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Just took my 107 test - failed. Basic info here......
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sarge43
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So, I paid the $150 and took the FAA Section 107 test.  I missed passing by ONE question.    I thought I'd share some things here for others who may be getting ready to take the test themselves.  These are MY observations, so take them as such.  Remember, the questions are pulled from a large "pool" of questions, so the test you actually take WILL be at least a little different than mine.
I've heard a lot about the test being hard.  I didn't think it was overly hard as it's a simple multiple choice test and you pick an answer from the three options given.  Having said that, here's what made it seem harder than it should be:
1. Over half the questions on the test I took had NOTHING to do with legal drone operation.  Questions about figuring the floor from a map in class _ and the minimum answer is way over DOUBLE the ceiling at which we can fly legally.  Really?  If I'm legal, I don't need to know that.  Loads forward or aft of CG affect take off requirements fixed wing loads etc etc etc.  Again, really?  Don't need to know that or how to figure it.  Just a couple of examples - this type silly stuff made up a LOT of the test, and it's stuff you pass over when studying simply because you DON'T need to know it, but its there.  Surprise.....
2. Understanding pilot lingo.  Another thing that we don't really need to know UNLESS we are both operating inside the airport boundaries AND have a radio with us monitoring all radio traffic to the tower.  I don't need to know what direction the pilot at 1,000 feet is heading when he says "midfield left downwind descending 20 knot cross hut hut hike" etc etc.  His heading does not matter to me if I'm flying legally.
3. THEIR definition (the FAA) of words like macho, invulnerable etc.  Yes, you need to know THEIR definitions as given in scenarios in which someone urges you to fly.  "What type of bad characteristic is the PIC displaying when he agrees/disagrees with this set of instructions?"  The definitions are pretty close to each other, and frankly which type doesn't freaking matter because everyone with half a brain knows that the scenario given is a bad idea anyway.  
4. Questions about fixed wing AIRPLANES and their characteristics in turns, under load paramaters, and fuel consumption - anyone flying one of these?  
Now, things that should be studied prior to taking the test:
1. Have at least a basic knowledge of airspaces A,B,C,D,E,F and G.  
2. Have a basic knowledge of Aeronautical maps and how to read them.
3. Know where to find the legend and how to use it to interpret map info
4. Basic understanding of how meteorology affects flight (moisture vs. dry air, affects of elevation and pressure, stable vs turbulant air etc)

They give you a handbook to use and the legend is right up front, so use it.  The procter will be of NO help in figuring out why a question was missed, but to be fair, that's not their job.  At the end of the test, you will see a screen that shows you the questions that you answered incorrectly.  There is no idication of why you missed it, or what the answer SHOULD have been, so it's of little help other than determining a certain area that you need to brush up on for next time.  The test is administered on a computer and the diagrams or photos shown on the screen are all in the handbook as well, so no worries if the screen is grainy.  You are allowed to bring in a basic calculator and glasses if you need them, but that's about it.  Car keys, jackets, wallet, phone etc will all need to be left in the car or with the procter.  They gave me two sheets of scratch paper and two pencils, but I didn't find any reason to use them or the calculator that I brought with me.  
I admit that without knowing what was on the test or what to study in particular (really, is anyone going to read the 400 plus pages of government verbage just in case it's on the test?), I took this first swing as simply a way to find what to study for the real (second) attempt.  The fact that I only failed by one question is heartening to me, and should be to others as well.  I did find a study guide of sorts that was helpful.  You can find it by doing a search for "Rupprecht Law 107 study guide".  It was much more helpful than most out there and it's free.  
Well, that's it.  Lookling forward to taking it again in two weeks now that I have a feel for it.  If you have any questions, let me know and I'll answer them as best I can.
Sarge out.

2017-1-3
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hallmark007
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Bad luck, thanks for posting and good luck next time..
2017-1-3
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FPVJunkie
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My only comment would be that the Part 107 doesn't just cover multi-rotors... there are fixed-wing FPV aircraft out there. Regardless, I'm sure most of it is overkill for most of us just trying to earn some extra cash by taking some pictures. There are other people doing agriculture (huge industry) work that will need to use more of the information presented in the AIM and the test.

I have my BS in Aeronautics, so I think I really just need to focus a little more attention on the area charts and stuff. When I was talking the pretest on 3DRs website, those were the ones I missed the most.

