Other Technology
Inspection, O&M

Drone Pilot Boot Camp

Keven Gambold • Last updated 04/2022

4.8/5 (view ratings)
92 students
12 modules
13:57 hours
110 assignments

Course description

Become a licensed commercial drone pilot. This technical course is designed for renewable energy, construction, and engineering professionals, but suits those wishing to add the unmanned aircraft toolset to agricultural surveys, CI/KR inspections, public safety applications as well as for cinematography and real-estate workers.

Drones are tools to generate new revenue by doing asset inspections, site surveys, mapping, marketing videos, and more. They’re inexpensive and incredibly versatile.

This is really two courses in one:

Part 1: FAA Unmanned Aircraft Commercial Operator License (Part 107) Knowledge Course
Since 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has licensed commercial small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS, or ‘drone’) operators under 14 CFR Part 107. With the completion of a course of comprehensive ground instruction, prospective drone pilots can sit an FAA-administered computer-based test and obtain their Part 107 commercial operators license. This course covers regulations, sUAS operations, aircraft performance, weather, airspace and human factors and leads to a 60-question exam.

Part 2: Small Unmanned Aircraft System Field Operations Course
This Field Operations Course introduces Part 107 holders and students to the 'day in the life of' a commercial drone operator and provides skills required to build a business, safely prepare, launch and perform commercial flight tasks; The end goal is to be able to safety deploy a briefed team, with the right aircraft and sensors, to a properly surveyed, remote site with the correct PPE, data-cards, power supplies and support. The program introduces advanced planning, procedures and field flight techniques for professional, commercial drone data gathering, and client task completion.The course is mostly remote with guided simulator sessions, and then culminates in an optional in-residence portion of live flight and maintenance activities. A certificate of completion is awarded upon completion of written, simulator and practical exercise assessments.

Zephyr Flight Simulator Required But Not Included
In this course we use the Zephyr flight simulator and controller. You'll be asked to purchase these separately ($149 USD) when you enroll in the course. There is a link provided in the first set of assignments. No other hardware or software are required (you don't even have to have a drone - often students wait until after the course to understand which drone to buy).

Not Included - Exam Fee (optional)
The FAA 107 Exam fee is a separate fee charged by the FAA when scheduling your exam after you have completed the course. After completing the course and earning a certificate of completion, students can optionally submit an FAA application and $150 exam fee then schedule to take the 107 exam at one of the testing centers throughout the country. If you don't pass the exam on the first try, we'll refund your exam fee and let let you take the course again at no charge.

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Learning Objectives

Participants in this course will upon completion of this course, be able to:

  • Pass the FAA Part 107 Drone Pilot license exam
  • Develop the tools and skillset to collect data witb your drone and produce reports that drive business value
  • Learn to run a drone business and develop into a fleet leader and manager

Preview the course material

Check out a free preview of the course by clicking the button below. This is a live assignment from the course and will give you a good sense for what the course will be like.

Free course preview!

Continuing Education Units

Approved for: NABCEP Advanced Credit Hours, NABCEP JTA, NABCEP RE Elective, NABCEP PV Associate Renewal.

Approved NABCEP CEU Hours
NABCEP Credential Advanced Hours for Exam Recertification CEU Hours NEC JTA RE Elective Building or Fire Code
2 2 0 2 2 0
0 2 0 0 0 0
2 2 2 2 0
2 2 0 2 2 0
2 2 0 2 2 0
2 2 0 2 2 0
NABCEP Registered Provider

This course counts towards the training requirements for taking NABCEP professional certification exams and CEUs for renewing all certifications.

Get NABCEP Certifications

Full course outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Instructor Introduction: Keven Gambold (HUX1A1): 5 mins (05:06 minutes)
  • Course Introduction (HUX1A2): 10 mins (10:28 minutes) Preview
  • Important: Buy Zephyr Simulation software (Zephyr FS-i6S Bundle)
  • Simulator Intro (HUX1A3): 42 mins! (41:49 minutes)
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Simulator Familiarization (Optional): 30 mins flight time!
  • Part 107 Exam Intro (HUX1A4): 12 mins. (11:45 minutes) Preview
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
Module 1 - Part 107 Regulations and Small UAS Weather

A close look at 14 CFR 107 (the commercial drone reg) and associated documents. Then a review of all the weather elements that affect sUAS operations.

