Sally French Drone Girl Part 107 test prep course drone flying license

The best Part 107 online test prep courses of 2024

If you already fly drones for fun, then perhaps it’s time to turn your hobby into a money-making business. The catch: before you can go full-on drone business operator, you need a license. To get that, you must take and pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test. Pass that test, and you’ll get a spiffy new drone pilot’s license.

Passing that test is a requirement 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, 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, which is where a Part 107 online test prep course is helpful.

The Part 107 test has been out for more than half of a decade (it was first made available back in 2016). Today, there are tons of online courses out there to teach everything you need to know. Most are primarily video lessons reinforced through practice quizzes and community forums. So how do you know which one is the best?

Here are Drone Girl’s top Part 107 online test prep courses of 2024:

Drone Pilot Ground School DroneGirl50 promo code

Best Part 107 online course overall (most resources, live support, etc): Drone Pilot Ground School

While slightly more expensive than our value pick, Drone Launch Academy, Drone Pilot Ground School is an established player. It’s the biggest of all the Part 107 test prep programs, for good reason. In fact, I (Sally, the Drone Girl!) used Drone Pilot Ground School as my only means of studying. And yes, I passed the test on my first try.

Drone Pilot Ground School has helped more than 60,000 students pass their Part 107 test on their first try. How’s that for proof that their materials work?.

  • Price: $299-$525 depending on which package suits your learning style (plus use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to save $50)
  • Time needed to complete: 15-20 hours
  • Pass rate: 99% across more than 5,000 students
  • How long do you have access to the course before your membership expires? Unlimited access
  • What you get: Premium learning content including video lectures, 350+ practice questions including actual FAA questions, 17-page cram sheet, unlimited 1:1 support with a Part 107 exam success coach, and more. They also have options that include weekly live instruction, monthly webinars to support your Part 107 journey post-certification and hands-on drone training.
  • What sets Drone Pilot Ground School apart: I love the 17-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 the founder himself, Alan Perlman, sent me a quick response!

The company also continuously offers up updates based on the ever-changing FAA rules. For example, there’s now an easy-to-access PDF file about rules around flying drones over people. It also covers updates around Remote ID.

If you fail your test, Drone Pilot Ground School covers your testing fee (normally $175) if you also pass one of their practice exams with a score greater than 85%. It also promises to refund the entire cost of your Drone Pilot Ground School course if you fail.

Drone Launch Academy enroll Part 107 test prep course

Best Part 107 online course on a budget: Drone Launch Academy

Drone Launch Academy is one of our more budget-friendly picks. It has an especial value amongst Part 107 online test prep programs by providing you peace of mind about passing. At $199, 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. That’s 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 plus web extras, like the Drones to $100k podcast. We all want to make $100k off our drones!

There is a bit of inconsistency in the quality of their videos, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s clear their content (such as filming quality and on-camera presenters) has improved over time so it feels unfair to ding them on that. But, it doesn’t take a film critic to spot which videos were made early on.

  • 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 you get: 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.

Best Part 107 online course that’s taught by an 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. Sure, this is a niche ‘Best Ofs’ category, but having that knowledge is incredibly compelling, and could put drone pilots ahead especially if they have their sights set on networking and ultimately working in fields like military and enterprise.

It’s also the cheapest of all the courses in this guide. What’s more is that — if the $139 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 $139 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. You must retake the recurrent test every two years. But if money is tight, then it’s a great option. (He does offer a separate renewal course for just $49).

  • Price: $139 for lifetime access or $79 for 30-day access. Use promo code DroneG20 to save $20.
  • 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 you get: 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. That includes 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.

The course also includes a Live Chat feature with Peltier himself (not a random customer support person or a robot). That means you — as a prospective or existing student — have your instructor available to answer their questions through a chat window versus having to go through email. It’s pretty neat to have direct chat access to Peltier. The only caveat? Since it’s just Peltier (and he needs to sleep, right?) don’t expect answers 24/7. Though expect it to be, say, 16/7.

