In the United States, drone operators are split into two categories: commercial and recreational. Commercial drone operators have to take an extensive test to be licensed under the FAA to fly their drones commercially. People who were flying their drones solely for recreational use were exempt from these requirements.
The FAA published guidelines on how recreational drone operators have to operate their drones. Besides these guidelines, you also had to register your drone with the FAA if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs. You would then receive a registration number that had to be attached visibly to the outside of the drone. Besides that, you were also required to carry the certificate of registration with you when operating a drone and show it to the FAA or law enforcement if requested. This can be done in digital form, for example on your phone or tablet. The registration is good for 3 years and needs to be renewed after that. At the moment the cost for a three-year registration is $5.
Since June there is an additional requirement for recreational drone operators.
The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST)
All drone operators flying under the recreational exception are now required to pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test. This sounds very intimidating but don’t worry. It’s a very easy and simple test. If you know the established guidelines and have some common sense, you are almost all the way there.
The test is supposed to teach you important safety and regulatory information. You must complete the test before you fly again.
But don’t be afraid. It’s a very easy and quick procedure. No study is required. You don’t need to go to a test center, like with the commercial counterpart, or pay a hefty fee. The test is done online and completely free of charge. It only costs you about 30 minutes of your time.
Where and How?
Find a list of approved test administrators on the FAA website. There are currently 17 approved test administrators listed on the FAA’s website. You can pick either one, as the test is always the same.
The test is compromised of two sections. The first section gives you all the necessary information you need to pass the test. In the second section, you will be given a set of multiple-choice questions. In case you answer a question incorrectly, you will be given information on why the answer you chose was incorrect and you can try again. Therefore you can’t actually fail the test.
If they really want to educate people, people should be able to fail and have to start from scratch again, instead of just trying again at each question. Other
Upon completion, you will be provided with a TRUST completion certificate. Save a copy of it, preferable in the cloud, and have one printed and with you whenever you fly. You are required to show this certificate to the FAA or law enforcement if requested. In case you lose your certificate, you will have to re-take the test as neither the FAA nor the test administrators will maintain any personally identifiable information about the recreational drone operator.
The TRUST Completion Certificate never expires. That’s the only good part about this.
Please take the test and tell your friends about it. Let’s all be smart and safe in the skies.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
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