Aspiring sUAS pilot in Virginia
Answered By AOPA
Hi, I am new to the community. I am planning on retiring at the end of next year and I my goal is to become a Part 107 certificated remote pilot for my retirement years. I took private pilot training in 2000-2001 and completed my first solo in September 2001, but had to stop after the 9-11 attacks. I passed my knowledge test, but never went back to complete my flight training. With the introduction of affordable vehicles, I am looking to become a commercial sUAS pilot to combine my interests in flying and photography. I look forward to further discussions with the community members and welcome any advice you have to offer.

3 Replies
AOPA Staff Answer
Hi Rick,

Trying to revive/add to the topic brought up by Mr.Gallaher . While the FAA is still restrictive around airports, with the release of the LAANC system it has gotten a lot easier and faster to get permission to fly in those areas. The LAANC system can be accessed from many of the consumer planning outlets (Airmap, etc) and is faster and more convenient then in years past.

The process of getting your part 107 certificate is outlined on the FAA's page here, and does a good job of identifying the steps. You may also want to look at one of the third-party training providers like DartDrones for prep for the knowledge test and they even put practical/hands-on classes. There's tons of information out there and this is a quickly developing field, far outpacing the FAA's regulatory ability, so there will be growing pains as this newest sector of General Aviation settles in.
Hi Rick!
If you still need some guidance please feel free to reach out!
Not sure what good it really is these days. I have a drone and a license but never use either. It is extremely hard to find places that will even let you fly. I can't fly in my own yard without a waiver...
If you know someone that has land, without livestock etc... and they will let you fly then it may be worth the trouble to get proficient with a drone and maybe do some work after you get really good. For now the public doesn't like drones and people are turning back to helicopters for photo work unless they are not close to airports.