I am so excited! I passed my Part 107 exam and am now eligible to apply for my Part 107 license. So, you might ask, “what is a Part 107 license and why am I getting it?” To answer the question, I wanted to share 10 reasons to get a Part 107 license.
1. To fly for something other than the pure simple enjoyment of flying.
You can fly a drone as a recreational flyer without the need for a license. But the exception to fly as a recreational pilot exists only if you are flying for the pure simple enjoyment of flying. It is about intent. If you are flying for any other reason, then you need to have a license. I have been using my drone to film overhead videos of our church. We use these videos in our live stream. I do enjoy making these videos, but the intent of using my drone in this situation is to produce videos for the live stream. That means these flights would fall under the Part 107 rule. Therefore, I need my license if I am going to keep making these videos. I don’t think I would ever get in trouble for doing this, but I believe it is important to follow the rules.
2. To fly at night.
As of April 21, 2021, Part 107 pilots can fly at night. Recreational pilots cannot do this.
Update: I misspoke on this point. It appears that recreational pilots can fly at night. This article on the Pilot Institute clears it up: https://pilotinstitute.com/flying-drone-at-night/?fbclid=IwAR2U9z6ZiPMk6llQto-tOdffd9zi_ICrTBBOeniNz1tlhAYL1A735O9BmQ8. The confusion was that you could not fly at night under Part 107 rules without a waiver. But there is nothing that stops you from flying at night for recreational purposes. It is confusing as to why Part 107 would have needed a waiver prior to April 21, but presumably, less experienced recreational pilots were free to fly.
3. To fly over people and moving vehicles.
On the same day that Part 107 pilots got the ability to fly at night, they got the ability to fly over people. Unfortunately, there are no drones sold in the US that fall within the guidelines to legally fly over people at the time of this writing. But a Part 107 pilot will be able to do so when a drone is available.
4. To be a safer pilot.
There are risks involved when flying a UAV. Most accidents are the result of human error. What that means is that most accidents are preventable. The more knowledgeable you are, the better you will be able to prevent those accidents.
5. To learn.
I have always been interested in the world of aviation. When I travel on an airplane, I always want a window seat to be able to observe as much as I can. Studying for the test helped give me a little taste of that world. I enjoyed learning about it.
6. To be prepared for confrontation.
When you are flying a drone in public spaces, you will have people who will approach you. Most people are curious and ask questions about the drone (e.g., How far can it fly? Can it take pictures?). But occasionally, you will encounter someone who is confrontational. If you have your license, it will give you some credibility that might cause them to soften their stance. Most of the time these nay-sayers speak out of ignorance and hearsay. Knowing your stuff gives you an upper hand.
7. To be an ambassador.
Any yahoo can walk into Best Buy and get a drone. Then they take that drone and fly it into the side of a skyscraper or into a crowd of people. This leads to increasing regulations and bans on drones. It only takes a few to ruin it for the rest of us. For those of us who are passionate about this sport, we must be advocates for sensible policies and help to promote the safe and responsible operation of drones among new users.
8. To make money.
If you plan to profit off your drone in any way, you need to have your Part 107. You never know when the opportunity might present itself for getting paid to use your drone. You can take advantage of that opportunity if you have your license.
9. To gain access to new and unique places to fly.
The enthusiast group that I fly with was recently granted access to a unique Jersey attraction. But the owner of the attraction wants us to share the photos and videos for the privilege to fly in this location. Again, this is only allowed under Part 107.
10. To say you have a pilot’s license.
I will admit that this is a point of pride. Yes, it is a remote pilot’s license. But it is really cool to be able to tell people that you have a pilot’s license.
Getting Your Part 107?
These are my 10 reasons to get a Part 107. If you have a Part 107 or are considering getting a Part 107, what would you add to this list? Share in the comments.
Are you now interested in getting your Part 107? To get your Part 107, you need to pass a written exam that is 60 multiple-choice questions. You need to answer 70% correctly to pass. The exam covers several aspects of flying a drone and aviation in general. To study for the test, I used the Pilot Institute. I cannot say enough good things about the Pilot Institute. They helped me score a 98% on my exam. In a future post, I will share my experience and the step-by-step process for getting your Part 107.
I have gone thru the training but since I do not intend to make money, why should I spend an additional $300 to take the test and get a license? Then have to retake the test and pay an additional fee. Just wondering?
Phil Ressler says
Depending on where you would take the exam, it is between $109 and $170. It cost me $109 to take mine. I don’t know what training you took, but mine guaranteed I would pass or my money back. In the end everyone must decide for themselves the cost vs value. These are my 10 reasons. You may not have only 2 reason and if those 2 reasons are important enough then it is worth it. But those two reason might not be important and then it is not worth it for you.
Two jobs and that fee is paid for. Just because you don’t “intend” to use it doesn’t mean it’s not a bad insurance policy in the event you find yourself in need of extra money or an opportunity pops up that you wouldn’t otherwise qualify for. I think $300 (which seems quite high) is a cheap insurance policy in today’s world.
Larry Lelah says
Well done, Phil. The reasons you stated were spot on. I passed the first time and had zero aeronautical knowledge. Gives me more confidence to fly. Thank you.