The FAA Wants You to Have a Pilot’s License to Fly Commercial Drones
Overkill cubed. What is the source of all the fear? This is completely paranoid. Talk about stifling new enterprise, wow. This gives me a perfect example of government agency authority run off the rails. In time for Christmas too!
If you’re planning to shoot your next movie using a drone, beware: you may need to meet some stringent conditions to stay in the Federal Aviation Administration’s good books. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that the agency will propose commercial drone rules that require a conventional pilot’s license. Yes, you may need to have flown manned aircraft for dozens of hours to even think of controlling a UAV for cash. You’d also have to fly only during daylight, stay under 400 feet and remain within sight of your craft, so any hopes of high-altitude night shots would go out the window. And these rules would apply to any drone weighing 55 pounds or less; small, easy-to-fly vehicles like 3D Robotics’ Iris+ and DJI’s Inspire 1 would be subject to the same demands as larger, more complex models.
So let’s look at what tis means.
Total Time: 40 hours minimum which consists of at least:
Dual: 20 hours minimum of flight training with an instructor on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:
3 hours of cross country flight training in a single engine airplane;
3 hours of night flight training in a single engine airplane, that includes at least:
a) 1 cross country flight of over 100 nm total distance; and
b) 10 T/O’s and 10 landings to a full stop with each involving a flight in the traffic pattern at an airport.
3 hours of flight training by reference to instruments in a single engine airplane; and
3 hours of flight training in a single engine airplane within the 60 days prior to the practical test.
Solo: 10 hours minimum of solo flying in a single engine airplane on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:
5 hours of solo cross country flying;
1 solo cross country flight of at least 150nm total distance with full stop landings at 3 points and one segment of at least 50nm between T/O and landings; and
3 T/O’s and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.
Eligibility requirements: General.
To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:
(a) Be at least 17 years of age for a rating in other than a glider or balloon.
(b) Be at least 16 years of age for a rating in a glider or balloon.
(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant’s pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.
(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
(1) Conducted the training or reviewed the person’s home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and
(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test.
(e) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part.
(f) Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
(1) Conducted the training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and
(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.
(g) Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought before applying for the practical test.
(h) Pass a practical test on the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought.
(i) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
(j) Hold a U.S. student pilot certificate, sport pilot certificate, or recreational pilot certificate.
[Doc. No. 25910, 62 FR 16298, Apr. 4, 1997, as amended by Amdt. 61-124, 74 FR 42558, Aug. 21, 2009]