tl;dr: How do I go from non-airman to commercial UAS pilot under an FAA 333 exemption?
I understand that the rules are imminently changing, but waiting for the formal implementation of the NPRM could mean a very long wait before even getting started, and there is already a backlog of section 333 petitions.
Say I have a small (under 55 pounds) quadrotor aircraft, and I want to fly it for "civil operations" (commercial). As a non-airman, what do I need to do before I can operate the craft in this manner?
As near as I can determine, the process is something like this:
- Obtain a pilot license
- File a petition for part 333 exemption
- Acquire either a SAC or Waiver/CoA
Do I really need to obtain a pilot license of some sort for real aircraft (either PPL, sport, or recreational) for this purpose, or can I legally operate the craft using some other short-cut? Is there a difference if I plan to fly a craft with a SAC rather than a craft which has none?