On June 21, 2016, the FAA finalized 14 CFR 107 (a 624-page document) governing commercial UAS operations in the U.S. This law went into effect August 29, 2016.
The 3-page summary is a quicker read but scarce in detailed knowledge.
And there is also guidance to help teach you how to follow the rule - AC 107-2.
Remote pilots of small UAS, weighing less than 55 pounds, are required to pass a written knowledge test per these FAA instructions.
Below are two documents:
- the first is an FAA interpretation of the term "congested area"
- the second is my annotated copy of the part 107 preamble which contains many explanations for why the law was written the way it was, together with the FAA's interpretation of "sparsely populated"
The certification knowledge test is an important part of the airman certification process. Applicants who do not meet the requirements in 14 CFR 107.61(d)(2) must pass the knowledge test before applying for a Remote Pilot Certificate with an sUAS rating.
Unlike other FAA written tests, the UAG (Unmanned Aircraft General - Small) Certification Test and the UGR (Unmanned Aircraft General - Small Recurrent) Test require NO instructor endorsement or other form of written authorization.
The 2-hour knowledge test (UAG) consists of 60 objective, multiple-choice questions. There is a single correct response for each test question. Each test question is independent of other questions. A correct response to one question does not depend upon, or influence, the correct response to another.
The recurrent knowledge test is an important part of ensuring that airmen who hold a remote pilot certificate with sUAS rating can operate safety in the National Airspace System (NAS). Recurrent testing is required for Airmen who do not hold a pilot certificate that was issued under 14 CFR part 61. The recurrent test is also required for airmen who do hold a pilot certificate that was issued under 14 CFR part 61, but do not have a current Flight Review as per 14 CFR part 61, section, 61.56.
The 1 hour and 30 minutes recurrent knowledge test (UGR) consists of 40 objective, multiple-choice questions. There is a single correct response for each test question. Each test question is independent of other questions. A correct response to one question does not depend upon, or influence, the correct response to another.
The FAA has released 40 sample test questions (these are incorporated throughout this test prep and appear in blue)- see the Application Identification, Information Verification and Authorization Requirements Matrix for general requirements.
I also added some test questions that were on the FAASTEAM test for Part 61 pilots and these are in green.
(Answer key to all green questions is in one document, and answer key to blue questions is in another, both at the bottom of the page UAG Test Prep - 9)
The FAA-CT-8080-2H, Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement for Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, Remote Pilot, and Private Pilot contains the supplemental graphics necessary to assist in answering any question on a UAG or UGR exam.
You should become very familiar with this supplement prior to taking the test.
On June 28, 2016, the FSIMS updated Volume 16 to incorporate the new Part 107 material. This volume provides information and policy guidance regarding how civil UAS operators, public, UAS operators, and model aircraft operators are authorized to conduct flight operations in a manner which complies with the applicable 14 CFRs. The primary audience for this volume is Flight Standards Service (AFS) aviation safety inspectors (ASI), their managers and supervisors, and other operational and administrative employees. The aviation industry and the general public may find this volume helpful for informational and planning purposes. Note that 14 CFR Part 11 grants of exemption are what were formerly known as Section 333 examptions. I have added pertinent parts of Volume 16 to the course material below.
The following web pages (UAG Test Prep 1- 9) are aimed at preparing you for the Remote PIC with sUAS rating written knowledge test (UAG), and recurrent written knowledge test (UGR) and are based upon the FAA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airman Certification Standards (ACS) document - FAA-S-ACS-10A and the FAA's Remote Pilot Knowledge Test Guide - FAA-G-8082-20.
The FAA views the ACS as the foundation to an integrated and systematic approach to airman certification. The ACS is part of the safety management system (SMS) framework that the FAA uses to mitigate risks associated with airman certification training and testing. Specifically, the ACS, associated guidance, and test question components of the airman certification system are constructed around the four functional components of an SMS:
1. Safety Policy that defines and describes aeronautical knowledge and risk management as integrated components of the airman certification system;
2. Safety Risk Management processes through which internal stakeholders identify and evaluate regulatory changes, safety recommendations, or other factors that require modification of airman testing and training materials;
3. Safety Assurance processes to ensure the prompt and appropriate incorporation of changes arising from new regulations and safety recommendations; and
4. Safety Promotion in the form of ongoing engagement with both external stakeholders and FAA policy divisions.
The UAS ACS includes Areas of Operation and Tasks for the initial issuance of a Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating.
A RED * beside the task denotes that task is a recurrent test item
Each Task in the ACS is coded according to a scheme that includes four elements. For example:
UA = Applicable ACS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems)
I = Area of Operation (Regulations)
B = Task (Operating Rules)
K10 = Task element Knowledge 10 (Visual line of sight (VLOS) aircraft operations.)
There are 5 main Areas of Operation in total, some more complex than others
Each Area of Operation is further broken down into Tasks, and then even further into Task Element Knowledge
Task A. General (UA.I.A) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in the general regulatory requirements of 14 CFR part 107.
Task B. Operating Rules (UA.I.B) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable of the operating rules of 14 CFR part 107, the registration rules of 14 CFR parts 47 and 48, and other associated operating requirements.
a. See and avoid other aircraft and other potential hazard considerations of the remote PIC (UA.I.B.K14a)
Task C. Remote Pilot Certification with an sUAS rating (UA.I.C) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in the requirements associated with remote pilot certification with an sUAS rating.
Task D. Waivers (UA.I.D) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable of the FAA waiver policy and requirements.
1. The waiver policy and requirements (UA.I.D.K1)
Task A. Airspace Classification (UA.II.A) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeble in airspace classification.
Task B. Airspace Operational Requirements (UA.II.B) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable of airspace operational requirements.
5. The Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) system including how to obtain an established NOTAM
through Flight Service (UA.II.B.K5)
Task A. Sources of Weather (UA.III.A)
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in sources of weather information.
Task B. Effects of Weather on Performance (UA.III.B)
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable of the effects of weather on performance.
Task A. Loading and Performance (UA.IV.A)
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in the loading and performance of an sUAS.
Task A. Radio Communications Procedures (UA.V.A)
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in radio communication procedures.
Task B. Airport Operations (UA.V.B) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in airport operations.
Task C. Emergency Procedures (UA.V.C) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in sUAS emergency procedures.
Task D. Aeronautical Decision-Making (UA.V.D) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in aeronautical decision-making.
Task E. Physiology (UA.V.E)
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in the physiological factors affecting remote pilot performance.
Task F. Maintenance and Inspection Procedures (UA.V.F) *
Objective: To determine that the applicant is knowledgeable in sUAS maintenance and inspection procedures.
UAS Topics for Recurrent Testing
- I. Regulations - Task A, B, C, D - 30-40% of test
- II. Airspace - Task A, B - 30-40% of test
- V. Operations - Task B, C, D, F - 20-30% of test
Speaking from the standpoint of a seasoned pilot I would like to recommend at this point a free AOPA membership (good for 6 months) so that you can reap the benefits of the Air Safety Institute Interactive modules at several points in this course (these will be denoted by name in message boxes much like this one).
Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS
602 561 8665
You can also fill out my online form.
The information on this website is for educational purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice. While the author of this website is an attorney, she is not your attorney, nor are you her client, until you enter into a written agreement with Nilsson Law, PLLC to provide legal services.