If you live in Canada and you love travelling, chances are, you’ll eventually want to get a drone to get some amazing aerial pictures and videos. But, before travelling, you’ll want to practice using the drone first in your home city. The problem is, since June 1, 2019, Canada now requires you to complete an online exam. Completing the online exam will get you a drone license in Canada. Without a drone license in Canada, you’re not legally allowed to fly any drones weighing between 250g and 25kg.
VIDEO – How To Get Your Drone License in Canada Reference Guide
Different types of drone license in Canada
There are two types of drone exams in Canada:
- Small basic exam for Canadians 14 years or older
- Small advanced exam for Canadians 16 years or older
For the sake of this article, we will be focusing on the small basic exam for Canadians.
My experience passing the exam to get a drone license in Canada
Before taking the drone exam, I reviewed all the reference sources first to make sure I pass the test. In order to pass the test, you need to get 65% on the drone exam. To be honest, the drone exam is very hard. My brain was always on the point of exploding as I tried and searched for the right answers.
The bad thing about the drone exam is many of the questions they asked has nothing to do with flying a drone. Instead, they ask you many non-sense questions that you will never use when flying your drone. But, we have no choice but to jump through this hoop if we want to fly a drone in Canada.
I managed to pass the test and received 77% to my delight. You get 90 minutes to complete the test. I used every minute of it as I completed the test in 75 minutes. The good news is, the test is open book and I’ll provide you with references you can use that will help you pass the exam.
References to use
Before writing the exam, I recommend reading and watching the following videos first:
- DJI forum thread on how to pass the Canadian drone exam
- YouTube video study guide on how to pass the Canadian drone exam (take a screenshot of the study guide)
After reading the forum and watching the YouTube video, you should get a general idea of what’s required to pass the exam.
During the exam itself, you will be using these following sources to find your answers:
- Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems): SOR/2019-11
- Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems 250 g up to and including 25 kg, Operating within Visual Line-of-Sight (VLOS) (TP 15263)
- Canadian Aviation Regulations
- Drone Safety
- Aeronautical Information Manual
How to use the references during the drone exam
During the exam, you can use the guides above and press ctrl+F (PC) or cmnd+F (MAC) to search for the answers in the documents.
The exam is a tricky multiple-choice type of test. Sometimes, you’ll narrow down the answer to two out of four. In that case, you need to take careful attention to the wording to answer correctly.
I found most of the answers to the references provided above. For some questions that I couldn’t find the answer (maybe 3 of them), I just took a guess.
Once you pass the exam, you do need to print your drone registration and drone pilot certificate and keep it within reach just in case an authority figure asks for it. You’ll also need to label your drone with a permanent marker or label with a Transport Canada registration number.
Afterward, you’re good to go! You can now fly your drone in Canada as long as you’re following the rules:
- You fly it in uncontrolled airspace
- You fly it more than 30 metres (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders and never over the bystanders as well
It’s been annoying that I haven’t been able to fly my Mavic Air while in Canada. But since passing the exam, I think it’s time to take out this little guy and practice capturing some awesome videos!