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. DatGuyESEF on July 8, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    appreciate this. passed first try 71%

  2. Victor Garcia on July 8, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Wow, I watched your video a couple of times, read all of your recommendations, and managed to pass the basic operations exam on the first try. Thank you for your excellent comments and share your knowledge with everyone.

  3. Aamir Iqbal on July 8, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks a lot Don. This helped me pass!

  4. David H on July 8, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks Don. I passed today thanks to you helping me know what to look for. Much appreciated sir. Keep up the good work.

  5. Ashley on July 8, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    Perfectly described

  6. Team Saunz on July 8, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    Wow, lots of stuff is constitutionally illegal.

  7. bob fallz on July 8, 2021 at 11:43 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.

  8. Jen and Drew Plus a Few on July 8, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks Don for all of your videos. They’re so helpful. I took the basic exam and passed on the first try with 71%!! Yes!! I attempted the advance exam a few times prior to that without any luck. Not sure why I thought that was a good idea. Haha. I think this is a way better way to go about it. Now I can have the confidence to keep learning and flying to prepare to pass that one too. yay!! I will definitely keep watching your videos.

  9. Kozy Boat on July 8, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Thankyou so Much! I did watch your video with only minimal skipping (sorry)… PASSED 80%! 20 minutes study time (watching most your video, then preloading the right webpages), lets fly! But I must say I used ALL 90 Minutes.. and was sweating the last 10 minutes to finish.. Google had to have a nap when I logged out.

  10. Adam Elanwer on July 8, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Hey Don, I can’t put it in to words for how great full I am for you and this fantastic video. I had my “loading, processing… YAYYYYY” Moment and it’s all because of you I appreciate it so much and please continue making fantastic videos like this one 😁 I also got 77 percent by the way hahahah.

  11. Jay Rodriguez on July 8, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Another RPA Pilot in Canada. Thanks Don!

  12. Calendyr on July 8, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Thanks you. Will study all that stuff before attempting the exam. Great information!

  13. Craig Gunhouse on July 8, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Thanks Don, I did most of the hard questions by Google searches but just having someone to point you in the right direction and to have someone cheering you on and in your corner is a big help to one’s confidence. I got one question wrong.

  14. Satish Surath on July 8, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you Don@ This was really helpful in helping me start my Drone Journey

  15. Tom'sView Photography Adventures on July 8, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Wow. This helps so much. Thank you!

  16. K M on July 8, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    don in reference to flying over building @10:45 . I believe it isn’t above ground. what it is, you must be 200 ft horizontal and 100 ft vertical from building IF the building is over 400 ft agl . For example …so if the building is 500ft, you can fly max 100 ft above that building if you stay within 200 ft horizontal from it. this example …so up to 600 ft agl

  17. JohnOS on July 8, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    I literally just YOLO’ed the test with some google and no studying and scored 77%

  18. Mercer Productions on July 8, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks Don for the great study guide. Just passed the exam for the basic license, though have to say that VERY little of it was based on the documents listed in the material you’ve linked to (unless things were buried VERY deep inside). Google was truly my friend in this endeavor. But watching your video twice, and a few hours spent studying, certainly gave me more confidence. Otherwise I’d likely have been scratching my head a lot.

    Kudos to you my friend!

  19. Downsizing Makes Cents on July 8, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    I passed the test first try no studying at all for the Canadian exam, but I did take a course for the 107 which I am taking this week. Mostly common sense answers, got an 80.

  20. Broken Clock Films on July 8, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    As an amateur filmmaker who’s just bought my first drone, (DJI Mavic Air 2), I want to shoot music videos for local artists where there would be the artist and let’s say 2 to 15 other people in the shot. In the Proximity to People section, would bystanders also mean the said subjects above that are the targets for the shooting? They would all be aware of the drone operation and all safety precautions would be taken of course. And would I have to get the advanced operation license if I want to fly over those same subjects?

  21. 小象乐乐Grace on July 8, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    I passed today, I got 80, Thanks you video .I use google:)

  22. J R on July 8, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks Don, I passed with a 91 today!

  23. Emanuel Villacorta on July 8, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Am I the only one here because of school?

  24. Jean Pierre LaBonté on July 8, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Question: regarding CAR 901.37 , not permitted to drive a car or boat while piloting, OK. But if you are sited in a car or a boat as a passenger, is it also forbidden to pilot a drone?

  25. Stoddard Multimedia on July 9, 2021 at 12:01 am

    A new AIM came out March 25, 2021 incase no one noticed.

  26. JJnS Farms on July 9, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Just passed my test with a 68%. Did not study. Watched your video, and kept all the pages open that you recommended. Also googled almost every question, I almost ran out of time answering the last question at the 1-second mark LOL!

    Thanks for the help!

    Check out our YouTube channel for some farming drone videos!