Get a clearer sense for Peltier’s style by reading his five Part 107 exam online tips.

Peltier also offers tons of other courses that drone pilots could certainly be interested in. That includes Fujifilm camera courses and a course on how to edit and manage photos in Adobe Lightroom.

Peltier’s drone and photography courses are great for folks who prefer smartphones over computers, as they’re also offered via a mobile app for both iOS and Android.

Best live Part 107 online course: DARTdrones Part 107 Test Prep Virtual Course

There are pros and cons of in-person vs online Part 107 classes. But the DARTdrones live course might provide the best of both worlds.

After all, sometimes you need that accountability when studying for a test. Aimlessly scrolling through slides and passively listening to a video might not cut it for your learning style. If you need more interaction and motivation to stay engaged, there’s no better Part 107 online training course than the live, virtual test prep from DARTdrones.

  • Price: $375 for the live yet virtual course
  • Time needed to complete: 2 full days
  • How long do you have access to the course before your membership expires? The live course is 8 hours, but you’ll also have ongoing access to the online test prep course
  • What you get: 8 live hours with an expert pilot, 300 practice test questions, a 50 page study guide and money-back guarantee.

Since it’s live, the course only happens on select days — typically one weekend (both Saturday and Sunday). It spans about four hours each day. Since it’s held live online, you can tune in anywhere — no pants required to take this live class.

At $375, it’s pricier than the other picks, but it’s worth it for certain learning styles. You can ask questions live on the video chat system and interact back and forth with the instructor, really getting the opportunity to pick their brain.

What’s great though is the course doesn’t end when the Sunday afternoon ends. You’ll have ongoing access to a 300+ test question bank and a 50-page study guide. And yes, that $375 also includes access to DARTdrones’ full online Part 107 Test Prep Course. That on its own costs $200.

If the name DARTdrones sounds familiar, it might be because you’ve seen the company’s CEO, Abby Speicher, on Shark Tank. There, Mark Cuban invested $300,000 in exchange for 10% of her company.

DARTdrones offers a range of other courses besides just its photo course, and some are in-person or held live online. It also has workshops tailored to specific industries such as mapping and modelingdisaster response and inspections. And, its Aerial Photography and Videography Online Course is currently rated the top overall online drone photo course.

Best Part 107 online course if you’re also interested in piloted aircraft: Pilot Institute

Pilot Institute is the most established of any of the Part 107 test prep companies listed here. That’s because Pilot Institute’s origins are in crewed aircraft. In fact, Pilot Institute has been offering courses to help people pass their FAA Private Pilot written exams long before Part 107 was even a thing.

  • Price: $249 for lifetime access.
  • Time needed to complete: 15-20 hours
  • How long do you have access to the course before your membership expires? Unlimited lifetime access
  • What you get: 20 quizzes, 15 hours of videos, and a money-back pass guarantee

Sure, Pilot Institute’s bread and butter is crewed aircraft. They offer ancillary training courses like checkrides and instrument ratings. Pilot Institute is the only aviation training company to be accredited by IACET, the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training. And now, they offer Part 107 drone courses.

That’s not to say they’re only half-hearted about drones. In fact, that’s very much not true. One of the cofounders Greg Reverdiau, was instrumental in getting the FAA to delay Remote ID enforcement. They’re also partnering with Aloft on its fancy new app called Air Aware, which is a robust app that can show you where you can and can’t fly drones (among other features).

If you’re considering also pursuing 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.

Comparing 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 SchoolDrone Launch AcademyJohn Peltier’s Part 107 CourseDARTdrones Live Virtual CoursePilot Institute
Best forMost resources, support, most establishedValueAn Air Force ConnectionA Live Yet Virtual OfferingPeople interested in pilot aircraft, too
Price$299 (though use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to pay just $249$199 (though use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to pay just $149)$139$375 (live virtual course)$249
Time needed to complete15-20 hours5 hours to watch the videos straight through, or 15 hours to go through all the study materials15-20 hours8 hours (live component)15-20 hours
Standout factors350+ 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?YesYesYesYesYes
Lifetime access?YesYesYesYesYes

Do I need a license if I’m only flying drones recreationally or for fun?

