For today’s post, I will be providing a sample Part 107 preflight checklist, and explaining what information should be captured in it. In my dealings with the FAA (admittedly only manned aircraft), they really like to see that procedures are followed. What better way to do that than go through the process of collecting a specific set of data before each flight? Is it a hassle sometimes, yes? But remember, if you are operating commercially, you are held to a set of standards just like manned aircraft pilots. It is in everybody’s best interest to be as safe as possible. This checklist is meant to be not for any one type of small UAS. It covers mainly the regulatory aspects of the flight. You should develop your own maintenance checklist for your aircraft that you can follow before each flight.
Here are the three main areas that the checklist contains:
- Flight Information
- Flight Type – What is the purpose of the flight?
- Crew information – This is just meant to record the official crew members of the flight. It is also important for the Remote PIC to have his or her license available during each flight when operating in a commercial capacity.
It should be noted that other than takeoff and landing times, all of this information can be recorded before the flight commences, thereby saving time once you arrive at the site.
2. Weather and NOTAMS
- Proximity to nearest important – This is very important. It makes you aware of the nearest concentration of aircraft to your job site, as well as letting you identify what airfield to check for your METAR information and NOTAMS
- Airspace class – I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to check the airspace class of your proposed site of operation. Before you even get in your vehicle to drive to the site, you must make sure that you are operating in CLASS G AIRSPACE ONLY. Otherwise, you are operating illegally, unless you have received an airspace waiver from the FAA for the operation.
Obviously, you cannot check weather and NOTAMS too far in advance of the flight, but you can verify your airspace far in advance of the flight.
3. Small UAS Information
- Aircraft information – This simply describes the type of sUAS that you are operating. It should be noted that your FAA registration number must be displayed somewhere on your aircraft that is easily visible.
- Insurance policy – Some states are requiring that a drone operator must have proof of insurance before commencing operations. Probably a good idea to keep it on hand.
Okay, that’s all I have for today. The checklist is attached below. If you have any ideas of anything that needs to be changed, please let me know and I will update it. See you next time!