To fly an unmanned aircraft commercially, you must have a Remote Pilot airman certificate from the FAA.
This is a Federal certification. It packs a lot of weight and identifies you as a trained professional
pilot. To earn this certification you must pass an FAA written exam. You must recertify with the FAA every
What is “commercial” flight?
Any flight operation conducted for compensation or in furtherance of any business is considered to be a
commercial flight. If you get paid, it’s commercial. If you don’t get paid, but it benefits a business or
organization, it’s commercial. This means if you fly your quadcopter and shoot video of a house for free,
then give to your friend who is a real estate agent, it’s commercial.
Where do I take the FAA exam?
The written exam will be taken at an authorized testing center. Two companies handle the FAA exams. They
are CATS (800-947-4228) and PSI Lasergrade (800-211-2754). Each can tell you where the closest testing
center is based on your Zip Code. You must make a reservation in advance to take the exam.
How much does the exam cost?
The FAA Remote Pilot written test costs $150. If you fail, you must pay an additional $150 and wait 14
days to retake the test. (Two very good reasons that you want to pass the first time!)
What is the exam like?
The FAA exam contains 60 multiple choice questions. Two hours is allowed for completion of the exam. You
will take the test on a computer at an authorized testing center. Your test will be proctored and
monitored by video camera. After you complete the exam you will be given a document called the “Knowledge
Test Report”. This document includes an embossed seal. Do not lose this report! You will need it to apply
for your Remote Pilot Airman Certificate.
How do I prepare for the FAA exam?
The FAA test covers a wide variety of aeronautical and regulatory topics that relate to operators of
unmanned aircraft. This is not just some hurdle you have to overcome – you must know and understand this
material to safely and legally conduct commercial flight operations.
The FAA does provide nearly everything you need in order to pass the test. This material is free and it is
online. The problem for you is that it is spread out over 1500 pages in over a dozen different documents.
The majority of these documents were developed for pilots of manned aircraft. So, you have the difficult
problem of finding the needed documents, then filtering through them to find the specific information that
relates to your test. It can be done, but it isn’t easy.
The better option is to take a structured course that focuses just on the information that you need to
know for the exam. There are numerous online programs that claim to provide this instruction. But be very
careful. Many of them are created and marketed by people who are not FAA certificated instructors and
contain erroneous and incomplete training. Prior to creating their products, these folks didn’t know
anything more about the topics than you do right now. It is crucial that you stick to training programs
that are developed by FAA flight instructors who have thousands of hours of experience with these exact
Why Gold Seal?
This one is easy. Gold Seal has been conducting this type of online training for longer than anyone else
on the planet! At Gold Seal, we know exactly how the FAA operates and understand completely what will be
on your exam. You will get your best training from Gold Seal. Guaranteed.
The price for the Gold Seal Remote Pilot Ground School is $199.00
for a lifetime access. We keep it up to date and it will always be there for you for review and for biennial
The Gold Seal Guarantee
If you study using Gold Seal’s program, you will pass. We have never had a reported failure. To our
knowledge, we have a 100% first time pass rate.
If you don’t pass, we will pay for your exam.
To qualify for this, you must take every quiz, pass three or more “practice final exams” with scores of
90% or greater, and pass the Gold Seal final exam with a score of 80% or greater.