Updated: Sep 18, 2018 @ 10:31 am

Why a Team Drone Challenge?

To encourage more students to explore STEM fields by offering a low-cost, high-impact, open competition, attractive to inner-city & rural populations!

To encourage students to consider the emerging drone technology education and employment options in our region!

•Open competition for ages 11+
•2 to 5 Flight Crew Members –No team size limit!
•Low-cost registration, equipment & season
•Indoor competition avoids weather issues
•Relevant annually themed challenge
•STEM-focused elements target knowledge areas
•Workshops (in-person & virtual) help new teams get started
•Networked team coaches for newcomer guidance & shared learning!
•School teams, after school programs, community groups, clubs, family & friends – all welcome!

Forest Fury will be released September 30th at our area’s 3rd Annual Drone Info Day!    Hosted by the SUNY AMA UMASC, join us for a FREE event in the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Student Center, Noon to 3:00pm!

Our 2019 season competition is set for April 7, 2019 at SUNY Polytechnic Institute for up to 16 teams!  A scrimmage is being discussed for Syracuse, NY.  We plan on growing competition sites through participating teams who are willing to invest in our program and the needed field equipment to run events.


Register for the April competition to get the manual & build instructions!     Registration opens on September 30, 2018.  A Registration Link will be available on this page.  All registrations will be via PayPal.

  • Early registration is $50 for re-registering teams (from 2018 competition)
  • Early registration for new teams is $75
  • Late registration after January 30, 2019 (if available) is $125
  • Once the 16 team limit is reached, a waitlist will be established

Grow with us!

Forest Fury Overview

A wildfire is burning out of control.

Isolated firefighters are running short on vital supplies.

A potential mudslide puts hikers in harm’s way.

Will your drone team be prepared to help? 

Forest Fury drone teams can attempt to:

  • Navigate at low altitude through forest trail checkpoints & obstacles
  • Deliver fire suppressants to hot spots using thermal imaging
  • Deliver supplies to firefighters using a locational beacon
  • Land on and take off from unsteady mountain surfaces
  • Activate a zip line delivering a forest ranger from a fire tower to a safe zone
  • Map a hiking trail
  • Rescue hikers from an eminent mud slide (time released element)
  • Return to a moving rescue vehicle

2018 Rig Rescue Team Drone Challenge Results – see what you missed in April 2018!

The STEM competition allowed me to present an authentic challenge to my students.  They had to work together both before the competition in the design and building and during the competition to overcome an array of challenges.  The students had a blast and have been thinking about next year since the competition ended.”

  – Ed Levine, Syracuse City School District

What can teams do while waiting for Forest Fury’s release on September 30th?

  • Start practicing skills with whatever drone you have access to – taking off, landing, lifting, carrying, dropping off, flying under, above & through tight spots, hovering to take photos, & communicating with spotters.
  • Do some of research on search & rescue and your team will have a better idea of what to expect.
  • Connect with other teams & clubs!
  • Start an AMA MASC    (Academy of Model Aeronautics Model Aviation Student Club)  If your team is part of a newly formed drone club through a community group or school, you’ll want to consider becoming an AMA MASC.   Already a MASC?  Let us know!
  • Get your pilot(s) AMA registered early!
    • ONLY pilots with AMA members will be allowed to fly at our competition
    • AMA membership is free for those under age 19

Questions?  Contact us!  We’ll help you get started and connect you with other team coaches.

We’d be happy to arrange a Google Hangout with your group to help you get started.  We’ll be holding hangouts and live-streams to support teams from September to March in preparation for the April 7th competition at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.