Two years ago, the Boy Scouts of America was selected to be one of the inaugural Federal Aviation Administration TRUST test administrators. Recreational drone pilots must pass these safety tests before flying a drone or other uncrewed aircraft system (UAS).
Since the testing program launched in 2021, the BSA has issued more than 21,000 certificates for The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). The test was most recently updated Sept. 15 to include new requirements on remote ID and other FAA regulation updates. If you already have a certificate, you will not have to retake the test because of the updates, but it is a good idea to retake it to make sure you know the latest rules.
Legislation in 2018 called for the FAA 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. If you want to take the test, you can take it through the BSA by visiting this page. 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 reissue your completion certificate if you lose it; you will need to retake the test.
Rules for flying
Recreational drone flyers must do the following:
- Register the drone through the FAA Drone Zone before flying if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds.
- Fly only for recreational purposes, not business.
- Operate in accordance with or within a Community-Based Organization’s (CBO’s) safety guidelines
- Always fly within visual line of sight
- Do not interfere and always give way to any manned aircraft
- Obtain authorizations before flying in controlled airspace
- Do not fly higher than 400 feet in uncontrolled airspace
- Fly drones that meet the FAA’s remote ID rules
- Present your TRUST completion certificate and drone/pilot registration to FAA or law enforcement officials upon request.
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.
Also, check the Guide to Safe Scouting, which states that you shouldn’t fly your drone in places or situations where privacy is expected.
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