Anticipating FAA Certification Tests for UAV Operation and Certification (Revised)

We might safely anticipate that the FAA will require some kind of online written test for commercial sUAV/UAV operation at whatever point rules are eventually adopted. We can also safely assume that the test material could be selected and gathered from existing FAA question banks for pilot certification. Certainly things like electric motors, batteries, ground effects, communications protocol and other facets should be known by anyone who flies any kind of electric powered aircraft.

We might also assume that any eventual operation beyond VLOS and over 400 ft could require a standard pilot license. References to a private pilot’s license can be found in several places in the 2012 legislation and in several FAA documents relating to UAS.That’s reasonable, understandable and logical, even for the FAA.

However, certification for commercial VLOS operation of small UAVs weighing only a few pounds or less, limited to operation under 400 ft should logically be held to lesser requirements. If Embry-Riddle can create a college degree in UAV now (August 2014), a good FAA test-prep company could create something useful on a smaller scale for a market that is expanding as fast as the UAV market.

Once the FAA has established standards, those currently providing test materials for Ground School pilot training could quickly generate new training courses. In the interim, a person wishing to anticipate the eventual certification process might like to prepare by learning those things which COULD be required from a resource like Gold Seal Ground School..