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Hobbyist versus Part 107

Amarand

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Hey all,

I'm currently a hobbyist flier with a single (Mavic Air) SUAV.

I'm actually fairly good at passing certification exams, when there's a decent test-prep, to help me learn the material that's on the exam.

So three questions:

1) As a hobbyist who likes the idea of using LAANC, but of course LAANC isn't yet ready for hobbyist fliers, would it make sense for me to get my Part 107?

2) Does anyone know of any solid on-line test prep that's exam-like, that runs you through all the questions, explaining why questions are right/wrong? I do fairly well studying from books and materials or whatever, but exams, I need to study in an exam-like way.

3) Is there a practical exam portion of the Part 107 or is it all just written multiple-choice?

Also, do I have to go somewhere to take the exam? I'm assuming?

I'm asking these questions because it seems like a lot of laws/rules are changing over the next few months, and I'd like to make a good decision one way or the other.

No one is paying me to fly my drone, but sometimes I like to sell my pictures, so I don't know if that constitutes a "commerical use" of a drone, after the fact.
 

Mike_Flys

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Hey all,

I'm currently a hobbyist flier with a single (Mavic Air) SUAV.

I'm actually fairly good at passing certification exams, when there's a decent test-prep, to help me learn the material that's on the exam.

So three questions:

1) As a hobbyist who likes the idea of using LAANC, but of course LAANC isn't yet ready for hobbyist fliers, would it make sense for me to get my Part 107?

2) Does anyone know of any solid on-line test prep that's exam-like, that runs you through all the questions, explaining why questions are right/wrong? I do fairly well studying from books and materials or whatever, but exams, I need to study in an exam-like way.

3) Is there a practical exam portion of the Part 107 or is it all just written multiple-choice?

Also, do I have to go somewhere to take the exam? I'm assuming?

I'm asking these questions because it seems like a lot of laws/rules are changing over the next few months, and I'd like to make a good decision one way or the other.

No one is paying me to fly my drone, but sometimes I like to sell my pictures, so I don't know if that constitutes a "commerical use" of a drone, after the fact.
Last thing first.
If you sell photos taken with a drone that is commercial use.

1. Knowledge is always good so if you don't mind studying/learning the regulations to take the Part 107 test, and spending the $150 to take it then yes get your 107.

2. I'm sure you will get lots of feed back on this one as there are tons of choices. I recommend Dauntless. I used it for all my FAA tests I have taken, except my Part 107 which I didn't need to Study for as I already knew the material.

3. all written multiple choice.
Yes. If you do not have an existing FAA pilot certificate then you need to go to an official test center.

I hope this helps.

Good luck.

Mike
 

BigAl07

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Mike pretty much nailed it.

I like and highly suggest Gold Seal UAV Ground School. They are FAA instructors and teach you the Subject Matter (so you can apply it in the Real World) as opposed to some others who merely teach you how to memorize and pass the test. Those students are the ones that come here immediately after taking the test and ask for assistance because they didin't learn HOW To come up with the answers.

Also Gold Seal UAV Ground School is a Vendor/Sponsor here which helps to support THIS forum and keep it FREE for the rest of us. That means a LOT.
 

Amarand

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Last thing first.
If you sell photos taken with a drone that is commercial use.
So, if I take a fun picture of a sunset, I can't later sell that under the hobbyist rule?

I realize I can't have someone commission me to take off, shoot a sunset, and turn that over.

But would the FAA really get into the legality of me selling what are effectively snapshots?

1. Knowledge is always good so if you don't mind studying/learning the regulations to take the Part 107 test, and spending the $150 to take it then yes get your 107.
Ahh okay. I'll look into the path, for sure. I have much more time to do on-line studying than in-person studying, so if it's something I can study mainly (wholly?) on-line, that's awesome. Then go to a test center to test.

2. I'm sure you will get lots of feed back on this one as there are tons of choices. I recommend Dauntless. I used it for all my FAA tests I have taken, except my Part 107 which I didn't need to Study for as I already knew the material.
I'll look into the Dauntless, thank you! I've gained four computer certifications by using the Transcender exam prep. I go online, take a huge test, and see that I know 20%. And that's okay. Then I cram, learn, and get closer to 90-100% on the practice tests, and I know I'm ready to go in and take the exam.

But I have a difficult time mapping knowledge from a book (or an in-person class), to a multiple-choice exam. So exam prep that works like a multiple-choice exam, with explanations, works best for me.

3. all written multiple choice.
Yes. If you do not have an existing FAA pilot certificate then you need to go to an official test center.
So all written. Not even a drone obstacle course or fly around the cones and parallel park? 😹
 
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Amarand

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Mike pretty much nailed it.

