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Instrument-rated pilots wanted for drone study

The FAA is seeking instrument-rated pilot volunteers to test a drone detection and avoidance system under controlled conditions in Oklahoma City. Participants will receive $550 for completing one test session lasting up to six hours, with each participant limited to a single session.

The FAA is also seeking unmanned aircraft operators with more than 100 hours logged flying large drones (more than 55 pounds), systems generally reserved for military and government use because they are larger than Part 107 allows. Instrument-rated pilots with at least 100 hours, including flight experience in actual instrument conditions, are eligible to participate; however, airline pilots and pilots of “high-end corporate aircraft” are excluded.

The tests, to be scheduled in late June or early July, will be at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. Participants will help the FAA evaluate the effectiveness of traffic alerts that include conflict resolution advisories. Information gleaned from these simulated encounters will help the FAA develop standards for unmanned aircraft control stations. Tests will be conducted during weekdays, with sessions starting between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Pilots interested in participating are advised to email their name and cell phone number to [email protected]. The FAA seeks 16 pilots in total, eight manned and eight unmanned, for this program.

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