Study Guide for Canadian Drone Pilot Basic Operations Exam Up to Date & Current

Study Guide for Canadian Drone Pilot Basic Operations Exam Up to Date & Current

Since June 1, 2019, new regulations for flying drones in Canada require drone pilots be certified by passing an online exam administered by Transport Canada. This video Study Guide provides detailed information to help you successfully pass the Basic Operations level of the exam. The material presented in this video is derived from authorized sources, but is original work not to be reproduced without permission of the author.

** PLEASE NOTE: there is one item that is not quite correct in the video. Around the 11:00 point, I refer to the maximum altitude above buildings as being above the ground. The actual rule is that the maximum altitude is the greater of 122m or 30m above a building. The study guide material has been updated to reflect this change. Here is a video that properly explains this rule: **

See link below for my available soft copy offerings. Please note upon purchase you receive a link to download the material. You do not receive a hard copy book.

Drone Study Guides

The Drone Pilot Canada app is now available:
Apple AppStore for iPhones & tablets:
Google PlayStore for Android phones:

A DonDronesOn Production

The key reference documents mentioned in the video are available at these locations:

1. New Canadian drone (“RPA”) regulations:

2. Knowledge Requirements for the drone pilots:

3. Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM):

4. Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR):

The Transport Canada Drone Safety site contains additional useful information:

Portions of this video were filmed with a Phantom 3 Standard drone and a GoPro Hero 5 Black camera with a Rode microphone. A DonDronesOn production


  1. Ryan Hickey on May 25, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Don I had messaged you on the Advanced one, after some discussion with a colleague I decided literally at 11:00 pm to try to basic exam, figured $10.00 wasn’t a big loss. TO my absolute surprise, doing the exam on my phone in bed, I successfully passed the exam 1st attempt @82%! I’ll see how I do with the advance next week (fingers crossed).

  2. Epic Edventures on May 25, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Thx… I passed!!

  3. Lee on May 25, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    Thank you, Don. Because of this video I only had to study for a few hours before writing and passing the test. Much appreciated.

  4. Richard Tremblay on May 25, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    I Don , I tried many times to accès the exam site and it doesn’t work any trick or info on how to access

  5. Tom Mason on May 25, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks for all of the work you’ve put into the RPAS training videos. You have a nice mellow approach to teaching which is just my style. Although I own an mRPAS (Mini 2) I seriously need to add a filter, etc, from time to time, hence need the Basic Certification. With some of your courses under my belt, I had my "Yay" moment earlier today with completion at 40 mins with a 91%. Thanks ~Tom, from Blacks Harbour, NB!

  6. Damil Panchal on May 25, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Thank you Don. This video is the perfect reference for an otherwise overwhelming study experience. I passed in first attempt thanks to your valuable guidance. Highly recommend this video for anyone looking to apply for a drone or as they call it a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System certificate 😉 Thanks again

  7. D M T on May 25, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    do you ever have sales on your app?

  8. Lorne Tontegode on May 25, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Your guides were instrumental in me passing my exam yesterday. I finished with a 91 and am now a certified Basic Drone Pilot. I haven’t been able to fly my Phantom 4 drone since the regulations came into effect but had a couple of years prior to that with flying. The dread was real but with your help, I wrote he exam and passed. Thank you!

  9. CadetSparklez on May 25, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    if you have a cover thats heated which will melt snow is that allowed even if its snowing? 🤔

  10. Marcos Hack on May 25, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Hey Don, thanks for the awesome content! A few hours studding your deck, watching your videos and reference material, and just passed with 88%. YAY!!

  11. Kaliyuga Pandava on May 25, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Passed on first attempt, you’re just awesome

  12. BrioDrone on May 25, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you for this. I watched your video twice, had the documents opened, but didn’t really use them (google was my best friend), took a chance and wrote the test in 40 minutes. 85% pass first try. Yea!

  13. Richard Tremblay on May 25, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Types of flight conditions requiringAdvanced Operations certification 901.62 ??? Not sure on this one

  14. Barbu Fodor on May 25, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    HI Don, thank you for the material you post. I have a quick question:
    On CAR Part IX ,901.56 Recency Requirements
    • 901.56 (1) No holder of a pilot certificate — small remotely piloted aircraft (VLOS) — basic operations or of a pilot certificate — small remotely piloted aircraft (VLOS) — advanced operations shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system under this Division unless the holder has, within the 24 months preceding the flight,
    o (a) been issued a pilot certificate — small remotely piloted aircraft (VLOS) — basic operations under section 901.55 or a pilot certificate — small remotely piloted aircraft (VLOS) — advanced operations under section 901.64; or
    o (b) successfully completed
     (i) either of the examinations referred to in paragraphs 901.55(b) and 901.64(b),
     (ii) a flight review referred to in paragraph 901.64(c), or
     (iii) any of the recurrent training activities set out in section 921.04 of Standard 921 — Small Remotely Piloted Aircraft in Visual Line-of-Sight (VLOS).

    Does this Reency Requirements mean thatyou have toretake the exam every 24 months?
    Thanks Barrbu

  15. Daniel Robin on May 25, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    Y a t’il en français s’il vous plaît 🙏 🇨🇦

  16. Belli Dura Despicio on May 25, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    First they make you get a license
    Then they make you register it
    Then they made possession of one without a license a crime
    Then they ban certain types
    Then they make you turn over the banned and registered types
    That’s how it happened with guns

  17. bob fallz on May 25, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you Don for your study guide for the Small Basic. I have no avation expeience, and in reading some comments on the net from private pilots saying they failed first time, I was apprehensive about the test. Well, I used all of your tools, readeverything first, and had them opened in my PC. Well, I passed first time with an 85% and really only had to refer to the CAR, and twice on Google. Never used the AIM. It really was easy, done in a half hour, and used another half to review, and done in an hour, with a half hour to spare. By the way, of all the Youtude people I reviewed, you were the BEST. Follow Don’s advice, and don’t waste money on these upstart flying drone passing schools.

