The drone industry has grown in leaps and bounds in the last ten years. A drone, technically referred to as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), serves many commercial and personal uses like military surveillance, photography, and videography.
Flying a drone needs some basic skills to avoid confusion and accidents. Over the years, there have been a plethora of drone tutorials, guides, and courses.
As an aspiring pilot, you need somewhere to start; you wouldn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for something when you don’t have the basics.
That’s where the free courses fit in – to give you an overview of UAV best flight practices and the rules governing their operation.
Some of the best free drone courses you can take today include UAV Coach’s courses and free materials, Alison’s Introduction to Drones Course, the Drone Trainer’s drone flying course, the Drone Coach Part 107 course, and the Drone photography basic course.
Let’s dig in to learn more about these courses and what they have to offer.
1. UAV Coach Courses
The founder and CEO of UAV Coach, Alan Perlman, started the company with a vision of helping aspiring UAV pilots pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exam and get the full qualifications for the Part 107 License.
What UAV coach has done differently is to bring together a community of UAV enthusiasts, who contribute towards educative drone news, learning materials, and courses for aspiring drone pilots.
Their highly informative blogs handle many hot topics like the best drone cameras to buy and drone laws that you should know as a drone pilot.
The Free TRUST Program
In the USA, the FAA requires drone pilots to take and pass the Drone Safety Test—TRUST. It’s an acronym for the Recreational UAS Safety Test.
The assessment tests casual drone flyers’ knowledge of critical aeronautical safety guidelines, best flight practices, and rules. It’s mandatory for all pilots who fly drones as their hobby.
Upon completion of the course, UAV Coach issues you a completion certificate. Carrying the document is a legal requirement when flying your drone.
UAV Coach is one of FAA’s approved TRUST Certification Administrators. The trainer considers the TRUST course a vital primary step in the knowledge of drones and thus offers the course free.
UAV Coach also issues you with the TRUST certificate once you score 100% on all the online test questions. The TRUST test offers an unlimited number of attempts until you achieve the best score of 100%.
Nonetheless, you’ll have to retake the test if you lose the certificate. It’s, therefore, essential to save it somewhere.
If you complete the TRUST program, it’s always advisable to continue learning if you aim for the ultimate UAV piloting goal.
UAV Coach’s free TRUST program builds a foundation for other more intense drone piloting courses. It’s famous for its Drone Pilot Ground School, which offers training and exams for the FAA Part 107 Certification.
The online test has been popular with individual drone operators, fire department officers, and police departments. However, this UAV coach’s flagship training course is not free.
Unlike the free TRUST program, the UAV Coach gives drone pilots an insight into National Airspace Systems (NAS), FAA Drone Rules and Regulations, Drone Flight Operations, and Airport Operations, among other things.
Enroll in Drone Pilot Ground School, the industry’s #1 online test prep and training course, and pass your FAA drone exam on your first try — or your money back.
How to Enroll
Once you visit their website, you’ll find a red “Sign up” icon at the upper part of the webpage. Click on it and follow the prompts.
2. Alison’s Introduction to Drones Course
The Alison’s UAV Free Introductory Course is essential for a layperson aspiring to be a drone pilot. It offers training on the parts of a drone, their assembly, and how to prepare the UAV for takeoff.
Moreover, the free online course lists everyday UAV operations terminology and acronyms to enable you to interpret drone guides accurately. Terms like roll, throttle, and yaw won’t take you by surprise.
The course also introduces you to the procedures to follow before the first test flight.
Additionally, if you’re aiming for a more technical engagement with drones, this course gives you the basics of power distribution boards, electronic speed controllers, and motor preparation.
Thus the course is vital for that drone enthusiast who wants to take the first step into drone technology and turn his hobby into a profession that may change his life.
The course has three training modules. Subsequently, you’ll have to take the “Introduction to Drones” examination after the third module.
Let’s look at the module content so that you know what to expect.
- Introduction to Drones: Handles the “parts of a drone” and introduces you to “how to build a drone” lessons.
- Building a Drone: Involves building the Rush 4, Part 4 FPV, and the final assembly.
- Before Your First Flight: This module deals with procedures to consider before you fly a drone for the first time. It divides the subject matter into two subtopics – “Before your First Flight” part 1 and part 2.
Alison awards you the Digital certificate in PDF format upon scoring 80% or higher in each module. However, you pay for it.
But frankly speaking, that shouldn’t worry you. Getting such training for free is commendable.
Alternatively, you can pay shipping fees for a physical certificate officially branded and posted to your address. You, however, have to make all certificate purchases from the Alison Shop.
Most reviewers have given Alison’s introductory course a thumb up. Furthermore, many find it informative, exciting, and valuable!
How to Enroll
If you’re interested in the course, you can sign up here. Surprisingly, you can use your Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or LinkedIn accounts for the sign-up process.
Alternatively, you can click on the module you’re interested in; it’ll prompt you to sign up.
