How high can we fly our drones in Canada? DonDronesOn Q&A #5

How high can we fly our drones in Canada? DonDronesOn Q&A #5

In this video, I’ll answer some viewer questions about how high we can fly our drones in Canada:
– Flying over buildings
– Flying over hills and cliffs
– DJI altitude vs AGL altitude
Enjoy!

The Drone Pilot Association of Canada is free. See details and sign up here:
Drone Pilot Association of Canada

Here is my video on ‘How High you can Fly’: https://youtu.be/TVGSO0YKO3g

A DonDronesOn production.

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Drone Pilot Canada is the app of choice for Canadian drone flyers! It provides the features you need to meet all the procedural requirements of the 2019 Canadian RPAS regulations.
Drone Pilot is available for purchase here:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/drone-pilot-canada/id1455291540
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.myappatory.dronecanada

Data can now be transferred between platforms but each platform (Apple or Android) requires a separate purchase. Videos are available on my channel, DonDronesOn.com, with demos and training for all capabilities in Drone Pilot Canada. Contact me at DonDronesOn@gmail.com with any questions or suggestions.

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Please join the Drone Pilot Canada Exam and RPAS Regulation Discussion Group on Facebook. The group focuses on discussing information required to pass the basic and advanced exams and preparing for your flight review. The new 2019 Canadian drone regulations are also discussed in the group. The group supports flying in compliance with the 2019 Canadian RPAS regulations:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/592682344571622/

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40 Comments

  1. Scuba Travel and Adventure on August 27, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    More important content explained from Don, thanks it clarified few things for me as well especially the Cliff part as I live near the mountains

  2. Rumline on August 27, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Can’t join… don’t have facebook…. won’t do facebook…. Why not have a web page so you can include everyone. Just say NO! to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram… stop the insanity!

  3. Great Stuff on August 27, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Good job Don!

  4. Exmortis on August 27, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    Another great Q&A video, Keep them coming.

  5. J Mi on August 27, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    A note about Don’s comment on altitude being in feet not metric. MOT’s regulatory concern is preventing conflict between drones and aircraft. Aircraft altitude in Canada and most of the world is in feet, and so is a peculiarity in a metric world.

  6. Nick Stevens on August 27, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    Great info Don…BTW, I tried the other day to sign up for DPAC. Is there anyway that you can check, I think I did??? Thanks for all you do!!!!!!!!!!! Nick Stevens

  7. Richard Gardner on August 27, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Don…be careful calling it Dpac…thats also the Dairy Processors Association of Canada lol. By the way I joined. lol

  8. Bob Hysong on August 27, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    Great video Don. I love this series.
    This is the only channel where I consistently hit the like button before I finish the video.
    Cheers

  9. Brant Aerials on August 27, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    Nailed it! (My wife is wondering what all the yelling is about)

  10. Aerosnapper on August 27, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    Good explanations – and a nice ‘plug’ for DPAC. On the imperial measures, Transport use feet because that’s the aviation convention in North America.

  11. Ana fl ghorba on August 27, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Hola buenas tardes amigo que bueno very nice 👍🙏🤝

  12. Verdun Drone on August 27, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    Thanks Don, Nice one!
    Question though: I do some mine surveys, and sometimes, the pit is much deeper than 120m/400ft, and I can’t send the drone in the pit to stay within 400ft "AGL".
    I’m pretty sure I know the "strict" answer, but what do you think ?

  13. Dean Ford on August 27, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Don, what’s so complicated about the RPAS height restriction amount? 400 ft or 100+ ft seems easy to understand. You’d prefer metric when all of the other aviation data is in feet? CFS, VTA and VNC charts, NOTAMs, etc all use feet. DJI settings can be customized to feet. Not sure 🤔 what the problem is.
    BTW, this is likely a question you might get during a flight review. 😉

  14. Kevin Backs on August 27, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks for another plain language explanation of how to apply the regulations!

  15. Robert Paulson on August 27, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Make sure you change your RTH height to account for (-) values in the app….if you flying below elevation !!!!

  16. coreyman0 on August 27, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Sub 250? Is it correct there isn’t a limit per say?

  17. TurboLed on August 27, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    Not only the DJI fly app computes the altitude relative to the takeoff point, but also it locks the max altitude to 120m for the DJI Mini 2 in class C airspace, requiring an annoying DJI geo zone unlock process to avoid crashing into a hill (Mount Royal for example)

  18. Pierre on August 27, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Loved the look on your face after the ‘metric’ comment. As Rumline, I’m also not a member of any social media platform. Thanks for this series of videos.

  19. Jay Weber on August 27, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Joined !!👍

  20. Sean Galbraith on August 27, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    It’s fun flying down into a quarry where your height shows as negative. 🙂

  21. ORGANIZED CoNfUsioN Drones on August 27, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    Another good one Don!!! Like # 130!!!

  22. Ralph Guppy on August 27, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    In the exam questions are the distances listed in metric or imperial?

  23. IthinkthereforeIam OrsoIthought on August 27, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    I have been experimenting with this height exemption, in a very responsible manner of course. I think we will soon see the intro of barometric sensors in most drones to adjust for ground elevation, it’s the way these things generally roll out- you know- latest greatest.

