In order to become a certified remote pilot for unmanned aircraft, one has to pass many challenges and tests along the way. If Amanda Moberg's passing of the FFA Part 107 test is any indication, the Phillipsburg, NJ resident is going to be soaring in the industry for many years to come.
Moberg, a student in Warren Community College's nationally recognized Unmanned Systems degree program, not only passed her Part 107 test, but she aced it - scoring a perfect 100!
"That is just amazing," said Dr. Will Austin, President of Warren and the College's Chief Pilot Instructor - and Moberg's teacher. "That is the first time I've seen a student score 100%! I don't know which, if any of our faculty ever achieved such success at the start of their educational journey. She's worked hard. The accomplishment is so well deserved."
One needs to pass this test to be eligible to eventually fly unmanned aircraft commercially. While a perfect score isn't necessary, it is quite the achievement. Moberg, just finishing up her second semester at Warren, took it step by step in preparing for this very key test.
"In my first semester, I took UAS 102 (Standards, Regulations, and Law) which introduced me to the basics of sectional charts, and gave an overview of UAS regulations and Part 107 requirements," she noted. "This past semester I took UAS 104 (FAA & Airspace) where (instructor) Jason Beim walked us through the nitty gritty fine points of the different types of airspace. He also drilled us on Part 107 test questions, which really helped me to get comfortable with the types of questions that would be on the test. This was cemented by UAS 105 (Remote Pilot Operations), of which I took the Independent-Study version with Dr. Austin due to a class scheduling conflict. The study materials for this course and the supporting class videos were extremely helpful, as was taking the ASA Practice Tests with Dr. Austin as a proctor. It was a very accurate simulation of what taking the actual test would be like."
But she never expected to score a perfect 100! Although, Dr. Austin kept telling her she was going to be the first. Her dedication to the material, to learning it for the right reasons – to preserve the world’s safest skies, and her grit and determination were all factors that led to her achievement.
"I still have a hard time believing it," Moberg said. "I must have checked the test result paper half a dozen times that day thinking I was reading it wrong!
Moberg is scheduled to graduate in the Spring of 2022. She admits she didn't think too much of drones at first, but that soon changed.
"I have always had a mechanical bent, and an interest in flight," Moberg said. "I went to the August 2020 Balloon Festival at Warren with the balloon pilot that I crew for, and watched some of the drone demos. Before that day, I had always thought of drones as expensive toys, but after observing the demos, I started seeing them differently. I was given a pamphlet about the UAS program, and two weeks later I was enrolled at the college working towards my Associates Degree in Unmanned Systems."
Now Moberg is a true believer in the capabilities of drones and credits her instructors, including Dr. Austin, for helping to pave the way.
"All of the instructors have been amazing! The way that they have presented the many diverse applications for drones has made it difficult to narrow down which areas to dig deeper into," she said. "Even the courses that didn't really interest me at the beginning have taken on a new life!"
Moberg's drone career has taken on a new life, too - and so far, it's been perfect!