TRUST: How to take (and pass) the FAA recreational drone test

TRUST: How to take (and pass) the FAA recreational drone test

New as of 2021: all drone operators — no matter whether or not you’re flying for business or passion functions — have to move a check as a way to legally fly drones weighing 0.55 kilos or extra within the United States. For years, solely business drone operators wanted to move a drone pilot test, which was generally known as the Part 107 test. But now, passion pilots should move an FAA leisure drone check.

Formally known as the Recreational Unmanned Aircraft Systems Safety Test (and lowered to an acronym of kinds as TRUST), the check launched in June 2021. Here’s what that you must learn about taking (and passing) that FAA leisure drone check:

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Where do you’re taking the FAA leisure drone check?

The check could also be taken on-line — however you received’t take it by means of the FAA’s web site. Instead, you’ll take it by means of the web sites of one of many FAA-approved accomplice organizations (there are 16 to start out). Those vary all over the place from current on-line Part 107 course suppliers to organizations that don’t have drones at their core, however the place the drone tie-in is smart, together with The Boy Scouts of America.

Here’s the whole checklist of the FAA’s TRUST-approved organizations:

  • The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)
  • The Boy Scouts of America
  • Chippewa Valley Technical College
  • Community College of Allegheny County – West Hills Center
  • CrossFlight Sky Solutions LLC
  • Drone Launch Academy LLC
  • Drone U
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU)
  • HSU Educational Foundation
  • Lake Area Technical College
  • Pilot Institute
  • Proctorio Incorporated
  • Tactical Aviation
  • UAV Coach
  • University of Arizona Global Campus
  • Volatus Aerospace Corp

What is the FAA leisure drone check like, and is it laborious?

The check and course content material is essentially related throughout all of the FAA’s TRUST-approved course suppliers, although it could differ barely in presentation. After all, The FAA wrote the net coaching and check content material for TRUST, so it’s largely constant throughout the board. The course content material is designed to be approachable even for individuals who don’t have any pre-existing data about drones.

In common, anticipate to undergo a web based course that takes about half-hour to an hour to finish. Most suppliers have a check on the finish of the hour coaching, which permits for limitless makes an attempt to move.

How a lot does it price to take the check?

Nothing! The check could be taken on-line and is obtainable without charge by means of the above, accepted check directors.

By the way in which, in case you discover any web sites on the market attempting to cost you cash to take the FAA leisure drone check, meaning they’re a scammy website and your certificates can be meaningless anyway!

Does my Recreational Drone Pilot Safety Test certification expire?

No. Upon passing your Recreational Drone Pilot Safety check, you’ll obtain a completion certificates which you must print out and maintain with you always you’re along with your drone (simply depart it in your drone case). FAA or legislation enforcement personnel have the authority to ask you to see it, and also you’re required by legislation to indicate it to them.

Luckily, you solely have to take the check as soon as, as your completion certificates doesn’t expire (distinction that with business drone pilot license checks, which have to be renewed through a recurrent training course and test each two years).

Though, the FAA has been considerably imprecise about imposing when the check have to be taken by, merely stating that “leisure drone flyers ought to take the check at their earliest comfort.”

Beware of misplacing your completion certificates. Most of the accepted organizations don’t save your info on file, which suggests they can not reissue you a certificates in case you lose it. Save a digital copy you can reprint, or don’t lose the printed model. Otherwise you’ll should undergo the coaching course and move the check yet again.

How is that this completely different than the Part 107 check?

This leisure check is separate from the business drone pilot’s license check, which is often known as the Part 107 Aeronuatical Knowledge Test for UAS operators. Upon passing that check, you’ll obtain a license, which that you must function drones for business functions.

Unlike this leisure check, the check for business operators is pretty tough and comprises detailed questions round airspace classification, sectional charts, climate patterns and extra. There are many on-line Part 107 drone training courses that can assist you examine (I used Drone Pilot Ground School), lots of which now provide the brand new leisure checks too.

If you’ve a Part 107 license and it hasn’t lapsed, then you definitely don’t additionally have to take the leisure course.

Why do I’ve to take a FAA leisure drone check?

The leisure drone check was really mandated by Congress, which required the event of the testing program underneath its FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.

And since then, the FAA has been working to develop the check in tandem with the broader drone neighborhood. Much of that enter got here from a bunch fashioned on the finish of 2019 that consisted of 12 organizations handpicked by the FAA to help the company in growing necessities that potential check directors should meet. Those corporations included drone large DJI, in addition to some organizations that at the moment are precise check directors, together with the Academy of Model Aeronautics and Drone Launch Academy.

From there, the FAA opened applications in February 2021 to function a check administrator. 

The check was designed as a approach to impose schooling upon drone pilots — lots of whom don’t have backgrounds in RC or aviation…and in addition don’t learn their drone’s person guide upon shopping for one. Especially as shopper drones get decrease in price and extra accessible than ever, the FAA has made it clear that everybody — not simply these working drones for business functions — have to have some standardized data units.

“These organizations are key to creating this check broadly obtainable and simply accessible to leisure drone pilots,” stated FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “We want pilots of all plane, together with those that function leisure drones, to have the coaching and data wanted to function safely within the nation’s airspace.”