How to Become an FAA part 107 Certified Drone Pilot
As drone footage becomes more and more popular, the United States Federal Aviation Administration is implementing new regulations to make this technology safer to use in an open environment. By lay you must be FAA part 107 Certified in order to fly commercially and charge money for your work. Getting caught without your certification can get you permanently banned, fined, and other nasty things you’d be better to avoid.

This article will help you understand what you need to do in order to get certified by the FAA and become a drone or remote pilot.

Requirements for becoming a remote pilot

To become a remote pilot, you need to identify your self either as a first-time remote applicant or someone who already has a part 61 certificate. For first-time pilots the process to acquire an FAA certificate is mentioned below:
  • According to the FAA’s UAS rule number 107, a person who is willing to fly a drone should be at least 16 years of age.
  • The first thing that you should do to become an FAA-approved pilot is to schedule an appointment with Knowledge Testing Center.
  • Once the test is scheduled, you should bring a valid ID to the center to take the exam.
  • The exam can include questions relating to regulatory requirements of an unmanned aircraft, flight restrictions, weather effects on a drone, emergency and radio communication procedures, and airport operations.
  • FAA asks you to take this test every two years in order to ensure that you are updated with the changing requirements in this field.
  • They should be able to read, write, and understand the English language. This regulation is introduced keeping in mind that most of the drones being used in the United States have instructions written on them in English. These are some of the basic requirements to fly a drone in the country.
Los Angeles FAA Certified Drone Operator
FAA Certified Drone Operator
Once you have passed the exam, all you need to do is log in to FAA’s online certificate system and start a new application. Once you have put in all your credentials, you will be prompted to enter the 17-digit knowledge test code. After that, you can e-sign the application for the authorities to process your application.

FAA suggests that you wait for 10 business days to get an electronic copy of your certificate. An original hard copy is received after 7-8 weeks on average.

Some useful quick tips for flying your drone

  • You should always fly your drone below 400 feet, in order to avoid collision with any other flying object.
  • Always ensure that your drone is in your line of sight, otherwise, you never know when it enters an unknown territory or collides with a tall structure or building.
  • Avoid flying near emergency situations including hurricane or fire rescue operations.
  • Always check if you need a permit to film in your project location
  • You should also avoid flying over public events or over groups of people. They might think they are being surveyed.
Flying drone is always fun; however, regulations are being enforced by the government to ensure that drones do not invade the privacy of local occupants. These rules and tests prepare a remote flying object’s handler to keep their technology safe and make the best out of their flying robot.

Follow these Aerial Video Techniques for Mastering Drone Photography

Without a doubt, drones are an incredible tool for any aerial filmmaker. When you visualize and pre-plan as many of your aerial shots as you can, you are able to create stunning drone footage. But how do you master drone photography techniques?

There are several drone videography techniques you can follow to maximize the use of your drone. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can take your drone footage expertise to the next level.
City drone photo
City drone photo

Start out Slow

If you are wondering, slow is more cinematic. This tip works because a slower view gives your audience an impression that you are shooting for a bigger platform, such as a helicopter. Your shots look more crafted and controlled.

It also pays off to go easy on the remote’s RC control stick. When you are shooting using gradual movements, don’t forget to decelerate and accelerate slowly. Otherwise, the drone camera will shake, and cause ‘jello effect’s on the resulting footage.

Shoot at 24 fps. Such a frame rate is the cinema standard. Most drone cameras are capable of performing at 60 or 120 fps.

Be Careful of the Wind

Your biggest enemy to stunning drone footage is the wind. Don’t expect the best footage when winds are over 20 mph. In case of heavy gusts, your drone camera may give up. Although the latest models are engineered to perform well against winds of 25–35 mph, the footage you shoot at such higher speeds will not be worth your effort.

Benefit from a Flat Image Profile

Another factor that plays a crucial role in capturing cinematic footage is your camera setting. Remember to shoot in the flattest camera profile to have the most dynamic range from your drone camera. This way you will prevent clouds and the sky from blowing out. This setting also retains detail of the ground’s darkest points.
Los Angeles Certified Drone Services
Drone shot of busy highway interchange

Lower Shutter Speed

This technique is especially beneficial for taking shots close to the ground to avoid the strobing effect. We recommend a speed of under 100th to 250th of a second. Moreover, use an ND filter to keep the shutter speed down. Although, drone videographers can achieve sharper frames at 500th or 1000th of a second, the speed can result in some heavy strobing.

ND filters are crucial for shooting outdoors in the bright sun. If you don’t have one, you would need to change your shutter speed to avoid overexposing the image which gives an unnatural motion blur.

Know your Camera Inside Out

Start by selecting the right Drone for your goals and needs. You can’t master drone footage if you don’t know your tools well. Get to know as much as you can about your drone camera and experiment with different settings. Read about aerial filming techniques and watch tutorials to know how you can improve and learn drone shooting techniques. Study the techniques of traditional ground photography composition and framing for better drone photographs. Always pay attention to the weather and lighting of your location. This is particularly important when shooting real estate.
FAA certified drone services
Drone sunset skyline photo

Consider Insurance

Always protect your investment and yourself from liability. When flying your drone commercially, you will be held legally liable for any damages caused by your drone and for this reason we highly recommend getting drone insurance. Even the insurance companies themselves have started using drones to minimize risk and analyze claims from above. Whether you’re doing weddings, or agriculture inspections, make sure you are covered.

The Bottom Line

Always follow the law and get your FAA certification taken care of. It’s not worth the risk of permanently damaging your business or reputation by trying to skip the legal requirements.
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