The only step for recreational pilots until now was registering their drone with the FAA and not flying in restricted airspace. However, if recreational drone pilots want to fly their drones at night or day, they will now have to pass the TRUST (The Recreational UAS Safety Test) at an FAA-approved center. Rules for commercial drone pilots differ from recreational ones. Read more about Part 107 certification here. The purpose of TRUST is to ensure that all drone pilots operating their drones in the United States Airspace are well aware of the rules and safety limitations.
Who Should Take the TRUST Test?
The TRUST test is only meant for recreational drone pilots. To put it into perspective, anyone who’s not flying a drone for commercial purposes needs to take the TRUST test. This may come by as an aggressive security measure from the FAA, but turns out it’s necessary. At present, there are over a million registered drones in the United States. Almost half of them are commercial drones. Therefore, regulating this other half of recreational flyers is necessary to prevent overwhelming or misuse of national airspace.
In a nutshell, with the updated regulations to fly your drone recreationally:
- If your drone weighs more than 250 g (0.55 lbs) register it with FAA through DroneZone
- Pass the TRUST test
- Follow the safety guidelines issued by the FAA
In June, the FAA announced 16 FAA-approved TRUST test administrators. As of now, you can contact the administrators mentioned below to get study material for the test and attempt it. The test is completely free of cost and test administrators are prohibited from charging a fee directly or indirectly:
- The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)
- The Boy Scouts of America
- Chippewa Valley Technical College
- Community College of Allegheny County – West Hills Center
- Drone U
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU)
- HSU Educational Foundation
- Lake Area Technical College
- Pilot Institute
- Drone Launch Academy LLC
- Proctorio Incorporated
- Tactical Aviation
- CrossFlight Sky Solutions
- UAV Coach
- University of Arizona Global Campus
- Volatus Aerospace Corp
What does the TRUST test consist of?
According to the FAA, the TRUST test is divided into two sections. The first section is a refresher course that provides you with the information needed to pass the test. The second section is a set of multiple-choice questions based on the refresher course. In total there are about 23 multiple-choice questions. Questions are asked about the fundamental concepts of airspace classes, LAANC, flight checks, weather forecasting, etc.
The test is quite straightforward and simple compared to the Part 107 test for commercial drone pilots. We took the test at The Academy of Model Aeronautics. The purpose of the test is to familiarize yourself with the general limitations, rules, codes of conduct, and aviation terminology. Here is what the certificate looks like after completing the test. You must always keep the certificate with you while flying your recreational drone along with your drone’s registration.