Download PDFOpen PDF in browser

Quantifying a Scoring Limitation of a Federal UAS Flight Proficiency Exam

9 pagesPublished: December 11, 2023


To operate a drone in the U.S., the federal government requires pilots to pass a standardized Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) knowledge test. The government does not require drone pilots pass a practical exam demonstrating minimum flight proficiency. However, the government, through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has provided a voluntary exam protocol to test flight skills. Using the NIST exam protocol, the Airborne Public Safety Association has created the only nationally recognized unmanned aircraft systems flight proficiency certification. This certification is frequently used by contractors and construction UAS courses. The literature has identified a limitation in how the exam is scored. The purpose of this study is to quantify how impactful this limitation is. The researchers conducted an experiment administering the exam to 24 licensed drone pilots. The exam was scored compensating for the scoring limitation. The study found that when the scoring limitation was accounted for, scores
were inflated by approximately 5% with inexperienced pilots. Inexperienced pilots will have the highest deviation and represent the most extreme cases. Given the relatively low 5% deviation with novice pilots, the study found that this limitation is not a significant concern and can be managed by the exam proctor.

Keyphrases: assessment, Drone, NIST, Open Lane, UAS

In: Tom Leathem, Wesley Collins and Anthony J. Perrenoud (editors). Proceedings of 59th Annual Associated Schools of Construction International Conference, vol 4, pages 56--64

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Joseph Burgett and Colin Dees},
  title     = {Quantifying a Scoring Limitation of a Federal UAS Flight Proficiency Exam},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of 59th Annual Associated Schools of Construction International Conference},
  editor    = {Tom Leathem and Wes Collins and Anthony Perrenoud},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Built Environment},
  volume    = {4},
  pages     = {56--64},
  year      = {2023},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2632-881X},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/wq6l}}
Download PDFOpen PDF in browser