3. The Drone Trainer’s Drone Flying Free Course
The Drone Trainer is an online platform that offers the free course: “How to Fly Your Drone Safely” at zero cost. It helps learner drone pilots master the basic movements crucial to any UAV pilot.
Drone Trainer uses video clips to train everything from flight preparation, actual flight, flight drills, and safe landing. Whether you’re just starting or honing your skills, this free course has something to teach you!
Furthermore, Drone Trainer offers more free drone resources that you may like. For example: the drone Logbook to record your flights, a pre-flight Checklist to ensure everything is in its right place before takeoff, and an Aviation Weather Cheatsheet.
The Training Modules
Drone Trainer’s free course is the real deal – eight fully packed modules at zero cost.
- Module 1-3: Covers crucial topics like the preflight checklist, how to correctly calibrate the compass, launching the drone safely, and the basic drone controls. Module 3 has some content on Responsive Control and teaches you how to steer your drone in eight different directions.
- Module 4-6: In this set of modules, you’ll learn about directional control such that you can successfully steer your drone regardless of the direction it’s facing. Furthermore, you’ll learn about “flying the box,” a drill that enables you to fly your drone safely no matter what situation you find yourself in. Module 6 teaches you how to operate your drone in GPS or ATTI mode.
- Module 7-8: These final sets of modules handle the safe landing of drones and how to keep a post-flight logbook to help you ascertain your drone’s condition after the flight.
How to Enroll
The Drone Trainer’s website requires you to provide your first name and email for the sign-up process.
4. The Drone Coach Part 107 Exam Course
The course offers for free what’s charged heavily on other platforms. Once you pass the Part 107 exam, you’re qualified to become a commercial remote pilot.
The free video tutorials take around 7-8 hours to complete. However, you’ll have to pay $49 for self-practice exams to test your readiness for the FAA Part 107 exam. The course is well suited for visual learners.
Every video tutorial handles a set of sample exam questions. Subsequently, the learners have the opportunity to take several quiz questions to test their proficiency levels after the tutorial.
Some famous corporations that have collaborated with the Drone Coach are Emily Hagopian Photography, Two Clicks That Click Photography, Zellner Construction, Galileo Media Arts, An Aerial Viewpoint, and Remote Sight.
Furthermore, the Drone Coach had churned out more than 200,000 FAA-Certified Remote Pilots and registered more than 300,000 commercial drones by the end of last year.
These are some of the areas that the Drone Coach Free course covers:
- Differentiating between regulatory and non-regulatory airspace
- Interpreting the NAS aeronautical charts
- Regulations for registering an sUAS in the USA
- How different weather affects an sUAS
- Emergency procedures
- Nighttime flying
- Safe flight operations
- Differentiating between uncontrolled and controlled airspace
- Factors affecting take off like load factors
How to Enroll
Unfortunately, the site is unclear on how to help you register for the Part 107 exam since they direct you to a different platform for the practice exams.
So, you have to register separately for the exam elsewhere but not on their platform.
5. The Ultimate Drone Pilot Guide Course
The Ultimate Drone Pilot Guide is an online course composed of free videos that could take you 1.5-2.0 hours to watch. Ideal for both recreational and commercial drone pilots, the course teaches the different FAA rules that apply to both.
The course gives the differences between drone registration and drone licensing. Ultimately, it provides the training with a professional touch when it gives examples of moneymaking opportunities for qualified drone pilots.
Many reviewers on Trustpilot have something positive to say about the course. Most consider it a solid overview of the requirements of a drone pilot. A good percentage rate the course as informative, precise, relevant, and praise the professional delivery of content.
How to Enroll
To register for the course, click on the pink ” Enroll” icon in the middle of the website.
6. Drone Photography Basics Course
Umair Vanthaliwala’s Drone Photography Basics Course is a free 50-minute video package that teaches the fundamental aspects of drone photography.
It’s ideally an introduction to drone photography, and it presents a free opportunity for drone enthusiasts to listen and decide whether drone photography is something they would love to pursue.
It’s an extremely helpful course for those drone photographers who wish to take their drone photography to the next level.
The tutor, Umair Vanthaliwala, has flown drones for several years, and he shares tips on perfect drone positioning and the professional capturing and editing of aerial images.
The short course scores 4.6 out of 5.0 on Udemy Reviews. Most users positively review it for its conciseness, usefulness, and practicability.
How to Enroll
Once you open their website, proceed to the black “Enroll now” icon to register for the course.
Using your free time to take a drone course is not a waste of time. Drone technology is sweeping around the globe like bushfires, and thus, UAV operation skills will be much needed in the near future.
Major retail outlets and logistics companies are thinking about the possibility of using it for deliveries, whereas conservationists are thinking of increasing the surveillance of endangered species by using drones.
Moreover, internet service providers, agricultural experts, photographers, videographers, and relief companies are still expected to widen their use of the gadget, especially in the next few years.