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How high to fly? UK! Could I hit a aircraft!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by HeliGav, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. HeliGav

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    Hi Guys!

    Bit of an extreme topic title! i know the altitude restriction is 400 feet with model aircraft, I live no where near any air bases or airports, i fly to 400 feet above my home to take pictures. On several occasions luckily when not flying, helicopters pass over and I'm sure there within my flying area of 400 feet altitude. This is usually on the weekend. Im pretty sure its not police or air ambulance from the local hospital because of colour and model of helicopter. It appears to be leisure or business type flight. Where do i stand in this situation? :oops:
     
  2. nintendrone64

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    Location:
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    Real aircrafts have the right of way, always.
    Toy vs human life...
     
  3. Suwaneeguy

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    Don't know about the UK policies, but stateside, toy aircraft have to give way to licensed aircraft.
    As a general rule though, if you see a licensed aircraft, bring your toy down out of its way.
    Here in the states, manned helicopters have to abide by "no fly zone" as well.
    As for their operating height, depends on the rules of that country.

    The flying field I use now is at the 5 mile range limit of a regional airport and the FAA says we have the right to use airspace up to 500 feet. We have to give way to any commercial aircraft in the area.
     
  4. IrishSights

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    I believe full sized licenced aircraft are supposed to stay above 500ft except when doing an approach for landing or takeoff. It is also pretty hard to judge the difference between 400 and 500ft when on the ground. If there is regular traffic and you think its low I would suggest you find other places to fly.
     
  5. locoworks

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    +1
     
  6. Buzzc150

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    I'm a UK based airline pilot and I've also just got a Phantom. All commercial aircraft will be way higher than 1000 ft unless taking off/landing etc. You may get some light aircraft & choppers as low as 500ft agl but usually 1000ft and higher. Military aircraft can and do fly as low as 250ft in some parts if the UK. Common sense rules I'd say. If you are flying your Phantom around Heathrow at 500ft then you soon get a knock on the door by your local copper. If you're out in the sticks, you'll have a bit more leeway.
    The CAA publishes some good advice re drone/UAV usage including minimum distances from people and buildings. To be honest (bearing in mind I'm brand new to this) I can't think why you would want to go 400ft plus....that's fairly high.

    As a side note, if you do hit something or someone through poor 'airmanship', the CAA WILL do their best to prosecute.

    Buzz
     
  7. Greyfox51

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    Location:
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    I took delivery of my Phantom about two weeks ago and fly it whenever I have the opportunity, so still very much a rookie. I fly in the Highlands of Scotland, north of Inverness. My area is very sparsely populated, being mostly moorland, mountains and agriculture. However, this is a designated low flying training area for military aircraft. Sometimes, the aircraft are very low and arrive overhead with very little warning. And not just the fighters and strike aircraft. The big Hercules transporters pay the area a visit at least twice a year.

    All the above being the case, I look and listen very carefully before flying my Phantom, and stay strictly within the height restriction. I would hate to be accused of behaving irresponsibly. Or worse.
     
  8. pyrophantom

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    The higher you go the greater the risk of a flyaway - the wind speeds at higher altitudes can not only be a lot faster than ground level but also a completely different direction. I have been doing professional firework displays for nearly 30 years and we used to test the winds at higher altitudes with schermuly parachute flares which went approx 300m high and it is surprising how different the wind effects are at higher levels.

    You really need to read the CAA regs as they apply to flying aircraft under 7Kg - check out Simon Newtons video on UK Law.

    ;)
     
  9. freefall101

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    I haven't gone any higher than 110m with my P2 with Zenmuse H33D and FPV setup, and haven't even attempted to as it starts to go out of sight and I'm not comfortable with something which cost me over a grand going too far away from me, although I understand it is built to do just that. What is the DJI Phantom 2 capable of out of the box in terms of range as I once read DJI have limited it's range into a cylinder-like shape to prevent it going to high or too far?
     
  10. p fandango

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    preset limits are 400m up, 1000m away
     
  11. witold

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    I think I remember reading somewhere that one of the most dangerous parts of a commercial flight is takeoffs/landings in part because they can hit birds and lose an engine and not have enough time to recover. One of the most famous recent incidents was when the [plane hit a goose leaving NYC and ended up landing in the middle of the Hudson.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549)

    If a goose can bring down a jumbo jet, a Phantom can probably bring down 2/4 seater airplane. They're prop engines so it's not the same, but small planes are pretty fragile in places and you never know what a collision does.

    While in populated areas you generally don't see small craft flying low, a lot of people do fly low occasionally in "empty" rural areas. And coincidentally, these are also the sorts of places where RC hobbyists think they're the safest from this sort of incident. To me, it's the opposite. You will never see a small plane flying low over an urban area, but it can happen in rural areas.

    I used to fly into Atlantic City with some regularity with my pilot friend in a Cessna. In and out, we would fly low, fly by the Borgata looking into people's windows (not literally... but when you climb out you are going by the side of the building, not above it.) and doing a fairly low flight down the beach (above the water, but much lower than the buildings.) All of this perfectly legal and many pilots do it. That was a while ago before I even knew what a quadcopter was. It seems a lot riskier today with RC aircraft in this same airspace.
     
  12. 4wd

    4wd

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    Location:
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    Here we seem to get low-flying military training - in jets sometimes but often quite small prop-driven types.
    Since getting the phantom it's clear they sometimes pass overhead as low as 200 feet.
    They are on you so quickly it would be very concerning if the phantom was in the air.
    Also they are very often in pairs so could imagine doing an evasive manoeuvre for one which put you awful close to #2!
     
  13. IrishSights

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    In scotland there are many restricted flying zones especially in the mountains and rural areas according to my UK Airspace Avoid app.
     
  14. Greyfox51

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    Thanks for the heads-up, I shall download and install the app at the earliest opportunity. The ground here is mountainous, some of it rising to 3000 ft. It isn't beyond the realms of possibility to lift the bird to 150 ft, fly it west for 500 ft, with the result that it would be hovering at an altitude of 1500 ft.
     
  15. HeliGav

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    Vision plus - Been upto 120 metres (400ft) today , lost signal / fpv and come back down by itself. Surprised really it was directly above me so no obstructions. Thought it shouldnt hav had a problem at this distance. Is this the max it can go? If you twiggle the switch on the back of the controller will the signal / fpv be stronger and go further? Could still see the phantom from where i was and dont ever do ground station or fly out of view. But didnt want it keep going to failsafe and flying home just cus its flying on the edge of 400feet away from me?
     
  16. Embraer

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