Flying drones in Mountains, height, altitude, elevation & flt level // #MAIL-62

Wednesdays here, sun isn’t.. But a great drone question for this weeks #mail. Flying in mountains when 400ft isnt 400ft etc.
Big 👍 Tom Bone for the question:

As always fly safe people..SYOTSS ☀️
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  1. RICK HALBUR on November 18, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Very good information Dylan thank you

  2. Dennis Lovelady on November 18, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    The US rule about 400 feet AGL defines ground level to include the area within 400 feet of towers, buildings, etc cetera (and, interestingly, NOT the area around tall trees). This is for everyone, not just for part 107 certificate holders. (IOW there is one definition only, and it applies to all.) By extension, then, Ground Level at any position is, by definition, the height of the tallest thing (not trees) within 400 feet of that position. I think the poster was concerned that it wouldn’t be legal to fly at all on a mountain, since one view of that height would mean you’re already standing above the limit. Revisiting the definition, clearly that is not a concern.

    I’m thinking of going to Tibet, with some of the tallest peaks in the world, on my next Asian trip. I wonder if the air is dense enough there to properly support a prosumer quadcopter like the Mavic series. Should make for some phenomenal footage!

  3. Eden Valley Drones UK on November 18, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Thanks for the very useful information.

  4. Kevin Howe on November 18, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    I so wanted to attach a video of a Chinook over my place, I’m certain he was less than 500ft, I could almost see the colour of his eyes. However this is for comments not video clips. How does that work. We get them fly over a lot from RAF Odiham. Keeping my wits about me when flying, if I hear one I pull my Phantom DOWN REALlow just in case. Thanks for #wednesday.

  5. MarcosElMalo2 on November 18, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks for the terminology lesson. Now if only everyone would use it.

    I live over 6000 feet *elevation*, and I’m having a hell of a time finding videos of people operating these consumer UAVs from a high elevation starting point. This was the first video I’ve found that wasn’t “X-TREEEEM ALTITUDE TEST, DUDEBRO!!”

    (I just want to tell them, “Dude, relax. If it’s high altitude, it’s a low pressure situation.”)

    Anyway, thanks for the informative video! Cheers!

  6. worldadventureman on November 18, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    What happens if you do all the buttons up on your shirt?

  7. Spark Flying UK on November 18, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    Hi Dylan!
    So I am trying to get the most out of my DJI spark footage and am still practising. I was just wondering whether you know how to colour grade/enhance footage to make more colour stand out. I currently use iMovie (not a great editor I know) and am looking for a new editor. Any help would be greatly appreciated 😀

  8. Rk Ram on November 18, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    ‘Healthy Bubble’ would’ve been an interesting title 😉

  9. Bill14886 on November 18, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    Dylan:I fly on top of a mountain, with a Unpaved airport locally with in 5 miles. What sucks is our mavic Pros doesn’t tell us how much height we have gained flying down a hill but holding our altitude. I may be only 60′ up in my back yard but with in L O.S I can easy be hundreds of feet from the ground , way over tree tops less then a mile down the hill. I wish it would give us a actual height reading as the groubd slopes down .

  10. Phil M on November 18, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    Since I haven’t done it yet. You take off from a cliff and you are 10 feet above the controller and you fly over the cliff edge that is say 900 feet high. What is my Mavic mini going to show on the DJI Fly app?

  11. Steve Carpenter on November 18, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Dylan, as usual, you’ve explained a question that sometime leads to an unknown. Thank You and Cheers!

  12. Jari Ekstrom on November 18, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Hi, as far as I’m aware your maximum flight height is your launch height + maximum flight hight in your country eg. 120m (400ft)

  13. Fly Hi on November 18, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    Thankyou, because I’m hoping to take mine to Norway – I currently have max altitude limit set at 115m and max distance at 1km which rates with me as more than enough. I will also be doing cliffs around Durdle Door / Weymouth and maybe Scarborough / Whitby weather depending. And I ordered myself a rucksack 🙂

    Ikopter – if you go to America, my recommendation is Durango – its not well known with Europeans who stick to the better known National Parks, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon – that is very good too I must say but Durango is a little Gem at the foothills of the Rockies, complete with a great steam train running regularly up to Silverton.

  14. Bluetooth Pickler on November 18, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    I lived in Arizona for 15 years. You don’t want to go there, but if you must go in the winter. It’s 99F (37.2C) right now at 10 pm.

  15. Jim Williams on November 18, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Dylan, I’m surprised you didn’t show footage from "The Mach Loop" in north Wales! 😀 You have the chance to fly there, don’t you? 🙂

  16. *HellRay* on November 18, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Flying your drone in a mountainous area sounds like a dream.

  17. Pura Vida dew on November 18, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    For me, I live in northern BC and I go out to the mountains and set my altitude at 500 m. All the mountains are another thousand metres or more above that. And I fly up the ravines and waterfalls so there’s no one else flying in these areas. For my purposes I wish the drone could fly another thousand metres higher so that I could get closer to the tops of these mountains.

  18. Marc Harvey on November 18, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    400 feet height from ME. If I’m 1000feet above sea level then the maximum height is 1400 abovesea level. simple me plus 400 feet

  19. worldadventureman on November 18, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    I wish you had talked more about the RTH. Yes don’t rely on it, but our drones often have minds of their own and decide to RTH, whether that is because of low battery or loss of signal, or whatever, and with the Spark it has it’s own problems in that the RTH changes depending on how far away from its home point it is. SO what is the best setting for RTH to use when flying off mountains?

  20. Bahir Keldany on November 18, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    I flew yesterday my magic air from the top of a dam. Then I wanted to fly over the lake below and I read my altitude and I was minus 120 meters. Thanks God I saved my drone by bring it home manually . So my question is: how do I know at which height I was from the water.

