Frequently Asked Questions
Which Drone is good for beginners?
If you’re considering diving into the drone craze, you’re choosing one fantastic hobby. Drones are a blast for beginner pilots and experienced drone enthusiasts alike. But many people hold off on purchasing one because they think drones are too hard to fly. The good news is that some drones are now so easy to pilot that you can feel like a pro on your debut flight! Below is a small yet vital list of the types of drones best-suited for the beginners!
Why we picked Spark
Spark is small, simple, and responds to basic physical commands. In roughly 10 seconds, you can take the Spark from your pocket and perform a palm launch. There’s no need to pair Spark with a remote controller or mobile app. Simply raise your hand, and it will enter gesture control mode. Wave, and it will fly back about 20 feet. Next, make a square with your fingers, and Spark will snap a photo of you and your pals—it’s perfect for aerial selfies. After that, lift your arms to call it back to you.
A next step up from Spark, the Mavic Air is a great drone for beginners and the perfect balance of power and portability. Built to accompany you on all your adventures, the Mavic Air is half the size of the Mavic Pro while packing nearly all of the same great features. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the Mavic Air such an excellent choice.
Why we picked the Mavic Air
The first thing every new drone owner worries about is flight safety. No one wants to be “that guy” who crashes their drone on its first flight. Fortunately, the Mavic Air has a number of nifty and practical safety measures built in, including stereo vision sensors on the front, back, and bottom that sense the environment while you fly, telling you where it’s safe to land and even bypassing objects automatically. As a bonus, it offers strong image quality along with portability.
Who is it for?
A portable, easy-to-use drone with high-quality camera capabilities, the Mavic Pro is a favorite among drone enthusiasts. It’s ideal for global travelers looking to capture their travels from every angle. It’s a powerful, foldable drone that boasts ultra-sharp images – easy enough to use for novices, but with sophistication that will satisfy more experienced drone heads.
Why we picked the Mavic Pro
The Mavic Pro combines a small flying camera with high-quality images and a long battery life. The tiny 3-axis gimbal camera can shoot 4K video and 12-megapixel stills, and its instant command response capabilities make it perfect for new drone enthusiasts.
Who is it for?
I am new to drones. How do I know if a course package is too advanced?
Many people who take our courses are brand new to drones and flying for the first time in the class. The course starts with the basics for beginners and progresses to provide you with the skills and knowledge an FAA Commercial Drone Pilot needs to start his own business.
Do I need a pilot’s license to fly a drone commercially?
Yes, but it is NOT one of the expensive manned aircraft pilot licenses most people think about. You only need the Part 107 remote pilot certificate (also known as a “drone license”) to operate your drone commercially. This drone license allows you to fly your drone for profit. Keep in mind that you are not limited to profit-making flights. You can fly recreationally under Part 107 or as a government employee (police, fire, etc.).
How many days is the full Professional Drone Pilot Package?
The Professional Drone Pilot Package includes one day of drone flight training and two full days of Part 107 in-person training, plus online access to Part 107 test prep and information about starting your own drone business …. Drones for Beginners, and Aerial Photography, Cinematography.
Do I have to bring my own drone or will one be provided for me?
Our instructors provide a drone for each person enrolled in the course—typically a DJI Phantom Series sUAS, although our class covers the Mavic and Inspire.
For insurance and liability purposes, students CANNOT fly their own equipment during the course unless they provide proof of liability insurance with Drone Nerds of Pinecrest Academy named as an additional insured prior to the course. Any insurance company that offers coverage for sUAS flight is sufficient for this course. Many students have used Verifly as their provider.
Does the course include outdoor flight time?
Yes! The Drone Flight Training course rotates from indoor to outdoor training. Learn in the comfort of a classroom and then head outside to fly. The Part 107 Test Prep course is completely inside.
What is Part 107? Why do I need it? How do I get it?
In August of 2016, the FAA launched new rules for commercial drone pilots under the FAA regulations called Part 107. The new rules allow people interested in flying their drones for a profit or commercial use to gain a license from the FAA to fly their drone for commercial purposes after passing a 60-question, 2-hour exam offered at an FAA testing center. (The old rules used to require a 333 exemption and a manned aircraft pilot’s license. This is no longer necessary.) Someone new to aviation could commit 15 – 20 hours of study time and be ready to pass their exam. The cost to take the exam is $150, paid to the testing center. While Drone Nerds of Pinecrest Academy does not serve as a test location, the FAA offers nearly 700 testing centers across the country. Once you pass the exam, you receive your certificate within a few weeks and are able to fly commercially.
After I complete the Part 107 Test Prep course, will I be ready to take my exam?
Although we cover all of the content that you will need to study for the test, many students want to spend study time preparing and opt to take our Part 107 Test Prep course, which includes practice tests. We recommend not booking your exam until after you complete our class and feel ready.
What is the typical class size?
We keep our courses small—the Drone Flight Training course is limited to 8 students and the Part 107 In-Person Training course is limited to 10 students.
Will the class be rescheduled due to inclement weather?
We truly care about the safety of our students. If inclement weather creates dangerous travel conditions for our participants, we will postpone the course to a later date and you can always select a date that works for you. If travel is not dangerous, we will still hold the indoor portion of the class and will reschedule only the outdoor flying portion to a later date.