How I Passed The Canadian Drone Pilot Basic Operations Exam

New drone laws for Canada were rolled out on June 1, 2019. Now, all drone pilots flying drones with a takeoff weight of 250g up to and including 25kg, now have to register their drones and pass either the Basic or Advanced Operations Exam. In this video I explain how I went about preparing for and writing the Basic Operations exam, achieving a passing grade on my first attempt. Everything you need to know to study, write and pass the exam in a concise video.

Don Joyce’s Excellent Study Guide –

Transport Canada Drone Safety Page (start here) –

Distance – Anno Domini Beats – YouTube Audio Library

Favourite Spark Accessories
DJI Spark Gimbal Cover –
Spark Skin –
DJI Spark Remote –
DJI Spark batteries –
Colourful Anbee propellers –

My Gear:
The “heavy hauler” camera bag –
The “flexible & functional” camera bag –
The drone –
My big SLR camera –
Main on-the-go video shooter –
The wide Canon lens –
Favourite small video camera –
My lavalier microphone –
The big microphone –
The audio recorder –
Favorite action camera –
My smartphone gimbal –
Current GoPro gimbal –
The travel tripod –
My go-anywhere tripod –
Favourite SD/CF card reader –
My go-to mobile battery –
Zoom H4N recorder –
Smartphone – iPhone XR

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#Canadiandronelaws #studyguide #Canadiandroneexam


  1. Bryan Barker on April 19, 2021 at 1:32 am

    Thanks Steve. Wrote my Small Basic Exam yesterday and did quite well thanks to your video assistance and a few hours studying. Also, thanks for your pointer to Don. I also found his videos very helpful. Keep up the good work and thanks again.

  2. Steven Arseneault on April 19, 2021 at 1:34 am

    This is setup for a lot of people to fail and keep paying to try again. Some people will need lessons online of from another person, in a way, it will divide people who use drones. The ones who passes on their own by research, the ones who take lessons and pass, the ones who don’t want tomtake the test and buy a smaller drone to fly, the ones who don’t care and simply don’t register their drones and don’t take the test. There will be many of those. I mean, a person with an untregistered gun walking down the street with his weapon will draw more attention about it than an unregistered drone being carried whike walking around. It will only matter if someone reports a drone which is unregistered and to be honest, that will not happen often. Drones are in flight most of the time. Good luck looking at a registered tag. Plus it’s easy to lie and place a fake tag number on it. Especially if the drone is involved in an incident. A fake tag number written down will sii ply be denied. In other words if the drone creates an accident and has a fake tag number on it or none, the operatir will simply walk away and leave the drone with no way to trace it back to the owner.

  3. Windy Therapy on April 19, 2021 at 1:34 am

    Excellent video buddy ! Thanks for the comments and Don’s reference. I really appreciated

  4. n1tmtu37 on April 19, 2021 at 1:35 am

    This is terrific, Steve. Was having a devil of a time finding the correct study material. This eases my kind considerably. I’ll just study this stuff at my own pace and should be ready for Summer. Were you able to cut and paste questions and ask google, during the test?

  5. impsquared on April 19, 2021 at 1:36 am

    thank you for this

  6. Olivier Schotveld on April 19, 2021 at 1:37 am

    Hey Steve! I saw this and I want to get the SFOC because you said as a non-resident, you cannot register your drone or write the exam to become certified. Instead, you must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC). The link to do that is here –
    . But I can’t find the place where I can do the exam for it. Do you know it for me as a non-resident where the website is to do the exam for SFOC (I fly the DJI Inspire 1 V2.0).

  7. CrashN Burn on April 19, 2021 at 1:37 am

    Also make a manual like every other license in Canada wtf!! Specified toward the test not a bunch of six million documents.

  8. Zachary Curtis on April 19, 2021 at 1:39 am

    We live in the world’s MOST retarded country I’m not doing this.

  9. Abe M on April 19, 2021 at 1:39 am

    Hi Steve, great video, thanks !
    If you do the advanced exam, does the passed test on your record expire if you don’t do the in personal training?

  10. Finch Mellor on April 19, 2021 at 1:41 am

    Thanks for your help. Very kind of you to recommend Don Joyce.

  11. LifeIsFun on April 19, 2021 at 1:43 am

    Steve, don’t forget it’s valid only for 2 years

  12. Julian O'Connor on April 19, 2021 at 1:44 am

    and if you buy the Mavic Mini you don’t have to do any of this 😀 Just need to fly in proper areas.

  13. David Ferguson on April 19, 2021 at 1:45 am

    if you have a MAAC license for over 30yrs, do i still need the basic to fly my drone, phantom 4pro

  14. Jorg Schlagheck on April 19, 2021 at 1:46 am

    I didn’t even know about the requirement to get licensed. Tried out the drone and on the third flight it lost connection. It took off on its own and today is drone search day. My wife said it was a blessing, because a $ 1000 fine is worse…

  15. Josh on April 19, 2021 at 1:48 am

    Thanks Chief

  16. Rolweng on April 19, 2021 at 1:48 am

    I passed the exam doing it in my usual way of taking exam in IT License certificate. I know to much to study for this drone exam but my way (which I only reserve it to my self) is also a good way to pass the exam. Well nice sharing.

  17. D Y on April 19, 2021 at 1:49 am

    How often do you have to get certified. Or is it just a one time thing

  18. Nelson Plamondon on April 19, 2021 at 1:52 am

    Passed the Basic with your help Steve, thanks.

  19. Muhammad Raza on April 19, 2021 at 1:53 am

    I saw your video last weekend and then as per your suggestion I followed the videos of Don Joyce and today I passed basic exam with 80% on first attempt.
    Thank you

  20. paul lourenco on April 19, 2021 at 1:54 am

    Hi Steve , quick question . To make youtube videos with a mavic mini do we need a license in Canada?