  24. Steve on August 27, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Need to change the "flying over a cliff" height altitude rule, should be able to fly out from a cliff a certain distance.
    *I just read that a plane can’t fly within 300′ of a cliff face, that is actually fairly close so maybe not enough safe space to have a drone fly out from a cliff face.

  25. Zbip57 on August 27, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    We were discussing this altitude issue recently over in the MavicPilots forum where, of course, the American FAA wording is completely different. The FAA allows 400′ extra clearance over structures, within a 400′ radius, whereas Canada allows only 100′ extra height within a 200′ radius. But the kicker is, in the USA, only Part 107 pilots are allowed to use that extra height over structures. Recreational pilots can NEVER exceed 400′ above ground. Thankfully Transport Canada has entirely removed the unnecessary and confusing distinctions between Recreational/Commercial operations. But the altitude questions remain the same. Why isn’t the altitude allowance consistent for all "obstacles"? TC says no more than 400′ above "ground", except for an extra 100′ over the top of any "building or structure" taller than 400′. Let’s say I launch my drone, with a clear line-of-sight in every direction, from the top of a 400′ high observation tower. TC says I can only fly an additional 100′ higher than the top of this tower, while staying within a 200′ radius of the tower. So here’s a puzzle for ya. This tower is standing in a dense forest of 400′ high trees. Am I still only allowed to fly100′ above the tower no further than 200′ away, or am I allowed to fly 400′ above the surrounding forest of treetops? A strict interpretation says, NO. Even if staying less than 100′ above the top of the tower, if I fly further than 200′ away from the tower, my drone would be higher than the allowed 400′ above the "ground". The extra 100′ clearance is provided only for "buildings or structures". Apparently trees don’t count as "buildings" or "structures". Ergo, you cannot fly any higher over 400′ tall trees. Similar question. I can fly as high as 400′ AGL vertically over any natural "ground" terrain feature regardless of how tall it is, i.e. hilltop, mountaintop, or any natural pile of earth or rocks. The top surface of that stuff is all considered "ground" level, no matter how high it goes. But what if it’s a man-made pile of earth or rocks, or it’s made of steel and concrete? Well in that case it’s a "structure" and, if it’s any taller than 400′, you’re only allowed an additional 100′ clearance over the top of that. Why should structures be treated differently than terrain, and trees differently than ground, when they’re all equally "obstacles" to be safely avoided? Furthermore, while I’m on this rant, why is that we’re allowed to fly our drone up to 400′ AGL, when manned VFR aircraft are permitted to fly as low as 300′ AGL and within 300′ of any "obstacle" ? [see CARS 403.27(b)] If manned planes aren’t allowed within 300′ of a vertical cliff, why isn’t that empty space safely available to drones if the vertical cliff face is taller than 400′? Why is this all so complicated?

  26. rreiter on August 27, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Great video thanks!

  27. Tim the Plane Man on August 27, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    Good idea Don, but joining the "DronePilotsAssociationofCanada" is overly complicated and confusing. I’d like to join but not like this.

  28. Robert Paulson on August 27, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    At 6:37 …doesn’t 200′ horizontal from highest object kick in ?? It’s the basically same as your building scenario ….

  29. Nando R. on August 27, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Don. Thanks for your video —Even though ICAO and IATA mandated the use of the metric system in aviation (worldwide) back in the early ’70s, only Russia, North Korea and China complied. However, the rest of the world kept using the imperial system in aviation due to the proliferation of American and British aircraft since the early days (as a side note, Russia started the transition to the imperial system in 2017 due to the many incidents caused by using both systems.) So, since TC is the authority that regulates the use of the Canadian airspace, aircraft operations in Canada, other air operations, etc., they are aligned with the international aviation industry standards. Thus, they still use feet, statute miles, nautical miles, and knots in their regulations.

  30. Mhacletz Viado on August 27, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    Can I bring my mavic mini 2 to Canada

  31. Nick G on August 27, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    Joined the association!

  32. Interlake Drone Services on August 27, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    Don, nice clarifications to what can be a confusing subject. Part of your site survey should be to look at elevation changes along your route and your CDP app certainly helps with that process.

  33. HowToGuy on August 27, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    Great video as always.. In Australia I keep to 90 meters.. not sure why.. but it seems high

  34. Bob Casey Aerial on August 27, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    This is an awesome video to help fellow pilots.
    Your Vlog, graphs, all help to clarify flying situations/rules.
    Good luck with Canada transport. DPAC is a great start.

  35. Damon Oriente on August 27, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    As others have said, these are outstanding videos; clear, informative and great resources for Canadian drone pilots.

  36. Carey Robson on August 27, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    Hi Don; If you want to get really interesting about AGL consider the circumstances of living in British Columbia! The only mitigation is that manned aircraft generally need to stay at least 1,000′ higher than our little hills that easily rise up to 5,000′ above their bases. I use Litchie to plan an elevation profile for every flight.

  37. Selvin Cortez on August 27, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks Don, I could see a variation of one of my questions in the video. As always, you’re the best!

  38. Cinematic Drone on August 27, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    Exactly the questions I wanted to ask and exactly the kind of answer I wanted. Thank you so much it’s crystal clear now!!

  39. P Journeys on August 27, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    You talk so nice !

  40. Spectacular Worldwide on August 27, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks the first question was mine

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