I like and highly suggest Gold Seal UAV Ground School. They are FAA instructors and teach you the Subject Matter (so you can apply it in the Real World) as opposed to some others who merely teach you how to memorize and pass the test. Those students are the ones that come here immediately after taking the test and ask for assistance because they didin't learn HOW To come up with the answers.

Also Gold Seal UAV Ground School is a Vendor/Sponsor here which helps to support THIS forum and keep it FREE for the rest of us. That means a LOT.
If I have to physical go into a school, it's likely not going to happen. Sadly. 😿

But it does sound like there are on-line only options (until test taking day, which has to be in-person at an FAA test center).
 

sar104

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So, if I take a fun picture of a sunset, I can't later sell that under the hobbyist rule?

I realize I can't have someone commission me to take off, shoot a sunset, and turn that over.

But would the FAA really get into the legality of me selling what are effectively snapshots?
If the original, legitimate, intent of the flight is purely recreational and not to take photos for subsequent sale, then later incidental sale of those photos does not change the recreational nature of the flight. The FAA has confirmed that, in writing. Of course if you make a frequent habit of selling photos acquired that way, and if someone complains, then the FAA might take an interest.
 

Amarand

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If the original, legitimate, intent of the flight is purely recreational and not to take photos for subsequent sale, then later incidental sale of those photos does not change the recreational nature of the flight. The FAA has confirmed that, in writing. Of course if you make a frequent habit of selling photos acquired that way, and if someone complains, then the FAA might take an interest.
Yeah, I had heard that intent is important, and also, the FAA is in the business of keeping our airways safe, not necessarily restricting what photographers can do with their work after the flight.

Currently, I always intend to go out, fly, have fun, and be safe, take a lot of pictures. As a photography hobbyist, I can't call myself a "professional photographer" even though I've sold some of my work before, because you have to make a certain amount (50%+ I think?) of your livelihood in photography to be a "professional."

So I love photography and I enjoy flying my SUAV, but I am under no illusion that I'm going to make money out of either for the time being. I'm a professional computer guy - it's what I do, and it's how I make my money.

The Part 107 certification would be nice to have under my belt, and maybe make things easier for me in the future, but it's not something necessary. I do worry about the additional restrictions on the hobbyist side, but where I currently fly is also firmly inside Class-G uncontrolled airspace. Which is good.
 
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Amarand

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If the original, legitimate, intent of the flight is purely recreational and not to take photos for subsequent sale, then later incidental sale of those photos does not change the recreational nature of the flight. The FAA has confirmed that, in writing. Of course if you make a frequent habit of selling photos acquired that way, and if someone complains, then the FAA might take an interest.
Also, just so we're clear, there is a LOT of gray-area when it comes to "commercial" videography and photography. Is posting a SUAV flight video on YouTube considered a "commercial" use? Does it matter if I enable ads and get kickbacks for those? How about if I start to get popular, and get product endorsements (cash)? How about free products? At what point does the FAA come in and say "that's a commercial use, you need a Part 107?"

(Not being flippant - I'm being serious. Has anyone ever been...sanctioned [is that the term?]...for "selling" photos or video under the hobbyist rule?)
 
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Amarand

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If the original, legitimate, intent of the flight is purely recreational and not to take photos for subsequent sale, then later incidental sale of those photos does not change the recreational nature of the flight. The FAA has confirmed that, in writing. Of course if you make a frequent habit of selling photos acquired that way, and if someone complains, then the FAA might take an interest.
LeBron James (article from 2015, so may be out of date numbers) is a professional NBA basketball player. That's what he does, and how he makes his money. BUT, he also sells Nike shoes and they pay him $20 million dollars a year to promote. Is he also a professional shoe salesman? That's a lot of money....


At what point does the FAA (truly) get involved, in practice, when it comes to selling photos and video?
 
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Amarand

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Mike pretty much nailed it.

I like and highly suggest Gold Seal UAV Ground School. They are FAA instructors and teach you the Subject Matter (so you can apply it in the Real World) as opposed to some others who merely teach you how to memorize and pass the test. Those students are the ones that come here immediately after taking the test and ask for assistance because they didin't learn HOW To come up with the answers.

Also Gold Seal UAV Ground School is a Vendor/Sponsor here which helps to support THIS forum and keep it FREE for the rest of us. That means a LOT.
I signed up for the free trial, thank you! They also have a veterans' discount, which is nice.
 
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ac0j

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LeBron James (article from 2015, so may be out of date numbers) is a professional NBA basketball player. That's what he does, and how he makes his money. BUT, he also sells Nike shoes and they pay him $20 million dollars a year to promote. Is he also a professional shoe salesman? That's a lot of money....


