The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released its TRUST test, a free online training program to certify that pilots understand the rules of drone flight. It is required in order to fly a drone, even recreationally.
The Recreational UAS Safety Test, otherwise known as TRUST, applies to all pilots. Even those who just operate a drone “for fun or personal enjoyment” must take this test in order to legally fly in the United States. If a drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds, pilots must additionally register it through the FAA’s Drone Zone.
The test is designed to provide education and testing for recreational flyers on important safety and regulatory information. The FAA says that even pilots who fly drones recreationally under the Exception for Recreational Flyers — which includes drone flights for educational purposes — must pass the test before they can legally fly.
All pilots must complete the TRUST test and be able to show proof of passing to an agent of the FAA or law enforcement if prompted. Part 107 pilots only have to take the TRUST test if they are flying outside of a Part 107 rule. For example, if they were to fly a drone that is registered under recreational rules or if they want to fly a drone or remote-controlled aircraft that is over 55 pounds.
The FAA has listed the following entities as Approved Test Administrators for TRUST. The only way to take the TRUST test is to do so through any of the below organizations.
- 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
The FAA says that TRUST is divided into two sections: The first section provides prospective pilots with the information needed to pass the test. The second section is a series of multiple-choice questions. It is not possible to fail the test. If a question is answered incorrectly, information on why that was the incorrect answer will be provided, and the question will be asked again.
After the conclusion of the test, pilots will be provided with a certificate that never expires, however, if that certificate is lost, the test will have to be retaken to obtain a new one. The FAA says neither it nor the administrator of the test will maintain any personally identifiable information about the recreational flyer, so neither will be able to re-print or re-issue the certificate.
Image credits: Header photo by Bertrand Bouchez.
Editor’s note: The original story specified that the TRUST test was linked with the weight of a drone. While recreational pilots who own a drone that weighs more than 0.55 pounds must also register it with the FAA, all drone pilots regardless of the weight of their drone are required to take the TRUST test. We apologize for this error. We also have clarified the rules and requirements for Part 107 pilots.