How To Pass the Recreational FAA Drone TRUST Exam

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Are you thinking of flying a drone for fun? If so, this article will walk you through the process of taking and passing the exam required to fly your drone recreationally in the U.S. Since 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires all recreational drone pilots to pass the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST).

The good news is that this exam, which is taken online, is free and very easy to pass. You do not need to buy any books or read any supplemental material. The exam is designed as a one-stop “learn and pass” session, which should take under 30 minutes to complete.

How To Take the FAA TRUST Exam?

The exam is taken online completely free of charge. When I took FAA TRUST test in September 2022, I had a choice of over 15 test providers. This FAA webpage lists all available test administrators that you can click on and start taking the test. You will have to create an account with a provider. The account will be deleted at the end of your exam session.

As you complete the exam, you will be prompted to save a PDF version of the completion certificate. Be sure to store this electronic document. It is impossible to come back and download it again later. You will have to retake the exam to get the certificate.

What Does FAA TRUST Test Cover?

The TRUST exam consists of four main sections: airspace, pre-flight, line-of-sight and drone systems. Each section contains educational material and a quiz consisting of 5 to 7 multiple choice questions. You do not need to have any prior aviation knowledge and no reading materials are needed.

The material before each knowledge quiz covers pretty much everything you need to know to answer questions. The questions are relatively easy and must be all answered 100% correctly. In case a wrong answer is given, you can come back and answer the question again and again until you get it right.

The airspace section goes over where you can and cannot fly, what is controlled vs. uncontrolled airspace and how to obtain authorization to fly a drone in controlled airspace. The pre-flight section goes over what you need to know before flying your drone, weather, your mental and physical state and the condition of the drone.

The line-of-sight section talks about Community Based Organization safety guidelines and the importance of operating your drone in the visual line of sight. The drone systems section walks you through things like how to operate your drone, its automated features, drone registration and practice flights.

Are You Flying a Drone Commercially?

Just be aware, if you plan on receiving any compensation for the content you create using your drone, you must possess a commercial drone license. Even if you create footage/photos that you will use on your monetized YouTube channel, having a recreational license will not cut it and you will get in trouble with the FAA for this. You must take and pass the FAA Part 107 Commercial Drone exam to get a license. The license will allow you to fly your drone and get compensated for selling and monetizing your content.

The exam for flying drones commercially is a bit more involved and takes some time and practice to get ready for. I wrote a blog post, where I share my experience of successfully passing the part 107 exam on a budget with a 90% score.

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