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FAASTeam Course: Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)

Regulations for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems went into effect in the summer of 2016 and the FAA has developed a UAS page. I read the FAR carefully and took the course and got all of the questions right the first time. A non-pilot might have more trouble, but if they really studied the Remote Pilot Study Guide and AC then they should have no trouble with the Knowledge Test. There are other FARs and FAA publications that are relevant but I think that they are covered enough in these documents that you could easily pass the test.

The rest of this post is the description of the course and the review section at the end of the course. It is a good overview of the things you need to know. Other posts in this series cover the exam I took at the end of the course and sample knowledge tests.

Description
The part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) course describes the certification and operational requirements to operate sUAS in the National Airspace System (NAS) under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107, small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. For part 61 pilot certificate holders with a current flight review, successful completion of this online course satisfies the training requirement before applying for a part 107 remote pilot certificate with an sUAS rating. All other interested individuals may complete this online course as a self-study resource. Individuals without a part 61 pilot certificate or current flight review are required to take the FAA Unmanned Aircraft General (UAG) Knowledge Test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center before applying for a part 107 certificate.

Review Introduction
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has adopted specific rules to allow the operation of civil small unmanned aircraft systems (small UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) for purposes other than hobby and recreation. The rules are specified in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 14 CFR part 107 addresses small UAS classification, certification, and operating rules.

Remote Pilot in Command Eligibility Requirements
To apply for a part 107 remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, you must be at least 16 years old; able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language (FAA may make exceptions for medical reasons); and in a physical and mental condition that would not interfere with the safe operation of a small UAS.

Training and Testing Requirements
A part 61 pilot certificate holder with a current flight review (per 14 CFR part 61.56) may complete this initial online course or the initial FAA Unmanned Aircraft General (UAG) Knowledge Test at a Knowledge Testing Center (KTC). Every 24 months, such individuals may then take the recurrent online course or the recurrent FAA UAG Knowledge Test at a KTC.

Any other applicant is required to take the initial FAA UAG Knowledge Test at a KTC, followed by the recurrent FAA UAG Knowledge Test at a KTC (every 24 months).

Application Process for a Remote Pilot Certificate
After satisfying the applicable initial training or testing requirements, apply for a part 107 remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating through an online or paper process. Apply online through the Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application (IACRA) website whenever possible. Or submit a paper FAA Form 8710-13, Remote Pilot Certificate and/or Rating Application. You may be required to meet with an FAA-authorized individual, such as a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI), Airman Certification Representative (ACR) for a pilot school, a person designated by a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE).

Small Unmanned Aircraft System (small UAS) Characteristics

Small unmanned aircraft:
Weigh less than 55 pounds (25 kg), including everything that is onboard or otherwise attached to the aircraft.
Are operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.
A small unmanned aircraft system includes the unmanned aircraft itself and its associated elements that are required for safe operation, such as communication links and components that control the aircraft.

Exclusions
14 CFR part 107 does not apply to model aircraft that meet the criteria in 14 CFR part 101.41, amateur rockets, moored balloons or unmanned free balloons, kites, operations conducted outside the United States, public aircraft operations, and air carrier operations.

Registration Requirements
Owners must register small UAS with the FAA prior to operating in the NAS if the aircraft is greater than 0.55 lbs and operated under part 107. If the owner is less than 13 years of age, then the small unmanned aircraft must be registered by a person who is at least 13 years of age.

Obtain a Foreign Aircraft Permit before conducting any operation that involves a civil aircraft that is registered in a foreign country or owned, controlled, or operated by someone who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Marking Requirements
Before operation, mark the small UAS to identify that it is registered with the FAA. The registration marking must be a unique identifier number, legible and durable, and visible or accessible without tools.

Crew Resource Management
A small UAS operation may involve one individual or a team of crewmembers:

The Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC) holds a current remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating and has the final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the small UAS
A person manipulating the controls operates the small UAS under direct supervision of the Remote PIC
A visual observer acts as a flight crewmember to help see and avoid air traffic or other objects in the sky, overhead, or on the ground
Many techniques from manned aircraft operations apply to the operation of unmanned aircraft. Examples include situational awareness, risk-based aeronautical decision making, and crew resource management.

Maintenance and Inspection
Follow all manufacturer recommendations for scheduled and unscheduled overhaul, repair, inspection, modification, replacement, and system software upgrades for the unmanned aircraft itself and all components necessary for flight.

Before beginning any small UAS flight operation, inspect the small UAS to ensure that it is in a condition for safe operation.

Loading and Performance
Prior to each flight, ensure that any object attached to or carried by the small unmanned aircraft is secure and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft.

Follow all manufacturer recommendations for evaluating performance to ensure safe and efficient operation. Check weather conditions prior to and during every small UAS flight and consider the effects of weather on aircraft performance.

Operating Rules
The Remote PIC must ensure that the small UAS operation complies with all operational requirements and limitations described in 14 CFR part 107. All crewmembers must comply with part 107 requirements by operating at appropriate times, in approved locations, and in a manner that protects the safety of the persons, property, and the NAS.

Certificates of Waiver
If the operation cannot be conducted within the regulatory structure of part 107, the Remote PIC is responsible for submitting an application for a Certificate of Waiver and proposing a safe alternative. Only certain provisions of part 107 are waivable. FAA will determine if the proposed operation can be safely conducted under the terms of that Certificate of Waiver.

Abnormal and Emergency Situations
Follow any manufacturer guidance for appropriate response procedures in abnormal or emergency situations. In case of an in-flight emergency, the Remote PIC is permitted to deviate from any rule of part 107 to the extent necessary to meet that emergency. FAA may request a written report explaining the deviation.

Accident Reporting
Report any small UAS accident to the FAA, within 10 days of the operation, if any of the following thresholds are met:
Serious injury to any person or any loss of consciousness
Damage to any property, other than the small unmanned aircraft, if the cost is greater than $500 to repair or replace the property (whichever is lower).

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