part 107 online test prep courses 2019 drones faa uas certified pilot

The best Part 107 online test prep courses of 2020

If you already fly drones for fun, then why not turn your hobby into a business that makes some money? But before you go to full-on drone business operator, your first step is taking a Part 107 online test prep course.

To take your drone passion to the next level, you’ll have to take (and pass) the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test, which enables you to fly drones commercially under what’s called Part 107 (hence, you’ll commonly hear people refer to the test as the ‘Part 107 test.’)

In fact, passing this test and becoming certified is the only way to legally make money as a drone pilot in the U.S. But the test is tricky, with questions you wouldn’t know without some sort of aviation background. Do you know how to read a sectional chart? Do you know what stratiform clouds are? Odds are (without prior aviation background), you don’t.

But it’s easy to learn — you’ll just have to put in a few hours of studying. The good news is, a number of online courses have popped up that teach you everything you need to know (generally through video lesson format), and help reinforce it through practice quizzes, community forums and more.

Here are Drone Girl’s top Part 107 online test prep courses of 2020:

The best Part 107 online test prep program if you want an established player: Drone Pilot Ground School

While a bit more expensive than our value pick, Drone Launch Academy, Drone Pilot Ground School is an established player that you know works. It’s by far the biggest of all the Part 107 test prep programs, but it’s for good reason: in most circles it’s considered the best of the best. In fact, I (Sally, the Drone Girl!) used Drone Pilot Ground School as my only means of studying, and I passed the test on my first try.

Drone Pilot Ground School has helped more than 20,000 students pass their Part 107 test on their first try (how’s that for proof it works?).

On top of that, you’ll have access to the UAV Coach community, which is a wonderful network of drone pilots. There’s a vibrant forum, plus an informative weekly newsletter that I read end-to-end each week, to keep you in touch with the latest in the drone world.

  • Price: $299 (plus use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to save $50 and bring your price down to just $249)
  • Time needed to complete: 15-20 hours
  • Pass rate: 99% across more than 13,500 students
  • How long do you have access to the course before your membership expires? Unlimited lifetime access
  • What’s included in the price tag: video lectures, 300 practice questions including actual FAA questions, 12 page cram sheet, 1:1 customer support
  • What sets Drone Pilot Ground School apart: I love the 12-page cram sheet, and found it to be much more useful than the broader, 75 page e-book from Drone Launch Academy in drilling down on the exact info I needed. Drone Pilot Ground School has excellent customer service, not just in terms of billing and tech support, but in clarifying questions. I’ve emailed them with questions and gotten a quick response from the founder, Alan Perlman, himself! Additionally, if you fail your test, Drone Pilot Ground School will also cover your testing fee (normally $150) if you also pass one of their practice exams with a score greater than 85% and will refund the entire cost of your Drone Pilot Ground School course if you fail.
Drone Launch Academy enroll Part 107 test prep course

The best Part 107 online test prep program if your biggest worry is not passing: Drone Launch Academy

Drone Launch Academy is not only one of our more budget-friendly picks, but it has an especial value amongst Part 107 online test prep programs by providing you peace of mind about passing. It’s $100 cheaper than our other pick, Drone Pilot Ground School, and while it has a smaller customer base, its pass rate is an incredibly high 99.02%. It’s not just the $100 cheaper price tag that makes this a great value: if you fail your in-person exam, Drone Launch Academy will pay for you to retake it, which is an $150 value in itself, on top of a course refund (an additional $199 value).

I also love the additional community aspect you get with Drone Launch Academy. They have a newsletter, and other web extras, like the Drones to $100k podcast (we all want to make $100k off our drones!).

  • Price: $199 (plus use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to save $50 and bring your price down to just $149)
  • Time needed to complete: 5 hours to watch the videos straight through, or 15 hours to go through all the study materials
  • Pass rate: 99.02% across more than 5,000 students
  • How long do you have access to the course before your membership expires? Unlimited lifetime access
  • What’s included in the price tag: video lectures, 200 practice questions including actual FAA questions, 75 page downloadable e-book study guide
  • What sets Drone Launch Academy apart: If you fail your Part 107 test and purchased a Part 107 Prep Course from Drone Launch Academy, the online test prep website will not only refund your entire course purchase but will also give you money to go retake the test. Customers must also have passed the internal course final exam but have failed the official version to qualify for the offer.

A great Part 107 online test prep program taught by a former Air Force pilot: John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course

John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course is a no-nonsense online training program that includes short videos, frequent quizzes, and simple text that cuts straight to the point. Like Drone Launch Academy, John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course also comes with a test-pass guarantee.

The standout difference of this course? Peltier is a former Air Force pilot who even served as the “Chief of Courseware” during his last assignment in the Air Force. He wrote all educational material for F-15E training squadrons throughout the USAF — so he knows a thing or two about writing multiple choice questions.

It’s the cheapest of all the courses in this guide, but cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad. If the $129 price point is too steep, there’s an option to make it even cheaper. You can pay $79 for access to the program for just 30 days (the $129 price tag includes lifetime access). Think twice before enrolling in the $79 option, as you’ll likely want to reference John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course when it comes time to take your Part 107 recurrent test, which must be done every two years. But if money is tight (if you’re only just now starting out in the drone business, it very well may be), then it’s a great option. (He does offer a separate renewal course for just $49).

  • Price: $129 for lifetime access or $79 for 30-day access
  • Time needed to complete: 15-20 hours
  • How long do you have access to the course before your membership expires? Unlimited lifetime access (or 30 days for $79 version)
  • What’s included in the price tag: 36 quizzes, 35 videos, and a money-back pass guarantee
  • What sets John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course apart: Peltier is an experienced instructor. He’s spent 15 years teaching more than 400 students how to fly manned aircraft, including everyone from 16-year-olds to fly two-seat helicopters, to experienced two-star generals to fly F-15Es. He has the chops to teach you what you need to know about drones.

What is the Part 107 test?

For the uninitiated, under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107, anyone wanting to operate a drone commercially needs to obtain a drone pilot license, formerly referred to as a “remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.” In order to get that, you will need to pass an in-person written exam., which many people refer to as the “Part 107 test.”

The test, which is a set of 60 multiple choice questions with a single correct response for each one, can be taken at one of the 696 testing centers in the United States.

You can browse the FAA’s public registry of Part 107-certifed remote pilots here, a step worth taking before hiring a drone pilot to do work for you to ensure they have the certification they claim. You’ll be able to see each pilot’s certificate and their rating (including that of yours truly). Here’s what it looks like when your name comes up in the database:

Happy flying!

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