Flying drones is a fun way Scouts can start learning about robotics, science, technology and engineering. Many camps already offer drone-flying programs.
If you plan on flying a drone or other uncrewed aircraft system (UAS), whether for a Scouting event or not, you will need to first pass a test. Legislation in 2018 called for the Federal Aviation Administration to introduce new requirements for all recreational drone pilots, including passing an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and providing proof of passing the test when flying a drone.
The FAA worked with stakeholders, developed the test and approved test administrators, including the Boy Scouts of America. You can take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) through the BSA here.
The link also provides instructions on how to take the test. When you’ve completed it, you should print or save a digital copy of your certification to have on you when you fly a drone. Neither the BSA nor FAA can re-issue your completion certificate if you lose it; you will need to retake the test.
Recreational drone flyers must do the following:
- Register your drone through the FAA Drone Zone before you fly if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds.
- Fly only for recreational purposes, not business.
- Present your TRUST completion certificate to FAA or law enforcement officials upon request when you’re flying.
- Follow the BSA’s drone safety guidelines.
- Always keep your aircraft in sight.
- Do not interfere with crewed aircraft and give them the right-of-way.
- Fly at or below 400 feet.
- Get an FAA authorization before flying in a controlled airspace.
Where to fly
Check out B4UFLY, available on desktop or via app, for information about where to fly. No airspace authorizations are provided through that site. For that and other information about where you can and cannot fly, you can check out the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) at this link. And for details about restrictions in national parks, click here.