Renewing your Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate may be easier in the wake of Coronavirus. This guide will aide drone pilots in navigating the new system to renew their remote pilot certificate through the FAA online portal.
Within 24 months of acquiring your Part 107 remote pilot certificate, it is time to renew! Albeit in the wake of corona virus, some testing centers aren't open. While some testing centers have re-opened, some simply can't risk the journey. The FAA recently announced some changes to the rules of renewing your remote pilot certificate that make online exams possible.
The announcement allows for drone pilots to take advantage of remote learning. From today through September 30th, 2020, drone pilots can opt to take the recency exam...online. Before pilots get too excited, this online exam will only offer a temporary 6 month reprieve. After the 6 month extension, pilots would be required to take the in-person exam.
Upon recently renewing my own Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate, it became evident that pilots might need additional help navigating the complexities of the FAA website. Luckily the instructions from the announcement make it clear that pilots (who are eligible, see below) must take a specific online course called ALC 515.
Look lets face it, sometimes when we search for things..they can be right in front of us, and we never see it. While this could be the case, it took some searching to locate the right course after logging into my profile.
Make a note: this website login is not IACRA. Drone pilots may have to create a new account before taking the course.
Upon logging into the FAA portal, you'll find the course here. Once you begin the course, you'll notice you have to click the tabs to go from the intro, to the pages to start seeing course content. (I had to click back to a page to get the review button to populate)
Once you begin course content, you'll be reading through information and watch short videos. After you complete reading through the pages, you're expected to take an exam. You're asked to exit the course and go back to the course page in order to take the exam.
(The page asks you to copy this link if you get lost)
Once you're there, you will be able to start the exam. Drone pilots should expect 30 questions on this renewal of their remote pilot certificate. There are a few new questions that I noticed. Drone pilots should pay attention to the new provisions laid out in registration.
After completing the exam, you'll be provided with a certificate of completion to that course. Later on, the course will be verified.
1. Certificated under part 107; and
2. Whose recency of knowledge lapses between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020; and
3. Who must meet recency of knowledge requirements by passing an aeronautical
knowledge test per §107.65(a) or (b) (FAA further states:) in lieu of taking an aeronautical knowledge test at a knowledge testing center required by §107.65(a) or (b)... Completing the online training course under the provisions of this SFAR will extend an airman’s aeronautical knowledge recency six calendar months.
We're grateful the FAA came up with a solution to help pilots renew their remote pilot certificate in an online platform. Albeit, we would like to remind drone pilots to always review Airspace. Drone pilots, even myself, need constant reminders on reading airspace maps aka sectionals. Anyone who holds a remote pilot certificate should be able to understand airspace easily.
Frankly, if our Flight Crew nailed one aspect of our Part 107 Training... It is the Airspace Ground School. Drone U's Certified Flight Instructor Ted Wilson has a way with words. He has created sayings and analogies that make retaining airspace so much easier. We knew if we focused on this particular section of the training, it would provided the greatest benefit to all drone pilots.
For example, do you know what the dog house represents on a sectional? No...It is not where you go when you're in trouble at home... but you'll find it is controlled. ?
It is always a good idea to freshen up on airspace. If you need a review, check out our study guide which is free to members. Also follow us on Instagram for daily Part 107 Questions.
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