Special S8 Info
The United States has very specific requirements for individuals flying Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) such as radio control airplanes and drones. This includes S8 radio control rocket gliders flown in FAI Spacemodeling competiton.
Non-US citizens are required to follow the same model aircraft regulations that US citizens are required to follow, including
- Complying with AMA safety guidelines
- Registering at the FAA Drone Zone
- Taking “The Recreational UAS Safety Test” (TRUST)
These requirements apply ONLY to those competitors flying the S8 events.
Competitors flying in classes S8D and S8P are encouraged to complete these steps before arriving in the US. This is a simple two-step process described below.
A PowerPoint tutorial has been created by the US Academy of Model Aeronautics to help guide non-US persons through the process of registration and taking the TRUST test. Note that some of the web graphics have changed since this tutorial was created, but the new navigation and interface is very similar.
Step 1. S8 competitors must become registered Drone Pilots with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To do this, visit the FAA “Drone Zone” website at: https://faadronezone-operator.faa.gov/#/rec-flyer
The registration process is quick. Each registrant will be assessed a $5 registration fee. Each pilot will only need to register once. Your registration number may be used on all aircraft flown by that pilot.
Print your registration form and bring a copy to the World Championships. Have it nearby when you fly your S8 models.
You must place your registration number on the outside surface of your S8 model. This is in addition to placing your FAI license number on your model.
Step 2. Take “The Recreational UAS Safety Test” on the Academy of Model Aeronautics website: https://trust.modelaircraft.org/
This is a free test. Any missed questions may be reviewed and repeated, so it is impossible to fail the test.
Once you have completed the test, print a copy of your completion certificate. Have this certificate with you when you practice and complete.
Language. Note that both the registration process and TRUST test are administered in English. If you do not have a working knowledge of the English language, someone may assist you. Also, you will be flying in the United States recreationally, not commercially.
Altitude Limit. Section 44809 of the United States Federal Aviation Regulations states that recreational UAS flyers may not fly more than 400′ (121.92 meters) above ground level (AGL) . To allow S8 flights to typical competitive altitudes, a waiver to Section 44809 §(a)(6) of the Federal Aviation Regulations has been secured with the assistance of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. This will allow S8 flights up to 1,200′ (365.76 meters) AGL during practice and contest days.