How high can you fly your drone

How high can you fly your drone

Join Greg as he clarifies when and where you can fly your drone over 400 feet legally. The 400-foot rule can be confusing depending on recreational VS part 107, when above 400 takes you into controlled airspace, and the limitations on above 400 flight. Greg also explains the difference between AGL and MSL and how your drone’s transmitter may confuse you.

00:00 Introduction
0:53 Why’s it so confusing?
1:42 AGL vs MSL
6:44 How high can I fly as a recreational flyer?
10:25 How high can I fly under part 107?

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  1. Josh El on July 25, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    using a really good drone with VR is very fun to fly off a tall building, πŸ™

  2. Mark Clark on July 25, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    In Utah it is easy as a recreational flyer to get higher than 400 feet above where you are standing. We have many mountains up to 14000 feet high. If you stand in the valley and fly up the mountain slope maintaining 400′ above the side of the mountain you are legal. Once the drone gets to say 9000`, the view of the valley several thousand feet below is spectacular.

  3. Jorge aaaa on July 25, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    I"m still confused!! thaaaaa

  4. Penultimate Name on July 25, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    A curious thought. I completely get how and why the drone may think it is 10 feet off the ground. When in fact it could be hundreds of feet when flying from a mountain top to over a valley.
    Remote ID is supposed to transmit among other things the altitude of the drone. Unless it is also incorrect we should soon be able to know for sure the exact altitude. If correct it maybe the one thing that a drone pilot can use for one’s benefit. If not then one could get in trouble for no reason. Assuming the mountain height is registering hundreds of feet rather than 10 feet for example.

    Of course I don’t know what I am talking about and have the impression the FAA means geometric altitude. That sounds like math will be required when not on a flat surface like a mountain.

    Now I think I am likely turning this into something it isn’t.

  5. Clay Kirby on July 25, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    The city of Houston requires drone pilots to be at least 18 years old, register the drone with FAA, fly drones not heavier than 55 lbs, fly during daylight hours only and have the ability to fly above 500 feet.

    So how is that law legal? The way I understand that It will keep all recreational drone pilots from flying

  6. Svyat Kap on July 25, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    Dolomites, Italy in 4K

  7. Ken Donnelly on July 25, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    Nice video. Sad for glider flyers

  8. Alexander M on July 25, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Great video. Thanks

  9. The Italian Ways on July 25, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    So u think they leave 6 feet for safety net Incase something else happens?

  10. The Italian Ways on July 25, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    FAA owes me 8 feet I’m pissed

  11. PeterWolfVT on July 25, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    OK, I fly from mountainous terrain in VT, sometimes starting from lower elevations to higher and other times flying higher elevations to lower. Say I am at the top of a 4000 ft mountain and even if am flying at 200 feet above my takeoff altitiude of 4000′ the terrain drops off quickly and will be above the 400′ AGL as the terrain drops away. I can only estimate altitude between the 4000′ summit and the 1000′ base of the mountain, without an AGL sensor on the drone what is the best way to manage this estimation and should I really be overly concerned with this? With varried terrain what is the best way to maintain this 400" envelope?

  12. Nick Poverman on July 25, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    I never fly over 200 ft high. That is just me. I fly and live at see level so I am not confused.

  13. Your Review Channel on July 25, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you for this video. I’m a new drone user.

  14. Tim Virga on July 25, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks for all your videos and work you do it’s been very helpful, do you have any new information on the status of remote ID. I have a Mavic Air 2 zoom I purchased a couple of years ago and would like to know what I have to do to make it comply with remote id.

  15. Lantze Vongkorad on July 25, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    I thought the AMA said that you can go higher than 400ft if you are more than 3 miles away from an airport

  16. nathan moe on July 25, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    One thing I may have missed is what about part 107 pilots flying in airspace that needs approval (LAANC). I know that in LAANC approval areas the maximum AGL does not include structures but is it possible to to request authorization above 400 AGL when max altitude would be less than 400 above structure in the LAANC (class b over Miami skyline for example). Is this just done through FAA drone zone? And when applying would I request AGL above structure or surrounding ground?

  17. steve harrigan on July 25, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    I’ve put my 80" span Spitfire out of sight on a few occasions, over our flying field. Not sure about the actual numbers, but its a big aircraft, so in order for it to go bvr , I think it may have been a tad over 400ft. Been flying R/C for over 20 yrs. No one has ever come forward, or contacted me about my aircraft, and no one from the FAA has contacted our club, or shown the least amount of interest. Maybe the rules are different in Alberta?

  18. El Hungaro on July 25, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    The FAA is getting exactly what they planned to get….. It is squeezing the life and the will out of us drone flyers to the point where we will just trow in the towel and give up flying drones all together…. πŸ˜–….. They’ve won…… πŸ‘ŽπŸ‘ŽπŸ‘ŽI’m done….. Plenty of other fun things to do without all the fricken FAA rules….
    Thanks for all the information Greg…. You helped me certainly to avoid fines during my drone years….. πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘
    I’m down and out 😟
    Good luck y’all…. πŸ‘

  19. Bruno Garcone on July 25, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    I love your videos and the way you explain things with all good details..nice animations..very good cadence on speech..thanks for your great contribution to the drone community.. 😎

  20. Pay Way on July 25, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for this video lesson. I have a question: What about if you take off on top of a 400 ft sea side bluff out side of controlled airspace, climb to 1 ft above the bluff surface, then fly over the water without changing the aircraft Altitude MSL, am I in violation of the 400 ft agl rule? Assume this is a bluff in the United States, there are no people below the bluff, daytime.