At what point does the FAA (truly) get involved, in practice, when it comes to selling photos and video?
If you remain a hobby pilot, just tap your heels together while saying "this is a hobby flight" before every take off and you are good to go. NO court in the world can prove YOUR intentions while flying one way or the other unless you have a written contract with someone for drone related work . IF you plan to do real estate work, aerial surveys and the like, then get the 107. I am not aware of the FAA ever approaching anyone over the sale of a photograph, and if anyone knows of a case of that, Lets see the proof. But a photo sold every once in awhile is no big deal. Unless you sell several a year I would stay hobby and save the money and effort.
ALSO, It seems like Hobby pilots have less restrictions than 107 pilots as far as the fAA is concerned, unless you want to fly near airports and things like that.
 
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sar104

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Also, just so we're clear, there is a LOT of gray-area when it comes to "commercial" videography and photography. Is posting a SUAV flight video on YouTube considered a "commercial" use? Does it matter if I enable ads and get kickbacks for those? How about if I start to get popular, and get product endorsements (cash)? How about free products? At what point does the FAA come in and say "that's a commercial use, you need a Part 107?"

(Not being flippant - I'm being serious. Has anyone ever been...sanctioned [is that the term?]...for "selling" photos or video under the hobbyist rule?)
If I recall correctly the FAA has stated that flying to get video for a monetized YT channel is not recreational, which seems like a reasonable interpretation to me.
 

Mike_Flys

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So, if I take a fun picture of a sunset, I can't later sell that under the hobbyist rule?

I realize I can't have someone commission me to take off, shoot a sunset, and turn that over.

But would the FAA really get into the legality of me selling what are effectively snapshots?
It is unlikely they would pursue it technically they could.



Ahh okay. I'll look into the path, for sure. I have much more time to do on-line studying than in-person studying, so if it's something I can study mainly (wholly?) on-line, that's awesome. Then go to a test center to test.

I'll look into the Dauntless, thank you! I've gained four computer certifications by using the Transcender exam prep. I go online, take a huge test, and see that I know 20%. And that's okay. Then I cram, learn, and get closer to 90-100% on the practice tests, and I know I'm ready to go in and take the exam.

But I have a difficult time mapping knowledge from a book (or an in-person class), to a multiple-choice exam. So exam prep that works like a multiple-choice exam, with explanations, works best for me.

So all written. Not even a drone obstacle course or fly around the cones and parallel park? 😹
Lots of online choices to help study. Everything you need to learn can be downloaded or found on FAA.gov

No piratical skills flying test. They want to get you into the system run your TSA background check, and ensure you have the basic knowledge of airspace, how to read a sectional chart, understand weather, how to safely and legally operate an sUAS in the national airspace system, apply for authorizations, waivers.....

Good luck.
 
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tcope

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I'm currently a hobbyist flier with a single (Mavic Air) SUAV.

So three questions:

1) As a hobbyist who likes the idea of using LAANC, but of course LAANC isn't yet ready for hobbyist fliers, would it make sense for me to get my Part 107?
Not for this reason. As a hobby flier, you are currently not required to use LAANC. Flying under Part 107, you would need to take the time to submit your flight information.
 

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To the OP and original mention of LAANC not ready yet, according to Nicholas Colvin, Albuquerque District, LAANC should be ready July 19, 2019.
 

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All the confusing laws aside, I would recommend getting the Part 107 just because you can. Much the same reason I have a concealed carry permit. It may be tougher or impossible in the future and if you already have one, you may be grandfathered in.
 

Drone on

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If the original, legitimate, intent of the flight is purely recreational and not to take photos for subsequent sale, then later incidental sale of those photos does not change the recreational nature of the flight. The FAA has confirmed that, in writing. Of course if you make a frequent habit of selling photos acquired that way, and if someone complains, then the FAA might take an interest.
On the flip to this, if I fly to take then make video for sale (actually sold two - it's a miracle), then I'm assuming that qualifies me as commercial pilot with legitimate access to LAANC having been certified by the FAA via the Part 107 exam.

Do you agree?
 

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On the flip to this, if I fly to take then make video for sale (actually sold two - it's a miracle), then I'm assuming that qualifies me as commercial pilot with legitimate access to LAANC having been certified by the FAA via the Part 107 exam.

Do you agree?
No... gotta pass 107 exam currently.
 

sar104

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On the flip to this, if I fly to take then make video for sale (actually sold two - it's a miracle), then I'm assuming that qualifies me as commercial pilot with legitimate access to LAANC having been certified by the FAA via the Part 107 exam.

Do you agree?
If you are Part 107 certified then of course - that's who LAANC is intended for.
 
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