Updated: Oct 27, 2018 @ 5:27 pm

The 2019 season’s competition is set for April 7, 2019 at SUNY Polytechnic Institute for up to 16 teams using two 30’x60′ fields!    We plan on growing competition sites through participating teams who are willing to invest in our program & the needed field equipment to run events.   A host package is being developed to facilitate the growth of future competitions & scrimmages.  Interested in growing our Challenge in your area?  Contact us!

FOREST FURY Intro (Powerpoint Presentation 10-26-18)

Our program targets middle & high school aged students.  We encourage college groups to contact us as interest develops for a second college level event.  For now, we remain an OPEN competition for any group with participants age 11+.   More general information on our history and growth can be found here:  Annual Team Drone Challenge 


Registration is now open for the April competition to get the manual & build instructions!

All registrations will be via PayPal.  Please contact us if this is not possible for your organization.  Do not mail checks.

  • 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

Check out this Build Video by Lead Mentor, Paul Brown


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

NEW!!! SUNY Polytechnic Institute students are currently developing video tutorials on a basic drone build and use of sensors to assist new teams.

Other host locations are being considered to help grow a season of challenge events.  More competitions mean more opportunities for students!  Grow with us & help make it happen!


2018 Rig Rescue Team Drone Challenge – 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 release of a new season?

  • 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


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.