  18. James on May 25, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks very much for your channel! Here is the link to a PDF copy of the AIM that worked for me:

  19. CHIJIOKE ODURUKWE on May 25, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for your guide. I passed the basic operation 88% after watching your video and using google. I did not really need the licence as I am flying a DJI Mini 2 but decided to try the exam its just $10 and maybe I will need it in the future.

  20. ExLR8Reign on May 25, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    Thank you Don! It must have taken quite an effort to break the materials down for the video. We all appreciate it! The test was a breeze with just keeping the pages you have listed open. Please do keep Don-Droning on! Cheers! 😄

  21. CHA-AHH TIME on May 25, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    Hi can someone guide where can I find study material?

  22. Adam's Roy on May 25, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    HI Don I had to share this with you I passed my basic exam just now wow wow wow wow wow wow I just can’t believe it i thought while i was doing it that i was going to fail but i passed gat 2 questions wrong

  23. Alan Douglas on May 25, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks Don, passed this week 80% first attempt. Your content helped me all the way (:

  24. Madison Miller on May 25, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Thank you so much Don, for this great informational video. I passed my exam on the first attempt after following your guide. Very thankful, cheers!!

  25. sohosterable on May 25, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    I passed the test tonight! Not as good as everyone else but I have the Basic Operations Pilot certificate now and can fly drones over 250g! Thanks for the video and I had to google some of the questions. It wasn’t as easy as I thought.

  26. Steve Letendre C.M.I. on May 25, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    Really great, I used this and purchased Dons online PDFs for Basic prep and had no problem getting 82%. Now if I can just make sense of your Excel log sheet

  27. sohosterable on May 25, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Do you recommend to have a drone before taking the basic test? I don’t have a drone yet. Thanks in advance.

  28. Mirko Scanu on May 25, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Ciao Joyce greetings from Sardinia Italy nice to meet you how are? Im a professional pilot drone with 9 licenses. I hope in future to do the canada exame license for drone. Have you a instagram page?

  29. Hans Zimmer on May 25, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Passed today on first attempt, 80% and thankful for you video, watched it twice, and took notes. The exam is not really easy, even if you study. I’m not saying it’s hard to pass, but it’s certainly not an easy exam that anyone can pass without knowledge of the topics covered in it.

  30. TheKazooSutra on May 25, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks, Don. 88% first try after watching your video and taking notes. I don’t think I would have done it without you helping me get over the fear of the unknown and to focus.

  31. Bernie Pawlik on May 25, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks very much for doing this. It is very informative.

  32. Bugsy bonta on May 25, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Very useful video man thanks A question with basic operations is allowed to fly a dji mavi air 2….
    Waiting for your answer
    Have a nice day

  33. Sylvanus McLeod on May 25, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Watched your vid and decided to take the exam. Took it and got 85% on first attempt. Thanks for the info as it really helped!!

  34. Life of Brian on May 25, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    excellent video. Thanks.

  35. Mr. BassMan on May 25, 2022 at 7:34 pm


  36. greg smith on May 25, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Don and other drone operators. I have my basic drone licence. I got it 3 years ago. How long is it good for. Do l have to take the basic exam again?

  37. R B on May 25, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    I watched about 10 minutes of your video, saw a comment where someone simply opened all the documents you have linked, as well as google, and searched key words and tried the exam without any study and ZERO knowledge of any flight stuff and just passed with 80% it did take me 85 of the 90 minutes to thoroughly find the answers and complete the exam as I was trying to understand them as I was going along. Only 7 incorrect!

  38. Tracey on May 25, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Woohooo, 80% Thanks for the well put together video, really helped us know what the exam would be all about.

  39. Whirl Traveller on May 25, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Great tutoring. A couple silly questions however. Until such time that I take this course, am I required to pass this basic exam in order to legally fly my sub 250 gran drone, the DJI Mini 2?
    Secondly, I plan to fly in Europe soon. Do I need to have this basic certification and also register myself there, during the transition period,
    Your help will be most appreciated. Thanks. Roger

  40. Mann Preet on May 25, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    I failed 😞

  41. Richard Tremblay on May 25, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    I Don ,
    My drone is a Skydio that include a beacon localiser that is able to following me is this in non conformity of 901.37

  42. AD Podcast on May 25, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    I have to get a basic and advanced operation license because I’ll fly drones for NRC thank you for that video

  43. Chris Granicolo on May 25, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    passed with a 71% on my first try, thanks for the tips, Don! the NOTAM question was a doozy … I feel Transport Canada should have a consolidated place for all the info in the exams to learn from vs. all these disparate doc’s floating about

  44. Thomas Murray on May 25, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks for your tips. Just took the basic and passed first time with 82%. Intend to fly a bit and then go for the advanced.

  45. Kaiduo Wang on May 25, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you for your guide! I got 88% at first attempt.

  46. G85 Stories on May 25, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    Thanks to you Don! I got my basic on my first go!

  47. Chan Khung Leong on May 25, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Don, is this exam open for foreigners or temporary tourists that wish to visit Canada? Thanks a lot.

  48. D M on May 25, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Hey, if one attached a blimp to a drone in such a way as to lower the overall weight of a drone to zero, does that count?
    is the weight requirement based on the manufacturers specification or the actual weight of the aircraft?

  49. Adam's Roy on May 25, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    Hi, Don, have a question for you know with nav Canada mobile app that tells us were we can fly or not is that the only thing I have to check to see if I can fly in the area or am I understanding this wrong

  50. Paul Johannesson on May 25, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Excellent! Very well done!

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