Flying drones is fun but turning it into a business requires becoming certified by the FAA and willing to undertake training courses. We are taking a look at some of the top drone training schools around the country, in hopes to educate you and help you to make the correct decision to suit your needs.
FAA Part 107
To be a certified drone pilot in the United States you are required by law to complete and pass the FAA Part 107 certification test. Part 107 shows that you understand regulations, the ins, and outs of the airspace and requirements. The understanding of weather is also tested along with general operations, loading, and performance.
The Part 107 test is a multiple-choice test consisting of 60 A, B or C style questions. The test goes for 2 hours and includes reading airspace maps and/or charts. You are required to get a score of 70% or more to pass the test and get certified.
To learn more about the FAA and the Part 107 certification needed to fly a drone commercially be sure to visit the FAA’s website.
Drone Launch Academy
Drone Launch Academy consists of a 5-man pilot team with award-winning and USAF retirees. The team consists of regulation, weather, video and photography experts. Both in-person and online training options are available along with a free podcast interviewing fellow drone businesses and the people behind them.
Drone Launch Academy offers 3 in-person courses, including a Part 107 test preparation course for $199 with an advertised pass rate of 99.02% and over 6,000 students helped to date. The Drone Launch Academy website also shares a vast list of websites and software ranging from accounting to flight management to help grow and manage your drone business.
Drone Launch Academy provides training and courses for the following fields:
- Part 107 preparation
- Aerial photo pro
- Aerial video A to Z
Drone U is one of the most known drone training schools in the country providing services to anyone looking to be a certified drone pilot. DroneU produces its content in the form of videos, webinars, podcasts, events and expert advice. Created to shorten the time required to become a certified pilot. DroneU has a small talented team of 10 pilots scattered across the country offering 7 training courses to cover a variety of fields within the drone world.
Drone U focuses on its online training course which costs $470 annually, giving you access to a vast collection of video and webinar content along with Part 107 test preparation and access to a community of like-minded individuals and drone business experts. The in-person training offered by DroneU utilizes its network of trained pilots to teach and pass their knowledge on to its students while providing courses that are nationally recognized.
DroneU provides training and courses for the following fields:
- Flight introduction
- Subject tracking with drones
- Group Part 107 drone licensing
- Aerial photography
- Drone mapping: comprehensive photogrammetry
- Flight mastery
- Aerial videography and cinematography
- Drone systems
- Flying technique
- Business and commercialization
- Motion and cinematography
- Certified pilot
- Advanced mapping resources
- Comprehensive mapping
- How lo launch and grow a drone business
- Filters for video and photography
- Understanding the exposure triangle
- Common FAA and UAS terms defined and explained
- Night photography using a drone
- Subject tracking fast-moving objects
- Shooting and mapping construction sites
- Cell tower mapping
- FAA UAS symposium
- Editing drone video with Final Cut Pro
- Light painting
- Photography hacks
- Practice drills and exercises
- Flying over water
- Hobby vs. commercial operations
- Intro to drone thermography
- Operating under Part 107
- FPV racing
- Lightroom automation
- Don’t crash course
- Advanced aerial videography
- Still photography
- Build a drone
- Photo editing
- Final Cut Pro X basics
- Real estate videography
- First time flying
- Beginner practice and tips
Drone Pilot Ground School/UAV Coach
Drone Pilot Ground School solely focuses on the Part 107 test preparation since the FAA launched it back in 2016. The school is headquartered in Nashville, TN with training pilots located across the country. All the preparation for the Part 107 test is done online via Drone Pilot Ground School website. The school has a team of 4 people that manage it and run the preparation online. UAV Coach, also owned by the same people behind Drone Pilot Ground School offers in-person training as well as various online guides and a forum full of like-minded individuals.
Drone Pilot Ground School offers its Part 107 test preparation course with a 99% pass rating for $299 per person, with discounts available depending on the number of people taking the course. UAV Coach offers custom training sessions for $300 per person again with discounts based on the number of people in the session. You are also able to get your Part 107 test preparation course at a discounted rate when purchasing a training session.
Drone Pilot Ground School/UAV Coach provides training and courses for the following fields:
- Custom sessions based on your needs
- Part 107 preparation
Gold Seal UAV Ground School opened in 2003 and is owned and operated by Atlanta Flight Inc. Gold Seal is located in Gwinnett County Airport in Georgia and has seen over 100,000 pilots pass through its programs to date. The team consists of 8 pilots with varying degrees of flight time and area of expertise. Gold Seal only offers online courses at the time of this post.
Gold Seal offers 3 online courses to choose from, including a full package course that includes a Part 107 test preparation, Part 107 recurrent test preparation along with a night flight operations course, required by the FAA to fly at night. This will set you back $199.
Gold Seal provides training and courses for the following fields:
- Part 107 initial ground school
- Part 107 recurrent test preparation
- Night flight operations
DARTdrones is one of the nation’s leading drone training schools with a focus on enterprise, government agencies, public safety departments, and individuals. A team of over 35 pilots with experience in manned aircraft and share a large number of flight hours among them, making DARTdrones one of the largest drone training schools. DARTdrones also works with companies to help implement custom drone pilot training, standard procedures along with up to date assessments and management software.
DARTdrones offers a large variety of in-person and online drone training courses suited to various fields. The ultimate package offered by DARTdrones is the Professional Drone Pilot Package. The perfect course that combines in-person pilot training, Part 107 license test preparation along with online flight planning and execution courses to get you on your way. All this comes in at $1,649.00 with the option to pay monthly. Customized solutions are also provided by DARTdrones for on-site training in over 10 industries. Consulting, PilotHub software and AUVSI Trusted Operator Program is also available.
DARTdrones provides training and courses for the following fields:
- Aerial mapping & modeling workshop
- Aerial roof inspection workshop
- Trusted Operator Program – Level 2
- Part 107 test preparation
- Night operation
- Disaster response
- Drones for beginners
- Starting a drone business
- Aerial photography
Who did we miss?
Let us know below if we missed your favorite drone school!