Becoming an FAA Part 107 certified drone pilot requires you to take the FAA airman knowledge test (Read about the Part 107 guidelines here). While it is possible to pass the FAA drone pilot exams on your own, it becomes easier if you’re professionally trained for Part 107. There are several ground schools that pilots can enroll in. Here are some of the best drone pilot training courses in the US:
Do I Need to Undertake Drone Pilot Training?
Drone pilot training programs are like boot camps for budding commercial drone pilots. They equip you with extensive knowledge about various aviation subjects that will be necessary when you give the Part 107 exam. Pilot schools structure their course which makes it easier for pilots to learn. Most pilot schools have drone instructors who have thousands of hours of flight experience. Therefore, learning from the experts can prepare you better not just for the Part 107 exam but also in terms of your skillset. Additionally, having a pilot training certification from a recognized school can make for a marketable credential. Thus, it can help you in your drone pilot career.
1. University of Delaware: Ground School and Part 107 Test Prep
The University of Delaware offers a three-day drone pilot training course. In the three-day course, students are given essential training on topics like airspace classification, weather, loading and performance, flight operations, and much more. The instructor for the course is Paige Fitzgerald, who is the director of UAS training for Adam Ringle Consulting. The course costs $395 (all materials included). Learn more about the course here.
- Three day weekend course
- Comprehensive training program
- Award-winning drone pilot school
- Discounts and scholarships available
2. Pilot Institute: Part 107
Pilot Institute is one of the best drone pilot training programs available. It has a large array of drone pilot courses. Its basic Part 107 Commercial Drone License Course prepares drone pilots to pass the Part 107 exam. The course costs $149 and is organized into 200+ video lessons that pilots can access for life from their phone or PC. The training school is willing to refund your fee along with an additional $160 (FAA test fee) in case you fail. With a pass percentage of 99.6 and thousands of happy students, it does hold some merit. Pilot Institute has several other pilot training courses such as drone business, night training, cinematic FPV, etc. Learn about Pilot Institute’s courses here.
- Affordable pricing
- High pass rate
- Easily accessible content
- Great customer support
- Detailed syllabus with unlimited practice exams
3. Drone Pilot Ground School
Drone Pilot School is another great option for commercial drone pilots. They have trained over 35,000 drone pilots and have a pass rate of 99%. The training school refunds your fees if you do not pass the Part 107 exam. The course structure is divided into 70+ video and text lessons that pilots can learn from any time. Additionally, Drone Pilot Ground School also offers hands-on drone training. That means you also get to learn how to fly a drone through industry experts. The course starts at $299. Learn more about Drone Pilot Ground School here.
- Large community of drone pilots
- High pass rate
- Hands-on drone training
- Money-back guarantee
4. DARTDrones Flight School
DARTDrones is a famous drone pilot training school that offers an industry-certified curriculum. Also, DARTDrones was featured on the popular show ‘Shark Tank’. Since then it has doubled its flight training instructors and has centers in over 28 cities. DARTDrone takes a very practical approach towards drone pilot training. They not only cover the theoretical knowledge required to pass the Part 107 exam but also train pilots to upgrade their practical skills. This makes DARTDrones a good choice for gaining both practical experience and test preparation knowledge. The course starts at $580. Learn more about DARTDrones here.
- Industry-certified and vetted curriculum
- Experienced flight instructors
- Practical drone pilot training
- Nationwide centers
5. Drone U
Drone U is a great all-round drone pilot training option. It offers several different comprehensive training programs. Pilots can take the Part 107 Test Prep course if they wish to prepare for FAA’s exam, or get Drone U’s In-Person training course and hone their drone piloting skills. All of the training content provided by Drone U is condensed into easy-to-learn modules and webinars that pilots have access to at all times. The pricing of Drone U is a subscription-based model. They offer two subscription plans of $470 annually or $47 per month. Either way, Drone U is one of the most affordable options on the list. For $47 you can get access to all of their content and prepare for the Part 107 exam. Learn more about Drone U here.
- Affordable pricing options
- Comprehensive training modules
- In-person training
- Access to community Forums
The above mentioned drone pilot training schools are some of the best in the US. It is possible to pass the Part 107 through studying on your own, however, the curriculum involves complex concepts such as meteorology, flight radio, airspace, aerodynamics, etc. Thus, through a structured course you can become proficient in these topics and also gain practical knowledge.