  21. STEVEZISSOU2007 on November 18, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    It’s a tricky one if I’m top of a mountain which is 1000ft high I can fly up to my 400 feet limit knowing a plane will 500 feet above my take off point…..hopefully!? but if I then fly horizontally out so mountain falls away my drone could potentially be, for arguments sake 900 feet above the ground which would be in manned aircraft airspace! So you would have to drop down! Works different from the bottom of the mountain because I thought it would go up as the mountain side went up but it doesn’t it stops at 400 ft then you fly into the side of a mountain it’s 400 feet from point of take off. I know I’m stating the obvious but it was something I recently experienced and didn’t fully comprehend how the mechanics of flying from an elevated position worked.

  22. Wildlife Safaris Johannesburg on November 18, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Great video ,new to drones have an AIR we have great canyons in South Africa but very worried about flying from the top with a 800 meter drop !!!! what will it read as it’s height very nervous as hate the air to drop to 30 meters which is a long way down ,thanking you

  23. Greg Traver on November 18, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Cool! Thanks for the great videos!

  24. Mac Drone BR on November 18, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Very nice!! I usually don´t rely in RTH unless I loose the video feed. That time my mistake was the aircraft was beyond line of sight. I think a good practice is allways bring your drone back without using RTH and without looking in the phone screen. Any of you use strobe lights because the air gets so tinny 300m away?

  25. Pete Vlogs on November 18, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Dylan, quick question, should you hand catch the mavic pro? I’ve only done it once and the pull as you try to shut down was scary. #mail

  26. darren vaughan on November 18, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    pressure on a flat earth is density levels

  27. marcel-nine-one-one on November 18, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    If I was flying a light aircraft I think I would keep 500ft above any hill or structure. If you flew your UAV 400ft above a hill, you’re not likely to meet a pilot skimming the top and waving his fist at you. I thought all this 400ft nonsense was for aircraft over 7.5kg. For anything under that weight it’s just a recommendation. I’m sure it was ikopta himself that showed that in the official rules.

  28. René Labastida DRONER MX on November 18, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Great tip Dylan, Thanks.

  29. thewuf on November 18, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    As always…great advice!

  30. Hannah Wootton 22 on November 18, 2020 at 9:33 pm


  31. Tom Bone on November 18, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Referring to your comment about visiting Arizona, if you find yourself here in The Valley at some point in the future, we do have a guest room available should you need it. Just sayin’ #MAIL Tom Bone

  32. Foodi Corner on November 18, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Regardless of legal height (400ft.) or return to home height, will the Mavic Mini fly at a negative altitude off of a hill? Say it takes off from a 300 ft. hill (it reads that as 0 ft.) and I want to dip it down to 100 ft (or -200 ft). Will it auto-land or will it fly at a negative altitude reading?

  33. Tom Bone on November 18, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Hey again Dylan, Thanks for your prompt reply back to my question about flying over/around mountains and hills. As always, I appreciate the knowledge you share with us! In answer to your question about my camera settings… I was flying my Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone using the default settings, i.e. 4K, f/2.8, 3.5 mm focal length, 3840 x 2160p/30fps, EV 0.0, no filters used, saturation 50%. Thanks again Dylan for your help #MAIL Tom Bone. Another rather lengthy one, but it’s received a boat load of views…

  34. peter hughes on November 18, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Dylan. Thanks for the video and advise. Good point re RTH and not relying on it as a matter of course. It’s something I try to avoid. Take care. Peter

  35. Kardoso Media on November 18, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    Another good one Dylan!

  36. PHANTOM on November 18, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    How do you set it up to update the real flight altitude? Because it doesn’t update the real time flight altitude when flying over the mountains. Whatever altitude you start with that’s altitude shows on the altitude status. If it’s 100 meter high, then you fly over a 100 meter high mountain the altitude still shows 100 meter. It doesn’t update to the actual altitude over the mountain. For example, if you take off with 120 meter altitude and flying over the mountain that is 100 meter high, then the altitude should change to 20 meter so that way you know how high or low you are flying over the mountain and you don’t rely on the camera alone and crash it into the mountain. Any clues?

    With all those sensors on board still no real time flight altitude updates?

  37. Patrick Murphy on November 18, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Great video…this has become my favorite YouTube Channel. I got a lot out of this one…never thought of planes flying below me before until I saw the shot of the airplane In this video.

  38. Free Man on November 18, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    So my question is this. I launch from the top of a 30 story High Rise building. I have set my RTH at 30 ft. I fly out and drop my altitude down to about 100 feet from the ground below or -200 ft. below the top of the High Rise. So in essence, my drone is now about 100 feet from the ground at a distance of about half a mile away. I hit RTH. Will my drown climb back up 230 feet to the GPS saved homepoint or will it come straight back at 100 feet up raise only 30 feet right before hitting the building. I haven’t tested this yet but I believe a GPS saved home point consists of Height + Latitude + Longitude. I am hoping it rises to the original position in time and space. Any comments?

  39. GraphicMouse27 on November 18, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    I must say that the height that you are above sea level when flying a drone often makes me wonder whether the 400ft level diminishes, the higher you are. Interesting point about the return to home function which I must admit I am always nervous about using. Great info though. Thanks.

  40. Alex Khanna on November 18, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    I think as far as mountains are concerned, I fly no higher than 400 ft above the tallest mountain in the area as manned aircraft isn’t going to be flying that low. For radio towers and cranes etc. in the UK I don’t like to fly above 400ft above ground level as they’re very thin and living in the UK there aren’t specific laws by the CAA (I think) about this; possibly something that will be addressed in the 2018 drone bill.

  41. Gaston G. Loperena on November 18, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Another great video full of useful tips!!!! Many, many thanks!!! Cheers from Argentina, Dylan!

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