Nebraska Extension Offers Part 107 Drone Test Prep Courses Feb. 7 Through March 6

Drone spraying wheat field
Five exam prep courses will be offered across the state in February and March for producers and other members of the public who need to obtain a Part 107 remote pilot certification or license to fly drones for commercial applications.

Nebraska Extension Offers Part 107 Drone Test Prep Courses Feb. 7 Through March 6

During the months of February and March 2024, Nebraska Extension will be offering one-day (eight hour) courses across the state to prepare individuals to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aeronautical Knowledge Exam required to receive a Part 107 remote pilot certification or license to fly drones for commercial applications.

“The FAA considers drones aircraft, therefore, operation of drones in the national airspace follow similar requirements as manned aircraft,” said Dr. Dirk Charlson, statewide extension educator and remote pilot.

The FAA classifies drone use into two categories of recreational or commercial.

“The distinction between these two categories is basically on whether money is involved with the drone,” Charlson said. “For example, if a producer is using a drone to check cattle or crops, the FAA considers these commercial drone uses, since the cattle or crops will be sold. Many producers do not realize they may need a license to fly a drone for their farming operation.”

This course covers aviation topics such as regulations, airspace, radio communication, weather, aircraft performance, and other basic aviation concepts necessary to pass the Part 107 knowledge exam. The exam is taken at an FAA designated location and consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum score of 70% to pass.

Recently, Charlson taught this course to college students attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Many undergraduates and graduate students have used drones in their internships or research. According to Dr. Anne Streich, UNL professor of practice of agronomy and horticulture who attended the course, “A common goal among our students is their desire to expand their digital ag skills. This course provided them an excellent opportunity to do so.”

Prior to taking his course, 70% of the students indicated having no confidence in passing the exam, but their overall confidence level increased to 90% being confident to very confident of passing the exam. Dr. Streich isn’t surprised: “The workshop was well done. I expect many of them will pass their remote pilot certification exam.”

The Part 107 remote pilot exam prep courses are available to the public. Aviation experience is not essential to be successful in the course. The course will be offered at several locations across the state:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 7 — Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Educator Center near Mead.
  • Thursday, Feb. 8 — Haskell Lab at Concord.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 21 — West Central Research, Extension, and Educator Center at North Platte.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28 — Adams County Extension Office at Hastings.
  • Wednesday, March 6 — Panhandle Research, Extension, and Educator Center at Scottsbluff.

Registration is available online for each location. Pre-registration is required with a $250 registration fee. Study materials and lunch will be provided. An educational discount is available to students and educators.

Please contact Dr. Dirk Charlson, 402-460-0742 (cell), for more information on this course.

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