If you fly a drone, you need to read this now

Rules have changed, and you don't want to fall foul of the FAA.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

If you fly a drone such as the DJI Air 2S or the Mini 2 in the US, there are rule changes that you now need to be aware of, and a safety training and testing program that you need to complete.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on June 22 that it has approved 16 organizations to provide this test which is known as The Recreational Unmanned Aircraft Systems Safety Test (TRUST).

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"Test?" I hear you say. Yes, a test. But don't worry, it's free and easy, and quite interesting.

The test is broken down into four parts, each consisting of a brief training guide covering drone safety and law, followed by some multiple-choice questions to see if you were paying attention.

The process should take you no more than 30 minutes.

Here's a list of where you can take the test:

I've taken the training and testing with several of the organizations -- and I passed every time, with an average time of under 10 minutes -- and the training and questions seem pretty much the same across the board. You can't skip questions, but you can retry any you get wrong.

There's really nothing to worry about.

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You will only have to take the test once, and the certification doesn't expire, but you will have to retake the test if you lose your certificate.

"Passing The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) is required for recreational drone pilots operating under 49 U.S.C. Section 44809," the FAA told ZDNet. "The test is online and free to take. The FAA will continue to use the Compliance Program to address instances of non-compliance."

Note that if you don't meet all the requirements to fly under the Exception for Recreational Flyers, you must fly under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 107, also known as the civil small UAS rule, which involves a different test altogether (and remember, uploading drone footage to outlets such as YouTube and monetization it means you are no longer flying recreationally).

It's also worth noting that if your drone weighs more than 0.55lbs/249g (or anything heavier than the DJI Mini 2) then you will also need to register the drone.

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