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Legal height question

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Scratch, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. Scratch

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    I know the legal limit we are supposed to go is 400 feet, but what do you do about hills?
    I live on the top of a large hill about 150 feet high, and there's a vertical drop off on the entire northern side of my property that drops down 150 feet to the level of the rest of the area.
    If there are planes flying around the area, I'm assuming the altimiter of their plane shows the height from the rest of the area. They might be flying at an altitude of 500 feet a half mile away, but when they come over my hill, they might only be 350 feet above my yard.

    What do I do?
     
  2. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    In a perfect world you would fly the contour of the land and always remains below 400'AGL. In reality you can't do that with your MR.

    Also odds are the plane isn't "scud running" in that they aren't going through all the trouble to fly up and down to remain at a constant 500'AGL. Legally speaking the aircraft is supposed to remain 500' (or 1000' depending on where you are located) above the ground so they "should be flying around 500' over you on top of the hill.

    There's no way you can realistically stay at 400'AGL with the quad because the altitude you are getting from telemetry is referenced to the point of take off.

    Also this is why there is a 100' buffer between what is suggested as our MAX and what is mandated as the MIN for General Aviation.
     
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  3. Scratch

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    Thanks, so do you think I should just set my max at 400 and I should be fine then?
     
  4. Sinisalo

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    try your best to estimate and follow the contour of the land. Since you estimate 150' drop down the hill, once you are past the hill then you could descend to what your reading will say is 250' Although planes have to stay 1000' above the highest obstacle in a 2000' radius, in other than congested areas planes can fly 500' above the highest obstacle. Helicopters can fly even lower than 500'. Yesterday I was flying in an area that was not within a 5 mile radius of any airport, away from people, nowhere near any hospitals (because of airomedical helicopters) within line of sight, and at an altitude of only 250' when all of the sudden I heard a helicopter coming and descended to 100' by the time I saw it pass. It was a state helicopter and I have no idea what it was doing but it was for sure under 500'agl. Be cautious and aware and use common sense, one dumb move by even the smartest person can ruin this hobby for everyone. Remember 400' is the limit, you should try to fly whatever is the lowest altitude you can safely fly while maintaining signal, 250' agl is good for me unless I am flying up a hill and then I have room to ascend before I have to pause to override the altitude limit.

    FAA Regulations for Manned Aircraft
     

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  5. Scratch

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  6. Brad Pierce

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    As a ga pilot, when flying i would take the highest obstruction on my route and use that as my ref point. The flight would stay 500 above noncongested and 1000 above congested. Agl of course. Altilmeters on aircraft read msl ot mean sea level. Agl is computed from the sectional chart. Which will show the highest point within a zone. Helee will fly lower and MTR (military training routes) can be low as well. Hope this helps
     
  7. Scratch

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    Thanks... That makes sense.