  27. Pedro Redel on July 9, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Thanks a lot Don! Just took the test after watching this video and passed on the first try with a 97% score. =)

  28. Benjamin Marler on July 9, 2021 at 12:06 am

    I love how happy he is that he passed id be the same way haha

  29. Niko B on July 9, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Thank you sir! All the best to you

  30. BobHerres on July 9, 2021 at 12:08 am

    Thank you Don for sharing all this Super Information!

  31. Adam GTA on July 9, 2021 at 12:08 am

    Don, I had my yay moment, first time, thanks to your great video!

  32. Chance McClendon on July 9, 2021 at 12:09 am

    the basic can be passed with no study at all. google to victory. but the advanced requires the actual knowledge and proper study time (specifically the practical test)

  33. Ferhat Ozkasgarli on July 9, 2021 at 12:10 am

    Thank you for these instructions.

    Just passed the basic exam with 88% and your instructions helped a lot.

  34. RichGallant on July 9, 2021 at 12:12 am

    Thanks for all your hard work putting this together Don, 1st try 85% (basic). Some weird questions but watching your videos made it very straight forward.

  35. griffin enterprise on July 9, 2021 at 12:12 am

    I had my Yah! moment as well. I quickly watched your video before exam. thanks

  36. Dean Z on July 9, 2021 at 12:16 am

    just want to say thanks Don, it really helped me to pass the exam!

  37. Vince Hughes on July 9, 2021 at 12:17 am

    Can you not just google every question?

  38. Niks Calming ASMR on July 9, 2021 at 12:17 am

    if u fail do u pay again

  39. Denis Ranque on July 9, 2021 at 12:17 am

    Thank you for the Video Don! Very well explained !

  40. Harpreet Singh on July 9, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Thanks Don i watched you video and Oliver’s video . Two videos +google searches and i scored 75% 😇😇

  41. lcooley35 on July 9, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Thanks!!! I just passed the Basic Exam course with 94% the first time by using the advice and materials that you suggested in this video.

  42. Yiu Macross on July 9, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Thanks, Don, Good video. I won’t get the 94% without watching your video even though I have a PPL.

  43. Carole Laporte on July 9, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Thank you so much for making such a useful video! Great teacher!

  44. Jean Pierre LaBonté on July 9, 2021 at 12:22 am

    Question: Owning à micro drones DJI mini2 with a mass of 249 gr below 250 gr required to classify as a mini drone. Understood from your video it doesn’t need to be registered. As a pilot in charge, do I need to pass trough the Transport exam to obtain an licences of fly it for basic operation (recreational?

  45. Anthony G on July 9, 2021 at 12:25 am

    I decided to take the exam on a whim. I only watched your video, and pulled up all the resources you recommended. Passed with an 88%

  46. James Stevenson Photography on July 9, 2021 at 12:26 am

    Hi Don, just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for posting such a wealth of well presented material in your videos. Today, after a week of watching all your videos and a few tries, I passed my Small Advanced exam. Without doubt I’d have had a much harder job doing so without your advice and guidance, so once again – THANKS! I should add, your videos also took away some of the fear about tackling this at all and gave me the confidence to try.

    The first thing I’ll be doing is downloading your Drone Pilot Canada app, since it looks like such an invaluable resource. From your attention to detail and presentation style here, I know it’ll be amazing.

    One word of advice to anyone else studying; watch ALL of Don’s videos, not just the exam related ones! I actually had a question relating to the cyclic control of helicopters which I’d learned specifically from Don’s Helicopter video! The exam is hard, very hard! But you’re in the right place to learn.

    Now… just have to do that practical! So I’ll be back into your videos in the coming weeks on the run up to that!!

    Best wishes from Vancouver!

  47. Peter Kember on July 9, 2021 at 12:31 am

    ….received a DJI FPV for my 80th birthday….complete drone newbie, but I’ve written a ton of TC exams over the past six decades….never better-prepared than for this one (basic). Thanks, Don

  48. R S on July 9, 2021 at 12:31 am

    Just cleared the basics exam with 82%.. thanks for your tips 🙂

  49. Jason Laughlin on July 9, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Thanks Don, watched your video, took the exam 77%, no studying but there is however some common sense, and helps if you know how to rephrase questions on (in?) google. It took me about 35 min, was happy with my answers but did go back to two questions I skipped over. I went I thinking I would fail the first time but wanted to get a feel for it. If anyone wants a good idea watch this video (like others are suggesting) If your Google is not strong (or your crtl F) then do some reviewing you should do fine unless you are hoping for 100%. Just as some reference I’m an average guy with I’d say below average knowledge of anything to do with flying.

  50. Éric Gagnon on July 9, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Hey Don, thank you so much for your help on this video. I have read and prepared everything in every field of knowledge, put the google searches in bookmarks, opened the CAR, and opened section 9 in Acrobat reader to easily do the search by word in text to save time. I did some screen captures of the video showing where to read for specific subjects .There were some questions that were more for airplane pilots, I never read on that stuff for my preparation. So i had to guess on some of those questions, thinking I will have a score around 75%, and finnaly hit 74% lol ! So thank’s again, really appreciated!

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