Drone Pilot Certificate Program

Drone Pilot Certificate Program

What is a Drone Pilot?

A drone pilot effectively operates a drone, a small unmanned Aircraft system (sUAS). They ensure that a drone safely takes off and lands, checks the drone before it is flown to ensure that it is operating properly and monitors the drone while it is being handled.

Why become a Drone Pilot?

The ability to operate a drone is a useful skill for those with careers in the military, real estate, videography, photography, insurance, agriculture, telecommunications, public safety, education, transportation, and more.

Course Description

This 36-hour course is designed for anyone interested in earning a sUAS Pilot Certificate and learning about General Aviation. The course will cover topics including federal regulations, airspace, weather and weather services, radio communication and more. This course will be offered in a classroom environment as well as outside for a hands-on experience.

The following drone pilot topics will be included:

  • Airspace Classification, Operating Requirements, and Flight Restrictions,
  • Aviation Weather Sources,
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft Loading,
  • Emergency Procedures,
  • Aeronautical Decision Making and Judgement,
  • Airport Operations,
  • Maintenance and Preflight Inspection Procedures,
  • And more!


At the completion of the class, students will take a final written exam administered by the instructor. Students will need to pass the written exam with a 70% or higher to receive a written endorsement authorizing them to take the FAA test for their Drone Pilot Certificate. Students will take their FAA test at a FAA Authorized Testing Center located at the Hartford-Brainard Airport Flight School for an additional fee of $150.


Students will be responsible for bringing their own drones for the flight-training portion of the course. (Example: Holy Stone HS179 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone 2.4Ghz 6-Axis Gyro 4 Channels selling on Amazon for $39.95 + Shipping)

Students will also be responsible for extra batteries. (Example: Holy Stone 2PCs of 3.7V 350 mAh Lipo Battery for RC Quadcopter Holy Stone HS 170, HS 170C, F180W, etc. selling on Amazon for $12.99 + shipping)


Before the first class, students should read the required text, Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airman Certification Standards. It can be downloaded free from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website. Or, you can purchase a softcover version for $5.95 here.

A study guide is also available called Remote Pilot– Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide. It covers all of the information taught during the class and can be downloaded here.

Course Schedules

SPRING 2020:  CRN #14282

Instructor: Phillip Smith

Dates: Tuesdays and Fridays, 5/1/20 – 5/29/20

Time: 5:00 pm — 9:00 pm

Room: B127

Cost: $275 FAA test is an additional fee of $150.

CEUs: 3.6

Registration deadline: 4/24/20

Learn how to register.


Download the brochure