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A Novice takes to the skies...eventually.

Updated: Oct 2

I had the opportunity to take part in the most recent Sundance Media Group (SMG) part 107 training course. A little background first, I have very little experience in flying drones, I was given a small drone for Christmas (I was 35 years old at the time) and flew it directly into a tree in my front yard and lost all ambition to be a drone pilot. However, my new position at HTS Ag as their Marketing Director, having my part 107 certificate would be very handy in my course of work. So, I jumped at the opportunity to get a, crash course (pun intended) in the world of flying sUAS.

I logged into the zoom meeting, fully expecting to be overwhelmed and confused…I was surprised to find out that wasn’t the case. Jennifer had sent me the PDF of the training book (you’ll get a hardcopy, I was a late addition to the class) and Douglas Spotted Eagle, the instructor, knows how to break down ALL of the need-to-know basics for the test, in an easy, mentally digestible way.

The 2-day session lasted the full two days and the information came at me like the business end of a firehose…but it was all retainable, it somehow stuck and if the real test turns out like the practice tests, I’ll be flying HTS Ag’s drones into trees in no time. Just because I have the license to fly, doesn’t mean I can…I have Adam to train me on that part.

But if you think a drone can help you with your operation, be it agriculture or in public service, SMG’s part 107 training is, I think, essential to get your ready for your test.

I’ll see you in the friendly skies, below 400 feet and in Class G airspace.

Update: Since the writing of the blog, I scheduled and took my test to obtain my Part 107 license.

After the class with Sundance Media Group, Jennifer will send you a couple practice tests. I would recommend that you do take them...what I did was took one a few days before the test and one the morning of, before I went over.

It should be worth mentioning, and Douglas Spotted Eagle is good about explaining it, but you have to register to get your FTN (FAA Tracking Number). Which is easier than shopping online. From there, you go to the PSI website and schedule a time and place. It’s pretty effortless, but then it comes the nerve-racking part, the test.

I may exaggerate on the nerve-racking part, but I did feel some pressure. Until I got in the exam room. I chose Rev Aviation as the testing facility, seeing as it was close and had times available. Once I was in the room, I was handed the manual, scratch paper, a couple pencils and a computer with the test. To pass you need to get a 70%...I got a 77% so I passed…only because the of the SMG training. PROTIP: Pay more attention to the weather part of the class than I did. My test was A LOT of questions about warm fronts and weather patterns.

After passing the test, I get to file my results and obtain the license to fly. I still need to learn that part, but I am sure I can tackle that too. I would like to thank the folks at SMG for the class, they know what to prepare for to take the test and I am certain, without that, I wouldn’t have been successful. So if you are on the fence between self study or taking a class…take the class…and take it at SMG.

Frank Olmstead, Marketing Manager HTS Ag.

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