Thank you for the feedback! Do you have to pay the full $150 again to retake it?
2017-1-3
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sarge43
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Well, hopefully these thoughts help someone else out.  I really anticipated taking the test twice when I found out the lack of solid, or I guess "focused" info out there, so I'm not disappointed.  Yes, it's $150 each time you take it.  In my case, the cost of the test is much less than it would cost me in time to cover all materials, so it was worth $150 to see what was actually on the test.  Others may prefer to put hours of research in, that's their call.  I've seen "flight schools" out there for $1,500 to help with the section 107 test - that is absolute BS and not worth it at all  when you can either find the info and study it or take the test, see what's on it and take it again to pass (again, simply my opinion).  Surprised at how many people around are running businesses without the license or insurance.  There are at least six "companies" in my area, and I can't confirm that any of them are licensed or insured.  The people using their services don't have a clue that they need to be either.  I guess they run the risk of being fined etc, by the FAA, but seems like the FAA isn't looking too hard for them either.  I'd rather go the right route myself.  
2017-1-3
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Gary Mac
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sarge43 Posted at 2017-1-3 13:25
Well, hopefully these thoughts help someone else out.  I really anticipated taking the test twice when I found out the lack of solid, or I guess "focused" info out there, so I'm not disappointed.  Yes, it's $150 each time you take it.  In my case, the cost of the test is much less than it would cost me in time to cover all materials, so it was worth $150 to see what was actually on the test.  Others may prefer to put hours of research in, that's their call.  I've seen "flight schools" out there for $1,500 to help with the section 107 test - that is absolute BS and not worth it at all  when you can either find the info and study it or take the test, see what's on it and take it again to pass (again, simply my opinion).  Surprised at how many people around are running businesses without the license or insurance.  There are at least six "companies" in my area, and I can't confirm that any of them are licensed or insured.  The people using their services don't have a clue that they need to be either.  I guess they run the risk of being fined etc, by the FAA, but seems like the FAA isn't looking too hard for them either.  I'd rather go the right route myself.

Yah, the FAA will be "reactionary" to drones and won't pay any real attention to drone operators (or rule violators) until it HAS to.  (i.e.  A drone brings down a commercial aircraft or a "commercial" or private drone kills someone.)  This is great for those of us who want to be left alone and use common sense.  This also sucks for everyone who doesn't have common sense and will ruin it for the rest of us and for the first plane-load of passengers who die because a drone operator flew their drone at 1200 feet on an approach glide slope.

The test sounds like it "should" be reviewed for relevance, like a lot of drivers tests.  I don't care that my taillights must be visible for 400 feet to the rear... I'm not manufacturing cars.  If my car manufacturer doesn't meet the requirement, then they are at fault.  Nor do I care what the "lingo" used by pilots is when I don't fly near an airport nor do I have a radio to listen to the ATC.

Typical government..."We must regulate something... here's your regulations... regardless of how relevant they are."

Gary
P.S.  Thanks for the insight.  I have been contemplating taking the test and will certainly focus on ALL of the material... regardless of relevancy to drone operation.
2017-1-3
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BuzzCut
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sarge43 Posted at 2017-1-3 13:25
Well, hopefully these thoughts help someone else out.  I really anticipated taking the test twice when I found out the lack of solid, or I guess "focused" info out there, so I'm not disappointed.  Yes, it's $150 each time you take it.  In my case, the cost of the test is much less than it would cost me in time to cover all materials, so it was worth $150 to see what was actually on the test.  Others may prefer to put hours of research in, that's their call.  I've seen "flight schools" out there for $1,500 to help with the section 107 test - that is absolute BS and not worth it at all  when you can either find the info and study it or take the test, see what's on it and take it again to pass (again, simply my opinion).  Surprised at how many people around are running businesses without the license or insurance.  There are at least six "companies" in my area, and I can't confirm that any of them are licensed or insured.  The people using their services don't have a clue that they need to be either.  I guess they run the risk of being fined etc, by the FAA, but seems like the FAA isn't looking too hard for them either.  I'd rather go the right route myself.

People don't usually post their failures - just the good stuff.  Good for you for helping others out.