  • Part 107 Regulations Overview (HUX1B1): 20 mins (19:35 minutes)
  • Part 107 Supporting Documents (HUX1B2): 8 mins (08:09 minutes)
  • Download Support Docs from HUX1B2: 14 CFR Part 107
  • Download Support Docs from HUX1B2: AC 107-2 (.pdf)
  • Download Support Docs from HUX1B2: Remote Pilot Study Guide (.pdf)
  • Download Support Docs from HUX1B2: AKTS (.pdf)
  • Download Support Docs from HUX1B2: 14 CFR Part 48
  • Review FAA small UAS webpages (HUX1B2)
  • Part 107 Highlights (HUX1B3): 15 mins (14:52 minutes)
  • Update to Part 107: Night, Ops over People, Remote ID (.mp4)
  • Quiz: Part 107 Regulations
  • Simulator Basic Training (Optional)
  • Part 107 Weather 101 (HUX1E1): 31 mins (30:35 minutes)
  • Part 107 Weather Reports (HUX1E3): 26 mins (25:29 minutes)
  • Part 107 Weather 102 (HUX1E2): 29 mins (28:55 minutes)
  • Quiz: Part 107 Weather
  • Simulator Practice in the weather (Optional)
Module 2 - Small UAS Operations, US Airspace & Charts

A real 'meaty'week with all the factors influencing sUAS operations and then the detailed look at US airspace and charts.

  • Part 107 Operations: Airports (HUX1C1): 19 mins (18:45 minutes)
  • Part 107 Operations: Radio Comms (HUX1C2): 14 mins (13:27 minutes)
  • Part 107 Operations: General (HUX1C3): 21 mins (20:53 minutes)
  • Quiz: Part 107 Operations
  • Simulator Task: Get a good score! (Optional)
  • Charts 101 (HUX1F1): 26 mins (25:49 minutes)
  • US Airspace (HUX1F2): 24 mins (24:17 minutes)
  • US Airspace & Charts Review (HUX1F3) (16:20 minutes)
  • Quiz: Charts & Airspace
  • Simulator Advanced Training (Optional): The Obstacle Course
Module 3 - Small UAS Performance, Human Factors

  • Small UAS Performance - Forces in Flight (HUX1D1): 29 mins (28:46 minutes)
  • Small UAS Performance - Power Curves (HUX1D2): 10 mins (09:53 minutes)
  • Small UAS Performance - In the Field (HUX1D3): 16 mins (15:53 minutes)
  • Quiz: sUAS Performance
  • Human Factors Intro (HUX1G1): 19 mins (18:57 minutes)
  • Simulator Task (Optional): Speed and Altitude Estimates
  • Human Factors: Aeronautical Decision Making (HUX1G2): 34 mins* (33:31 minutes)
  • Human Factors: Physiology & Quiz (HUX1G3): 16 mins* (15:09 minutes)
  • Quiz: Human Factors
  • Simulator Buzzed Training (Optional)
Module 4 - Part 107 Exam Review

  • Part 107 Review Part 1 (HUX1H1): 15 mins (14:41 minutes)
  • Part 107 Review Part 2 (HUX1H2): 10 mins (09:26 minutes)
  • Practice Exam 1
  • Practice Exam 2
  • Practice Exam 3
  • Practice Exam 4
  • Practice Exam 5 (and last!)
  • Part 107 Exam Day Prep (HUX1H3): 8 mins (07:43 minutes)
Module 5 - Field Operations Preparations

  • Field Course Overview (HUX2A1): 6 mins (05:21 minutes)
  • Field Job Walk-through (HUX2A2): 14 mins (13:11 minutes)
  • Sensor Basics (HUX2A3): 19 mins (18:43 minutes)
  • Payload Selection (HUX2A4): 11 mins (10:30 minutes)
  • Payload & UAS Selection Supp Video (HUX2A4A): 14 mins
  • Unmanned Aircraft Selection (HUX2A5): 24 mins (23:40 minutes)
  • Simulate on the Simulator!
Module 6 - Pre-site Surveys, Job Hazard Assessments, Pre-deployment prep

A look at the days leading up to a job, with the study of the site and the task. The preparation for the team and finally getting the equipment ready. In this module we explore examples relevant to solar companies doing site surveys and inspections.

  • Pre-Site Surveys (HUX2A7): 22 mins (21:36 minutes)
  • PSS Homework (.pptx)
  • Job Hazard Assessments (HUX2A8): 16 mins (15:41 minutes)
  • JHA Homework (.docx)
  • Operations Manuals (HUX2A9): 20 mins (19:42 minutes)
  • Pre-job Preparations & Pack-Out (HUX2A10): 13 mins (13:00 minutes)
  • Practical Exercise: Pre-job Preparations & Pack Out (.docx)
Module 7 - On Site Procedures, Normal & Emergency Operations

So you finally made it to the job site... What now?

