Recommended Posts

Hi, my name is Andre' Messina from New Orleans, La.  I recently graduated from film school and am interested in flying my drone commercially as either an independent contractor or my own company.  I am trying to figure out where to begin.  Should I look at getting my sport pilot license?  If so does anyone have a recommendations for schools? My other question would be I know it takes a long time to get the exemption, should I apply before obtaining a pilot license or wait until after I have the license?

Thanks for any feedback.  I really appreciate the help.



Edited by Andre Messina
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @Andre Messina, thanks for reaching out and welcome to the community!

We should be hearing more about Part 107 (the new sUAS rules that likely WILL NOT require a pilot license to operate commercially) in June.

Question for bad are you itching to start the business? Do you already have clients lined up? It might make sense for you to go through the Section 333 Exemption process, but it's not a good fit for everyone. Either way, I wouldn't recommend getting a traditional manned aircraft (sport, recreational, commercial) pilot license if you're only doing it to operate a drone commercially. It's too much money / time for those not interested in learning how to fly a manned aircraft, and at the end of the day, there are other ways around this requirement, and the rules are eventually changing too.

Hope that helps! Feel free to shoot me an email at if you want to chat more about this.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

@Andre Messina,

I spoke to my local FAA rep this past weekend (saw him at the Toledo RC show) and he indicated that when the new Part 107 comes out, it may eliminate the need for a Section 333 Exemption as well. If you start right now, it will likely take until September or later for approval. There have been over 11,000 filed and they have only approved about 5,000 of them. Just saying...

Geof Bush

SE Michigan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, we're in a weird spot right now. The Section 333 Exemption continues to be the only open door we've got. New rules are 100% on the way, but it's unclear when that'll happen. I chat with pilots every day who are filing their exemptions, and for them it makes sense. But for many, it makes more sense to wait and see what happens.

For what it's worth, if anyone DOES have their pilot license, has commercial work lined up, and is interested in flying under my Section 333 Exemption, shoot me an email at

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.