I don't think I could take 107.  I know a guy that has a drone business covering real estate and cell tower surveys.  All his pilots of course have to have passed 107.  He started talking to me a couple of weeks ago about differing types of fog and I almost slipped into a coma.  It's a different world...
2017-1-3
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sarge43
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Well, the procter did tell me that the majority of those who take the test at that location fail at least the first one.  That made me feel like not quite so much of an idiot.  Bottom line is that much of the material that makes up over half of the test is VERY specific to flying planes (not drones) so don't bypass it in your studying just because you don't think it applies.  
2017-1-3
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SkySailorMan
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Good info; thanks for posting. As a private pilot I took the online Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) course. The subject material you described is very similar to the content in the online course and subsequent exam.

My impression is that the FAA is taking UAV operations very seriously, and they seem to be intent on bringing UAVs "into the fold" of the National Airspace System. For safety's sake, this is a good thing - just one catastrophic accident could potentially devastate the industry. Keep in mind that just because you don't normally fly near airports or other restricted areas, there are many others who may.

When I'm turning from base to final in my glider at 200 feet AGL at my home-town's non-towered airport, I'd like to think that anyone operating nearby possesses enough knowledge to know how to stay well out the way of the approach pattern.
2017-1-3
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BuzzCut
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SkySailorMan Posted at 2017-1-3 14:52
Good info; thanks for posting. As a private pilot I took the online Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) course. The subject material you described is very similar to the content in the online course and subsequent exam.

My impression is that the FAA is taking UAV operations very seriously, and they seem to be intent on bringing UAVs "into the fold" of the National Airspace System. For safety's sake, this is a good thing - just one catastrophic accident could potentially devastate the industry. Keep in mind that just because you don't normally fly near airports or other restricted areas, there are many others who may.

The issue IMO is that this seems to be invoked purely when money / commercial gain comes into the picture.

So, if I want to take artistic pans of houses for realtors for money when I'll be no more than 50 feet in the air (or even inside) then I need to take Part 107 even though I'm not doing much at all, however if I'm a kid down the street who's just playing about for kicks I could be 800ft up in the air need a heliport and either not know, or care (or both) that I'm jeopardizing people's safety.

People who really do need all of the knowledge (e.g. those mapping towers) will be taking the right certs, but plenty of people who don't need it (e.g. real estate) will be forced to before they can make a buck.

At the other end of the spectrum the people most likely to cause serious incidents will neither know nor care (and probably won't ever visit a board like this), while hobbyists and amateur photographers who are arguably more likely to care about the rules and about safety are the ones who will suffer most if incidents lead to stricter regulation.  Sigh.
2017-1-3
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sarge43
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Think you nailed part of it Buzzcut.  I do a lot of firearms training and education for people, and it's the same thing in that genre - the ones doing harm to the overall picture are NOT the ones bothering to take training and be responsible with the weapons.  Laws and rules only apply to those willing to follow them in the first place.  Nothing new under the sun man.  
2017-1-3
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hridge
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Study Guide
2017-1-3
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John94si
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Sounds like a microsoft exam.
2017-1-3
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4wesomeAdam
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Some might consider this overkill, but I even intend to have and complete a flight log when I fly my drone. It is always best to go above minimum requirements.
2017-1-3
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FPVJunkie
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I'm more afraid to take the HAM Technician Class License (supposed to be required when flying FPV from other types of 5.8gHz transmitters or long range control systems). It's also another silly rule because 99% of us just buy off the shelf type systems that are at a fixed wattage, but there's some important information in there like broadcasting your ID name every 10mins or so in video and knowing the right equipment you can use without going for the one with maximum mW output. Need to just quit being lazy, study it for a week, and go take the exam. Happy it's not required for the Mavic!
2017-1-3
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DJI Tom
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Thanks for sharing.  

I took the exam about 6 months ago.  Passed with a 90%.  Best think the who experience only cost me $155 dollars.  $150 for the exam fee and $5 for a study /prep exam app called UAS107 (https://play.google.com/store/ap ... otix.labs&hl=en).  Just watched a few videos on METARs, TAFs and Sections and used the app for the rest.  Past on my 1st attempt.  
2017-7-16
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ephektz
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FPVJunkie Posted at 2017-1-3 17:33
I'm more afraid to take the HAM Technician Class License (supposed to be required when flying FPV from other types of 5.8gHz transmitters or long range control systems). It's also another silly rule because 99% of us just buy off the shelf type systems that are at a fixed wattage, but there's some important information in there like broadcasting your ID name every 10mins or so in video and knowing the right equipment you can use without going for the one with maximum mW output. Need to just quit being lazy, study it for a week, and go take the exam. Happy it's not required for the Mavic!