Yes, you need a license of sorts. But it won’t be the same Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate described above. As of June 2021, hobby pilots must pass an FAA recreational drone test. It’s formally referred to as the Recreational Unmanned Aircraft Systems Safety Test. It’s commonly reduced to an acronym of sorts as TRUST.

To get that TRUST certificate, you must take an online course. Luckily, it’s much simpler than the aforementioned Part 107 test, taking just 30 minutes to an hour to complete. At the end, there’s an online quiz that you must pass.

You won’t take it from the FAA website though. Instead, you take it from one of the FAA-approved partner organizations. These actually include many of these same aforementioned Part 107 course providers.

Learn more about the FAA recreational drone test, including the full list of TRUST administrators here.

What is the Part 107 test?

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

Take the test, which contains 60 multiple choice questions, at one of 696 testing centers in the United States.

You can browse the FAA’s public registry of Part 107-certifed remote pilots here. That’s 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:

How did you study for your test, and did you opt for a Part 107 online test prep course? Leave a comment below! And happy flying!

13 Comments

  • Tavita says:

    Which courses are updated for the new test from April 7, 2021?

    • Walter Boddi says:

      Which courses are updated for the new test????

    • Robert says:

      Pilot Institute is, which is surprisingly not mentioned here. I’m starting to think this blog is a bit biased.

    • They all are but I think Pilot Institute (which isn’t even on the list) does a better job explaining the changes and why they exist.

      I’m really disappointed in how Drone Pilot Ground School (UAV) implements it. They just added a text/PDF file to the course instead of making a new video in regards to flying over people (Category 1,2,3,4 drones) and Remote ID. And given that Drone Pilot Ground School is the most expensive of the bunch, you’d think they’d have the budget to just create a new video.

      Drone Launch Academy is decent, but they have different instructors and the videos just feel inconsistent (as in they feel like they were made by completely different film crews).

      If I had to choose one, it would be Pilot Institute.

  • geronimoe says:

    Have you seen/reviewed the offering from pilotinstitute.com? Comparable prices/guarantees/etc, and, judging from some of their free offerings, seems accessible and thorough…

    • Robert Langley says:

      Definitely the best value. That’s who I used after trying Drone Launch Academy and not liking it.

      • kgr1204 says:

        Hey Robert. So in your opinion, Pilot Institute is the best bang for my buck? I was thinking about going with Drone Pilot Ground School. But a lot of the videos I watch on YT, in regards to information about the 107 license, is Pilot Institute.

    • artwolf80 says:

      I fully agree! pilotinstitute.com is amazing, lifetime, and very reasonable priced. I highly recommend it. (full disclosure: I am a student there and have no financial or other interest in the company. They are just great.)

    • After doing some homework between Drone Pilot Ground School, Drone Launch Academy, and Pilot Institute, Pilot Institute is the best by far. I just feel that Greg (Pilot Institute) does a better job updating his videos to the latest changes in FAA regulations and explaining why the changes exists and how to adapt (like the new regulations in regards to flying over people, Category 1 through 4 drones, and the new Remote ID requirement).

      Also, his YouTube channel is worth a subscribe.

  • Awesome, looks like I’m going with Pilot Institute! They’re down to $149 right now.

  • Lando says:

    Honestly.. companie’s a little heavy on the price point instead of individual connections 😬

  • Doug says:

    Pilot Institute exists to educate drone enthusiasts and part 107 pilots. They are in it because they believe that by educating the enthusiasts it will make the hobby/profession better for all of us. The other two are in it for the money. Just my opinion.

  • Michelle Lewis says:

    Try GRADD. Veterans can take their 107 classes for free. I’m taking the course now and am very impressed. They keep everything up to date, even with all the changes!

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