Best live Part 107 online course : DARTdrones
- Best Part 107 online course if you’re also interested in piloted aircraft : Pilot Institute
- Best Part 107 online course that’s taught by an Air Force pilot: Peltier Photo Pro
- A free part 107 study guide from the FAA
- Comparing all the FAA Part 107 courses
I’ve broken out the best Part 107 online training courses in a separate post, but here they are in a nutshell:
Best Part 107 online course overall (most resources, live support, etc): Drone Pilot Ground School
Drone Pilot Ground School offers a fantastic online training course with practice tests and repeatable videos. This is what I used to study for my test — and I passed on my first time — so I can guarantee it’s a good program! Use coupon code DroneGirl50 to get $50 off. It includes premium learning content with numerous quizzes, a 17-page Part 107 study guide, unlimited 1:1 support with a dedicated success coach and more.
Best Part 107 online course on a budget: Drone Launch Academy
Best live Part 107 online course: DARTdrones
DARTdrones Part 107 Test Prep Virtual Course: I chose this one because it’s a live, virtual course, typically held about once a month. For folks seeking that greater level of personalized attention and the ability to interact with the instructor instantaneously, this is the best way to go about it. But at $375, it’s pricier than the others (though DARTdrones also offers a $200 online Part 107 Test Prep Course).
Best Part 107 online course if you’re also interested in piloted aircraft: Pilot Institute
Pilot Institute is the most established of the bunch in a way. That’s because its origins are in crewed aircraft. Pilot Institute began offering courses to help people pass their FAA Private Pilot written exams long before Part 107 was even a thing.
Given that, this company’s bread and butter is really in all things crewed aircraft, like checkrides and instrument ratings. But they also now offer Part 107 drone courses. If you have ambitions to also pursue your Private Pilot license, then it might make sense to enroll in their Part 107 course, as you’ll remain in their ecosystem and be more familiar with their instructors, style and tools.
Best Part 107 online course that’s taught by an Air Force pilot: Peltier Photo Pro
John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 online training course is taught by a former Air Force pilot and instructor with more than 15 years of teaching experience. He’s one of the best-manned aircraft instructors out there, so it makes sense to want to take his digital course on drones.
All Peltier Photo Courses (whether the Part 107 course or other drone and photography courses) are available via a mobile app for both iOS and Android.
A free part 107 study guide from the FAA
And then there’s a free and instant option, which comes from the FAA itself. The FAA released its Part 107 UAS online training course, which anyone can register and take for free. That course is designed for part 61 pilot certificate holders who have a current flight review (by 14 CFR part 61.56) and wish to obtain a part 107 remote pilot certificate with an sUAS rating. But, anyone without a pilot’s license can take the training course. And, I highly recommend that everyone click through it — as it’s essentially a free Part 107 study guide for a good chunk of the questions covered in the written test you’ll take.
**To be clear, that means this is a training course for people who already hold a Part 61 Pilot’s certificate. If you don’t have a pilot’s license, this is simply a wonderful, free training course to supplement your test studying.**
Access the FAA’s free online training course here. It’s a 2-hour mix of both reading and videos.
Comparing all the FAA Part 107 courses
That’s a lot of words. Let me some up the key details in a handy table for ya!
|Drone Pilot Ground School
|Drone Launch Academy
|John Peltier’s Part 107 Course
|DARTdrones Live Virtual Course
|Most resources, support, most established
|An Air Force Connection
|A Live Yet Virtual Offering
|People interested in pilot aircraft, too
|$299 (though use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to pay just $249
|$199 (though use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to pay just $149)
|$375 (live virtual course)
|Time needed to complete
|5 hours to watch the videos straight through, or 15 hours to go through all the study materials
|8 hours (live component)
|350+ practice questions including actual FAA questions, 17-page cram sheet, unlimited 1:1 support
|Awesome community, plus extras like a newsletter and multiple podcasts.
|Peltier is a former Air Force pilot who even served as the “Chief of Courseware” during his last assignment in the Air Force.
|You’ll spend two days with an expert pilot through video chat. Plus, you’ll get ongoing access to virtual materials.
|Originally launched to help people pass their FAA Private Pilot written exams.
|Money-back pass guarantee?
So what can you expect the Part 107 test to be like? What will it cost? What are the questions like?
I’ve put together a guide titled “FAA Part 107 UAS Aeronautical Knowledge Test: everything you need to know (except the answers)”. I also detailed my personal experience passing the Part 107 test here.
Happy studying, and happy flying!