Go check out HamStudy.org. It's a great resource!

Something to point out is that as long as you aren't running over 25mW on the 5CM band you don't require a license. That being said, it's pretty crappy flying FPV with that output! Most fly bando anyway, so good on you for perusing your ticket.

I hold Extra, so if you have any questions please feel free to shoot me a PM. I'd be happy to help.
2017-7-16
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Lucas775
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There is a lot of things you cannot do as a part 107 license holder and being a hobbyist.  Probably one reason I am not getting serious about the part 107 license.  IMO
2017-7-16
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Arc Sevenfold
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Lucas775 Posted at 2017-7-16 20:30
There is a lot of things you cannot do as a part 107 license holder and being a hobbyist.  Probably one reason I am not getting serious about the part 107 license.  IMO

It's fine if you don't plan on doing anything commercially. But just know the drone police are out on a daily basis reporting everyone breaking the rules. I passed mine with 90% on the first try. $150 is way cheaper than $1100 fine per infraction. That is, if you plan to sell video/photo/mapping etc... Any use of a drone to further a business. Not worth the risk of jail time either. But that's just me!
2017-7-27
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DroneFlying
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Arc Sevenfold Posted at 2017-7-27 15:46
It's fine if you don't plan on doing anything commercially. But just know the drone police are out on a daily basis reporting everyone breaking the rules. I passed mine with 90% on the first try. $150 is way cheaper than $1100 fine per infraction. That is, if you plan to sell video/photo/mapping etc... Any use of a drone to further a business. Not worth the risk of jail time either. But that's just me!

But just know the drone police are out on a daily basis reporting everyone breaking the rules.

I'm not sure what you mean specifically, but I do know that the FAA isn't aggressively looking for or prosecuting those who violate regulations. And despite the occasional claims to the contrary, simply trying to bring a given YouTube video to the FAA's attention isn't likely to get its creator into any trouble.
2017-7-27
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DroneFlying
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Lucas775 Posted at 2017-7-16 20:30
There is a lot of things you cannot do as a part 107 license holder and being a hobbyist.  Probably one reason I am not getting serious about the part 107 license.  IMO

There is a lot of things you cannot do as a part 107 license holder and being a hobbyist.  Probably one reason I am not getting serious about the part 107 license.

If I understand correctly what you're saying I think you may have misunderstood how it works. You're right that some of the rules for 107 flights are more restrictive than for recreational ones, but having a 107 certification doesn't prohibit you from flying under the recreational rules. Each flight is recreational or non-recreational, and if a flight is done purely for recreation then the appropriate rules for recreational flights apply regardless of what certification the pilot has (or doesn't).

2017-7-27
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gnirtS
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All of the things you're saying arent needed sound very needed to me.  P107 isnt just flying little hobby drones.  Its unmanned vehicles, which could be fixed or rotary wing and could easily be up in areas where it'll conflict with other traffic.
2017-7-27
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FatherXmas
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4wesomeAdam Posted at 2017-1-3 17:25
Some might consider this overkill, but I even intend to have and complete a flight log when I fly my drone. It is always best to go above minimum requirements.

I use Airdata. Their plans start out at free and go up from there, depends on how many pilots, drones and batteries you can have. It keeps track of a bunch of stuff plus has recommended maintenance you should perform.
2017-7-27
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FatherXmas
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FPVJunkie Posted at 2017-1-3 17:33
I'm more afraid to take the HAM Technician Class License (supposed to be required when flying FPV from other types of 5.8gHz transmitters or long range control systems). It's also another silly rule because 99% of us just buy off the shelf type systems that are at a fixed wattage, but there's some important information in there like broadcasting your ID name every 10mins or so in video and knowing the right equipment you can use without going for the one with maximum mW output. Need to just quit being lazy, study it for a week, and go take the exam. Happy it's not required for the Mavic!

The Technician Class license isn't that hard. I've been a ham since I was 6 - back when you had to know Morse Code - Extra Class now. My wife, all my kids and most of my grand-kids are hams.
2017-7-27
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djiuser_E6XvBGk1bnxn
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Hi Sarge! Did you take the second test at the same location? If so, were the questions the same or similar to the first test?