  • On Site Survey and Set-up (HUX2B1): 11 mins (10:55 minutes)
  • Aircraft Set-up Supplemental Video: 26 mins
  • Normal Flight Operations (HUX2B2): 26 minutes (25:18 minutes)
  • Fixed Wing Flight Ops Supplemental Video 1 (6 mins) (05:37 minutes)
  • Emergency Flight Operations (HUX2B3): 28 minutes (27:44 minutes)
  • Emergency Flight Ops Supplemental Video: 22 mins
  • Fixed Wing Flight Ops Supplemental Video 2 (30 secs) (13 seconds)
  • Mission Types (HUX2B4): 16 mins (15:40 minutes)
  • Mapping Supplemental Video: 18 mins
  • Inspection Supplemental Video: 4 mins
  • Photography Supplemental Video: 17 mins
  • Operational Simulator Training 1: Roof inspection
  • Operational Simulator Training 2: Tower Inspection
  • Operational Simulator Training 3: Mapping the Homestead
Module 8 - Post-flight Activities, Data Handling & Report Production

The work doesn't stop when you get home... Getting the kit secured, maintained and ready for the next job. Then a look at the various processes, software, etc. to convert flights into cash...

  • Post-flight Activities (HUX2C1): 11 mins (10:21 minutes)
  • Maintenance Procedures (HUX2C2): 17 mins (16:33 minutes)
  • Data Handling (HUX2C3): 16 mins (15:11 minutes)
  • Data Handling Practical 1 (HUX2C4)
  • Data Handling Supplementary Example
  • Data Processing (HUX2C5): 27 mins (26:10 minutes)
  • Data Processing Practical (HUX2C6)
  • Report Writing (HUX2C7): 9 mins (08:37 minutes)
  • Report Writing Practical (HUX2C8)
Module 9 - Top Tips and Traps for Young Players and Live Fly Practicals

A look at the good, bad and the ugly of commercial drone operations then getting the birds airborne!

  • Common Errors (HUX2D1): 28 mins (27:06 minutes)
  • Basic Flight Maneuvers (HUX2D2) (.pptx)
  • Advanced Flight Maneuvers (HUX2D3) (.pptx)
  • Advanced Simulation Work: Scoping the joint! (HUX2D4)
  • LIVE: On the Job Training (HUX2D5)
Module 10 - Evaluation Week

Brace yourself for trials and tribulations from air, sim and ground. Fear not. YOU. ARE. READY!

  • Field Operations Exam (HUX2E1)
  • Simulator Evaluation (HUX2E2)
  • Field Evaluation (HUX2E3)
Module 11 - Graduation Week

A chance to catch your breath, celebrate and find a nice frame!

  • Certificate Requirements (HUX2F1)
  • Running a drone business (HUX2F2): 20 mins (19:29 minutes)
  • Next Steps & Flight Workshop (HUX2F3): 18 mins (17:07 minutes)
  • Live Debrief Webinar
Module 12 - Post Grad Work

No resting on your laurels... Keep the work going!

  • Flight Workshop Opportunities
  • Post Graduation Reading 1: Drones in Solar (.pdf)
  • Post Graduation Reading 2: Insights Roof Report (.pdf)
Conclusion - Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • Drone Boot Camp Alumni LinkedIn Group
  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate


Keven Gambold

CEO, Unmanned Experts

Keven Gambold (Squadron Leader RAF, Ret.) completed 21 years of active duty service with the Royal Air Force as a front-line combat pilot. After over 1500 hours in Tornado GR4 fast-jets, including active participation in all recent multi-national conflicts, Gambold joined a Combined Predator Task Force logging over 1500 hours of unmanned combat missions and two... Learn more


5 reviews

92 students have taken this course

by Marc Forstell, IT Analyst, Department of Veterans Affairs 11/26/2020

This class is very well designed and presented. It was exactly what I needed to become informed and aware of all the great opportunities drones can offer. The Part 107 preparation segments and multiple practice tests are absolutely essential if you are planning to pass this challenging exam. I highly recommend this course to anyone flying (or planning to fly) commercially and/or recreationally. -Marc Forstell

by Ian Ricci, Co-Founder, CTO, SolBid 08/13/2020

The Heatspring Drone Pilot Bootcamp is a great way to prep for Part 107. The course material, knowledgeable instructors, and realistic drone simulator give you all the tools you need to pass. - Ian Ricci, SolBid - Co-Founder and CTO

by Elia K 07/19/2022

by Nathaniel H 11/09/2021

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Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 12 module course is delivered entirely online. This course is self-paced and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. During your year of access the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.

How long do I have access to the materials?

Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.

Is there a certificate of completion?

Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.

Can I register multiple people?

Yes please visit our HeatSpring for Teams page to get a group discount.

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