If you’re curious about drones or serious about starting a new hobby, we suggest taking a look at our events calendar.   Visit with us at an upcoming event!

We’re happy to answer questions and/or connect you with a drone enthusiast who can offer experience-based tips.  Please read on first, to cover some preliminary topics on getting started.

Updated: Jun 19, 2023 @ 7:21 am

Recreational Drone Pilot Info

Drone Registration & Where You Can Fly

Remote ID Requirement

FAA Recreational UAS Safety Test.  (TRUST)


The FAA TRUST Exam is highly encouraged for educators & students.

The exam is FREE & required for all outdoor recreational flight.  

Find more information & access to The UAS Safety Test (TRUST):   

https://trust.modelaircraft.org (Academy of Model Aeronautics)

A great place to start?  Join the AMA!

  • AMA Membership
    • $15 for age 19 & under
    • required for youth participation in most CNY Drones programs
    • required for Model Aviation Student Club membership
  • CNY Drones Model Aviation Student Club
    • We operate as an AMA MASC so that we can serve the community with our programs under AMA guidelines & insurance
    • Want to start your own AMA MASC with your student group or want to hear how it could help your organization get started with drones?  We will share the benefits and help walk you through the process of connecting with the AMA!   Contact Us!


Considerations When Buying Your First Drone

  • Price – Do you want to get a toy or a serious drone?
  • Indoor or outdoor flying?
  • Piloting ability & age – Is this for a child to play with briefly or for an adult to use for recreational flying?
  • Use – Do you want a drone that will follow you around, fly indoors, outdoors, take photos/video, or race?     
  • Durability – All drones crash at some point – even the experts crash – Do do you want something that will bounce off the walls or will you be able to fix or replace a broken part?  

Suggested Beginner Videos

Basic Components of a Drone

Examples of Drone Parts, Kits & FPV Gear

 Simulators – try flying virtually first!

Learn before you fly by utilizing a downloadable simulator program.  Here are some suggestions.  Please note that these may require a purchase.

Drones & Kits For Beginners

  • Syma X5C – cheap, easy to learn, toy drone for kids at a extremely low cost
  • Our suggestion for the serious beginner – Tiny Whoop class drones.  We do not offer “kit” suggestions as components & prices change extremely often.  Our choices for our Experience FPV sessions & Build Workshops change based a variety of factors including current prices & availability.   If you locate a drone or kit & would like a second opinion, we’d be happy to connect you with an experienced recreational drone pilot.

Best Practices

  • Pictures & Privacy
  • Where to Fly and Where Not to Fly
    • No Fly Zones – be aware of where flying is allowed & not allowed.  Know your proximity to local airports & FAA No Fly Zones before attempting to fly.
    • Flying in local parks –  We suggest you take care when flying in any public park.  Most parks do not have drone specific postings – YET.   State & National Parks have strict rules.  Get the facts before you attempt to fly!   Local parks typically post rule changes after they have had an issue.   Be courteous, fly safe & obey all postings, local laws, and directions given by parks department employees.  Be courteous to others enjoying the park & have a spotter (aka visual observer) at all times!
    • Know Before You Fly  – a very important link!
    • B4UFly Mobile App

Questions?  Feel free to contact us!