Drones have become quite popular in North Carolina, from capturing videos and photos to everyday fun. Professionals and amateurs find flying uncrewed aerial vehicles deeply satisfying, whether for commercial or recreational purposes. However, you will need a drone license from the FAA to fly a drone for commercial purposes.
To get a drone license in North Carolina, you only need to follow the following simple steps;
- Determine whether or not you need a drone license
- Ensure you meet the minimum qualification
- Secure your FTN
- Take time to study and learn the part 107 rules and guidelines
- Pass the knowledge test
- Apply for a drone license
If you want to fly in North Carolina for the first time and do not want to incur any fines due to not having a license, read on for details.
How To Get A Drone License In North Carolina
To become a professional drone pilot in North Carolina, you must have a drone license. Fortunately, obtaining a drone license is not a complex process, and it should not take a lot of your time. Read to understand how to acquire a drone license.
1. Determine Whether Or Not You Need A Drone License
Not everyone requires a drone license to fly. For instance, if your drone weighs less than 249 grams and you are flying it for recreational purposes, you do not need a drone license to operate.
However, if you are flying a drone for commercial purposes, even if it weighs less than 250 grams, you will have to get a drone license. Therefore, it is vital to evaluate your situation and make a decision.
2. Ensure You Meet The Minimum Qualifications
Once you have established that you need a drone license to operate your drone, the next step is to check for the minimum qualifications. You will need to satisfy three basic requirements to start processing to get your drone license. They include;
- Be above 16 years old
- Have a good understanding of the English language and be able to read and write
- Be mentally and physically fit to fly a drone
The third point may suggest that the FAA will require you to provide a medical certificate. Nevertheless, this is not the case as you are supposed to assess your mental and physical status and make your decision.
3. Secure the Unique FTN
The second step is to get your FAA Tracking Number, also known as the FTN. The unique number serves as the means the FAA uses to track all the certified airmen. Once you sign to get the FAA tracking number, it will be associated with you as long as you are in the aviation career.
To get your FTN, you only need to sign up for a profile with the IACRA. It takes a few seconds to get your FTN after creating a profile with the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA).
4. Sign Up For The Aeronautical Knowledge Test
You will need to pass the aeronautical test before you can earn your drone license. Therefore, you should schedule the knowledge test in an FAA-approved center in North Carolina. The test comprises a 60-multiple choice test designed to test your knowledge on various aviation-related topics. You will have to score 70% and above within the two-hour limits provided to pass the exam.
When scheduling the knowledge test, you should pay a non-refundable fee of $175. Therefore, you should prepare well to avoid failing the test as you do not want to pay the amount more than once.
5. Prepare For The Knowledge Test
If you want to pass the knowledge test, you must prepare for it. Many drone pilots will tell you that the questions tested in the knowledge exam are more than the common knowledge. Thus, it would be helpful to utilize your time efficiently to prepare for the test. The FAA has published different materials on how topics are distributed in the knowledge test, and you can use such materials to improve the chances of passing the test.
6. Take The Knowledge Test
After thorough preparation, you should be ready to take and pass the test. On the test day, ensure you bring your government-issued Id for identity. You must take the exam in person, and the ID will serve as proof of your identity.
7. Apply For The License
Once you pass the knowledge test, you can apply for the license. At this point, you need to go to the IACRA website and log in to your account and apply for the part 107 remote pilot certification.
Drone License North Carolina Cost
The amount of money that you are going to spend to acquire your drone license depends on the approach that you take. While some people prepare for the aeronautical test on their own, some opt for professional drone pilot training and part 107 services.
To schedule the aeronautical test in an FAA-accredited center, you will pay a $175 fee, which will be enough to get a drone license as long as you pass the test. However, if you feel inadequate to prepare for the test on your own, you can opt for professional drone training in North Carolina, which will cost about $500.
Drone Registration North Carolina
All Unmanned Aerial Vehicles weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds should be registered with the FAA for a five dollars fee. The registration is valid for three years and must be canceled or modified if you transfer the ownership of the drone to someone else. The FAA typically ensures that all drone operators adhere to the rule of registering their drones. The civil and criminal penalties of not registering your drone can get up to $27,500 and $2500 000 and three years in prison.
Drone Laws North Carolina
Drone laws in the state of North Carolina are drone laws enacted by the North Carolina General assembly and are applicable within the state of North Carolina.
The HB 128//2017 laws illegalize the operation of drones near correctional facilities while excluding specific people operating in an official capacity or who have obtained written consent from the relevant authority.
This law was enacted to allow the use of a drone for emergency management activities such as preliminary damage assessment, area surveillance, search and rescue, hazard risk management, incident command, and flood plain mapping. Further, it makes other changes to align the state law with the federal and prohibits the model from permitting requirements for drones.
This law seeks to expand the mandate of the state's Chief Information Officer to okay the buying and operation of drones by the state. Additionally, the law modifies the state laws of drones to conform to the FAA regulations.
NCAC 13B .1204//2018
This North Carolina Administrative Code was enacted to prohibit Unmanned Aerial Vehicles from landing or taking off upon or within any state park area or on state parking water surfaces. However, in certain situations, drones may be operated in these areas after obtaining a special activity from the relevant authorities.
North Carolina Drone Laws Over Private Property
With the hefty fines that come with violating any FAA regulations on drone operations, you need to treat every action with the cautiousness it deserves. One of the common questions that many people ask is whether it is lawful to fly an UAV over private property in North Carolina.
Yes, flying a drone over private property in North Carolina is legal. However, the drone operator must ensure that they adhere to the FAA regulations and not violate the state laws on personal privacy and trespass.
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Flying a drone for commercial or recreational purposes is an exciting adventure you do not want to ruin by not following the FAA rules and regulations. Besides, North Carolina drone laws conform to FAA guidelines, making them easy for anyone to follow. Always remember that you are sharing the skies with others; therefore, their safety is as important as yours.
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Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.