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RPL practical exam for drone license: part 1/3

The requirement for RPL (drone license) vary and depend on location. In EU, part 101 exams for A1 and A3 certifications are online only (no practical). I believe same process applies in USA for part 107 certification. A2 certification exam in EU is based on on line and self monitored practical training, after which checklist with competency statement is signed and put on record. That’s it. No actual RPL practical exam takes place.

In South Africa, also governed by part 101 of the aviation law, we not only have to take quite lengthy and detailed course from a SACAA approved institution, but also take RPL practical exam.

The RPL practical exam in South Africa consists of the following:

  1. Interview with examiner (to check what you learned and what you understood).
  2. Practical flying test – done in non GPS mode

Since there is no “golden formula” to convince examiner that you are knowledgeable – I will focus on practical part of the exam. In the video below, you will see set of maneuvers. You will be required to show competency in all of them.

Today’s video focuses on lines and boxes. What you need to practice is some space, cones (or other area markers) and a drone capable of flying in non-GPS mode. Take your time. Practice multiple times until you are confident. If you get frustrated with one maneuver, move to the next one and come back later.


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