Drone's for roof inspections

Does anyone know if we need to pass an FAA test to use a Drone for roof inspections?

Unless you a a current pilot, you have to take the test. Google FAA part 107.

Gary and you location , perhaps somone close to you can help . LOL i know where you live :wink:


I’m a FAA Part 61 Pilot and Part 107 UAS (drone) pilot. All the above answers are correct in regards to using drones commercially.

If you wish to pursue a FAA Part 107 Certification please feel free to contact me and I can direct you to an excellent study guide. Be prepared to study for a good month. It’s not an easy test and requires you learn things that will make you go “Really?!?”.

I came to this forum to ask a few questions of you guys in this business and how you are embracing the new drone technology. One of the vehicles we fly is equipped with a FLIR Vue Pro Thermal Sensor. We’re looking to offer our services to this industry.

Interesting that this was the first post on the general page.


Yes, you need to pass the test which is administered by an FAA authorized testing facility and the license needs to be renewed ever 2 years, and to do so the test must be re-taken and passed.

As Doug stated, the test is not easy, I took the free online Part 107 course offered by the FAA, knew the material inside & out, yet miserably failed the test. You need to know how to read aeronautical charts and understand the different classes of airspace, you also need to be able to read & understand METARs & TAFS among other things like waivers etc…

Here are a couple very useful websites once you learn how about these things.

Go here for aeronautical charts, pick a city and start zooming in - https://skyvector.com/
Go here for METARs & TAFs - https://aviationweather.gov/

Good information, thanks!

Kevin is correct about the re-test every two years - though they are not the same test from what I understand. Same thing is true for the Part 61 Pilots with their two year review.

For Part 61 Pilots to process was very easy. There is a 35 question online test you take and they reload the questions until you get 100%. A certificate showing you passed is provided via a PDF. That gets uploaded to your IACRA account when you request the UAS cert. For me I went over to my local airport (Boulder Muni) and asked my CFI to finish the form. An hour later I had my temporary.

I got my PPL specifically to operate drones commercially. $13K and a year later flying a Cessna 172 and I was done. True story - the same day I received my PPL card in the mail was the same day the FAA went live with Part 107.

One thing going on right now with the FAA is their process for a request for authorization to operate in certain airspaces. Authorization for Bravo and Charlie is still a ways out using their online portal. For Delta and Echo their portal does work but the latest from what I understand is you’re looking at 90 days for the authorization. I have friends that have passed on jobs (and some kid with a drone breaking all the rules did the work).

I mostly operate in Golf and there’s no requirements for that.

If we do need to operate in other airspaces we do so under our 333 exemption (which means I’m the only one that can be PIC as I’m the only one in our company with a PPL). Radically different rules.

Thanks for the information.

For flat roof inspections I’m sticking with my camera pole.
I know two inspectors in town who had problems with their drones.
One was downtown and the drone decided to leave, it flew across a very busy street and luckily crash landed in a parking lot without hitting anybody or anything.

The other inspectors drone flew off and he never even found it.

No thanks.

I would imagine that the industry would start moving in this direction. I’ve also looked into using drones for my inspections.

Most cities have airports and heliports so close together, I cannot see how an inspector could use a drone for daily inspections and conform to the rules about contacting each local airports and heliports.
Some parts of town, I would have to get permission from two different locations.

I would love to hear from drone operators in cities on how they get authorization.


Look NEWBIES :slight_smile:

I used the search feature instead of just posting the same stuff again.

  1. Did anyone get a Drone for the Holidays? Show it off for us. Picts vid :slight_smile:

  2. If you use a drone for inspections and it is a year or under, what do you use and what are the pro vs cons. What do you wish it had or did?

Have a link for the free test? I just started looking into this, but have my PPL and the practice stuff on the FAA’s website seemed pretty easy ( if you have already been trained to be a pilot) but I am not current so have to redo everything

Hi Mike,

There is no “free test”, but a free online course on the FAA website which you seem to have found.

I paid $160.00 to take the test at a local airport administered by an FAA designated person.

To be a little more specific - he paid the $160 at a CATS testing center.

perhaps he’s asking for a free practice test?

or maybe the test for Part 61 Pilots which is free?

thanks Kevin

that is what I was looking for Doug, thanks, I just wanted to give some sort of test a quick try just to see how much I do or don’t remember…debating whether or not to just spend a day or two reviewing before going and taking the test or giving it more time and effort (I gave it a ton of effort 12 years ago and flew about 150hrs before I stopped, just haven’t thought much about it since then.)

Mike - you should be in pretty good shape with that kind of experience. The test is heavy on reading sectionals/TACs. I’m about to start teaching a Part 107 Review/Prep course. The feedback I’m getting is people benefit greatly from having Part 61 Pilots explain sectionals.

When I was finishing up last summer my CFI sat down with me and pointed to almost every type of feature on the Cheyenne Sectional and asked me about it. It helped a ton. He also offered a very simple way of thinking about airspace. It’s all G on the SFC (top of Denali aside) until airports get injected.

And I know the test questions are geared a bit more to UAS ops due to the 400’ restriction. So some of the airspace questions we saw for Part 61 are not included.

Good luck!

Can someone give me a little insight on Part 107 position on non-controlled airports and especially heliports that show up on the B4UFly app. I assumed these were all Class G. The heliport 5 mile radius’s that show up, cover my entire County almost.