Best,

John B.
9-11 17:25
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Picanoc Jack
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sarge43 Posted at 2017-1-3 13:25
Well, hopefully these thoughts help someone else out.  I really anticipated taking the test twice when I found out the lack of solid, or I guess "focused" info out there, so I'm not disappointed.  Yes, it's $150 each time you take it.  In my case, the cost of the test is much less than it would cost me in time to cover all materials, so it was worth $150 to see what was actually on the test.  Others may prefer to put hours of research in, that's their call.  I've seen "flight schools" out there for $1,500 to help with the section 107 test - that is absolute BS and not worth it at all  when you can either find the info and study it or take the test, see what's on it and take it again to pass (again, simply my opinion).  Surprised at how many people around are running businesses without the license or insurance.  There are at least six "companies" in my area, and I can't confirm that any of them are licensed or insured.  The people using their services don't have a clue that they need to be either.  I guess they run the risk of being fined etc, by the FAA, but seems like the FAA isn't looking too hard for them either.  I'd rather go the right route myself.

what's the passing mark? In Canada for the basic certificate the pass mark is 65%.
9-11 18:31
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Marty Markoe
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sarge43 Posted at 2017-1-3 16:20
Think you nailed part of it Buzzcut.  I do a lot of firearms training and education for people, and it's the same thing in that genre - the ones doing harm to the overall picture are NOT the ones bothering to take training and be responsible with the weapons.  Laws and rules only apply to those willing to follow them in the first place.  Nothing new under the sun man.

Interesting analogy as re firearms training. I'd originally thought all I'd need to know was how to safely handle, aim and shoot.

Whlie studying for and passing the 107 first try, I thought back to the Combat Pistol course (now called Defensive Pistol) course I took back in 1984. The simple aim and shoot concept was not so simple. The first thing taught made one aware of consequences.* Having never forgotten the lesson, I over studied for the Part 107 test and passed easily the first time.

I agree with the idea many questions on the test will never be needed in real life drone flying. However, the process of planning and thinking out your flight makes the studying process important. Sarge43,the OP, indicated he didn't have time to waste on what he considered extraneous and irrelevant questions. If he used half the time he will expend to take the test a second time (reapplying, travel to and from, test review, and test time) he would have passed the first time.
Marty

* The firearms course was taught by 2 police officers. Their opening statement was, "If you as a civilian or us as police ever fire our firearms you should expect:
1. Your firearm to be confiscated awaiting an investigation.
2. You will have to justify the need to have fired your weapon and may be prosecuted.
3. Even if deemed a legal shoot, you are likely to be sued.

Next we were taught the 4 necessary factors for using a firearm in a defensive situation. These are:
1. The perpetrator must have a deadly weapon.
2. They must be in range to use it.
3. They must show in words or actions intent to do you harm.
4. If at all possible, you must attempt to back off and escape the confrontation if at all possible

Except for one gung-ho student of the 6 of us, the above was a reality check on consequences of one's actions. A life lesson if ever there is one.

Marty Markoe
9-12 04:26
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Neo Supreme
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I did enjoy learning certain things from the part 107.  Remote controlled cars are one thing.  Aircraft is a whole other can of worms, as a mishap in the air can bring serious consequences.
9-16 11:42
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fans7832d9e9
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You are being far too kind in suggesting that half the test was irrelevant.  I just went thru one of those $150 prep courses.  First, I have to say I'm glad I did because it was much better than just reading that god-awful FAA book.  But I found that probably 95% was irrelevant.  Nearly 100 pages of ridiculous details that I will never ever need to know, when what I DO need to know can be summarized on 2 pages.  TAF weather forecasts that look like Greek?  Really?  The only weather information I need I can get by looking out the window.  I don't know a single real estate drone pilot who flies in thunderstorms.  And a drone pilot who likes to have a couple beers before a flight is going to check his blood alcohol level before he lifts off?  OMG!  Hey, if it's windy I can't fly!  Simple.  And on top of it all, I can fly like an idiot, unless I decide to ask $100 for my photos.  Ok, I understand that maybe an Amazon drone pilot delivering hundreds of packages a day might need to know 50% of what's on the test, but a real estate drone pilot shouldn't be penalized for that fact.  Our government at work.
9-22 20:01
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jvinton206
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I actually got a lot out of taking the test and learning the information.  At the end of the day, I walked out with a license and a score of 97...wasn't expecting to fail, but wasn't expecting THAT either!  With so many areas under any of the alphabet clearance areas, even for real estate, it's good to know what's going on.
10-14 11:16
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