  21. Irving five on April 19, 2021 at 1:57 am

    So, I successfully obtained my basic rpas certificate. I need to upgrade. Any online resources that you can recommend?

  22. Boeing 898 on April 19, 2021 at 1:59 am

    I’ve tried twice and just can’t seem to get it.

  23. yuyo57 on April 19, 2021 at 1:59 am

    I’m a cheap and lazy Canadian so I just bought a Mavic mini drone under 250 grams.

  24. LV LV on April 19, 2021 at 1:59 am

    Does the license expire or have to be renewed?

  25. poopsmcgee2k6 on April 19, 2021 at 2:02 am

    I (by)passed the drone pilot basic and advanced exam by buying a Mavic Mini

  26. youandi06 on April 19, 2021 at 2:02 am

    I have a DJI mavic Pro. And I think the Drone laws are stupid in Canada. But I am okay now because I am a registered drone pilot and my drone is registered with the government. So I can basically fly it anywhere just not close to an airport.

  27. A Fishing Project on April 19, 2021 at 2:02 am

    Hey Steve, I would like to thank you for all the info that you have shared with the youtube community, I’m starting today to study for the exam so I hope that maybe tomorrow night ill take the basic operation exam.
    I’m rolling a Mavic Air and trout fishing season It’s opening this weekend and I’ll like to take my drone out for a spin 🙂
    Thank you again for sharing so much info with us!

  28. Boeing 898 on April 19, 2021 at 2:03 am

    Finally decided to get my license, always wanted to get my pilot license but this is close enough for me.

  29. Trinity Baker on April 19, 2021 at 2:05 am

    Need 10hrs total it says. No matter what I can’t get past 5.5 hrs???

  30. DiGiTaL TiTaN on April 19, 2021 at 2:06 am

    Mavic mini , under weight 🤔🤔 thoughts or advise ?

  31. Kris K on April 19, 2021 at 2:09 am

    Not a chance I am doing any of this. I’ll just sell my spark and buy mavic mini. Or keep spark for when I go out of the country

  32. Elvan Rehman on April 19, 2021 at 2:11 am

    Are there any formal career opportunities being a licensed commercial drone operator in Ontario?

  33. Xunmin Zou on April 19, 2021 at 2:12 am

    Have you regretted yet? Where fly your drone?

  34. Jason Rolling on April 19, 2021 at 2:12 am

    Congratz, I passed my basics first try.i got 5 wrong. I got it yeturday. Utube helped me with where to look. Great video. Advanced is my next step

  35. anut5 on April 19, 2021 at 2:15 am

    I managed to score 88% with minimal studying(I looked at the length of most of the sources and said ‘Hell no.’). I think I was able to do this because of some existing knowledge I already had(probably boosted my grade by at least 20%) and a decent ability to Google things quickly. In terms of looking things up, the sources available only helped me with 2 or 3 questions. Everything else I just googled. That said, I took up the full 90 minutes.
    I think the average person could probably pass this test without any studying(apart from watching Don’s 29 minute study guide(very helpful on it’s own)), as long as they have a decent ability to find answers on Google quickly.

  36. YujMovi on April 19, 2021 at 2:16 am

    Thanks for the very informative vlog

  37. Paul Popovici on April 19, 2021 at 2:17 am

    Thanks Steve

  38. Dennis Chin on April 19, 2021 at 2:18 am

    You are really encouraged me to take the exam. (fist pump)

  39. Seth Gotell on April 19, 2021 at 2:19 am

    Hello From Prince Edward Island I am going to be Writing my Exam tomorrow as needed for the Mavic Air 2 is it hard as I have been out of school for quite some time

  40. Frederic Lasnier on April 19, 2021 at 2:19 am

    Thank you for that video, I just received my Mavic Air 2, can’t wait to be certified to fly it ! It’s going to be a big upgrade from the Tello ! I appreciate the study guidelines you put out there, certainly is going to save me a lot of time !

  41. Randy Lowden on April 19, 2021 at 2:19 am

    I feel like this video was a great place for me to start. Thanks!

  42. Louis Luzuka on April 19, 2021 at 2:23 am

    I’m wondering if I should take the test and get the air 2 or just get the mini 2 hmm, love from vancouver Canada

  43. David Hosten on April 19, 2021 at 2:24 am

    Really useful. Thanks.

  44. Glenners on April 19, 2021 at 2:27 am

    only 30 questions and you only have o get 65% to pass lol. Might as well just get your references open and take the test and search whatever ones you’re not sure about.

  45. Leir Arts on April 19, 2021 at 2:27 am

    Thank you very much Steve for this useful information. Question : I tried to take the exam before register a drone ( because I didn’t purchase one yet) Looks like I can’t take the exam before register a drone , is that true or I did something wrong with my log in . Thank you

  46. SDM Canada on April 19, 2021 at 2:28 am

    Well I can justify everything, but is knowledge of Newton’s law and the Bernoulli principle really essential for FLYING a drone?
    I guess it would matter when you build or develop one, but in flight?

  47. Hammad Nadeem on April 19, 2021 at 2:29 am

    Is this an open book exam? As in you can google?

  48. Jeremy Fleming on April 19, 2021 at 2:29 am

    My employer now wants to get a drone for our videos and I need to get certified. Thanks for this concise breakdown of what to expect. BTW, who are the communists who downvoted this???

  49. Mark Uy on April 19, 2021 at 2:29 am

    Thanks for the heads up!! Great advice and thorough guide. Will definitely try to get my certification soon!!

  50. Rick B on April 19, 2021 at 2:30 am

    Once the website says you pass what happens next? Does the government mail you something to carry around or what? Thanks for the video.

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