  21. GuessWho45 on July 25, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    ok i live in kentucky i live back in the boone docks between big mountains can i fly 400ft above the mountains with out the 107 if i go 400 ft up all i see is the mountains the closet airport is 30 miles from me

  22. Richard Ruda on July 25, 2022 at 8:28 pm


  23. J GetsCensored on July 25, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Pro hack:

    Tie a baggie full of dirt and grass to your drone. Then you’re always just six inches above ground. 😎

  24. Shel Singh on July 25, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    This was great! Thank you!

  25. Mike Cronan on July 25, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    These rules are stupid. If they want people to adhere to the 400 foot rule and really want to enforce it, drones NEED AGL sensors!

  26. Wade B on July 25, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Assuming certification, What if the structure is 375 AGL? Am I restricted to 25ft of clearance above the structure? All explanations I have seen address the structure being above 400ft. The rule is 400ft above a structure. Could one fly 430 above a 30ft structure?

  27. Sudburydrone on July 25, 2022 at 8:36 pm


  28. johnny five o on July 25, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    another great video. i live in los angeles. where would I find any city/county/state rules or laws regarding flying over private property. what if I’m hovering shooting an amazing sunset from 100 ft and the home owner flips out? I always wear a chest mounted gopro for any run ins. i realize that airspace is ONLY controlled by the FAA.

  29. Francesco Ponticelli on July 25, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks Greg! Actually this is one of the part I always go back and look on the course (Part 107), to be sure in uncontrolled space I don’t need a waiver to do footage of buildings which are taller than 400ft flying commercial.

  30. Mark Salamack on July 25, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Greg….an interesting discussion took place on Mavic Pilots Forum regarding flying along and encountering a cliff…you did comment, but further comments by people who interpret the wall of the cliff as "ground" indicate that not everyone "gets it"….any chance you could do a video with scenarios included with flying along at the top of the cliff…and flying along at the bottom of the cliff….and how AGL is impacted in each?…of course the cliff exceeds 400 feet in height…thank you

  31. Mighty Mitch on July 25, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Not as a recreational pilot, Well that’s a bull shit rule as planes should no to raise their altitude while coming towards a building!! I flown my drone to 1000ft one time and herd a helicopter lol. Sometimes they fly 1,000ft or 1,100ft-2,000. It’s like what ever! I didn’t get in trouble by nothing. One neighbor complained for me flying it over people at night when I was flying it in circles around my front lawn. Picky Person! Should of said i couldn’t see nothing at night!! Plus one time some guys dad got their kids to come up on bikes and see who was flying the drone when my neighbor said it was me and i came out and was like ok. Telling them it was legal to fly over a house at 300ft but they were like just don’t fly it over our house. Really fuck all the new kids just moved into our neighborhood and now their complaining!! WTF!!!! Also the neighbor from before was like this is against our rights etc. I had the drone in the air less then 20mins and he drove over their and I was the only one with the garage door opened and he was like well call the cops etc. Ohnostly at this point I don’t care but now I crashed my drone!!

  32. The Italian Ways on July 25, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    I was up last night Greg and tryed to get to 400 ft I got to 393 us

  33. Flight Medic76 on July 25, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Somebody needs to make a lightweight Radar Altimeter for drones. Probably not possible to be lightweight and affordable but would be nice. Maybe a GPS based app that integrates map elevation data with drone altitude… Kinda like Foreflight or Garmin Pilot but for drones. Seems like a opportunity for some company to adapt existing software that helicopters already use to drone use.

  34. GeezerPleasers on July 25, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Very helpful video. I have a related question. I think I know the answer but I’m hoping I’m wrong. Is there any form of the 400 foot distance from an object rule that applies to natural landscape features? In other words, suppose there are two rock formations with steep cliffs, 300 feet apart, with a flat plain between them. The formations are each 800 feet above the flat plain. Can a Part 107 pilot fly a flat path 200 feet above the rock formations, but 1000 feet above the plain between them while crossing from the first rock formation to the second? Or, once the drone has passed over the first rock formation, does the pilot need to immediately bring the drone down to 400 feet above the plain, maintain that for 300 feet horizontally until the drone reaches the second rock formation, and then bring the drone back up to a height where it can fly above the second rock formation? At what point can the pilot start raising the height of the drone? If the rock formation has a sheer vertical face, then the pilot will be more than 400 feet above ground level while going up, no matter how close the drone is to the formation.

    This is not a hypothetical question for me. I frequently fly in areas with exactly this kind of situation.

  35. Gscop1 on July 25, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Thank You Gregg ! For those that may be surfing, looking, intending to do right with their drone, or get a 107 Certificate, I can tell you Pilot Institute is The BEST ! I spent the fee a little over a year ago. Complete NEWBIE to flying….Went through All of His Courses and passed the 107 on the First Try with a 98%. This is the Only Person/Channel that I will Trust with drone law and flying drones !……and no, I am not compensated nor even known by Gregg other than as a email subscriber!

  36. Jorge aaaa on July 25, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    I really am…

  37. brokensword on July 25, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Wow so much rules for flying a drone. πŸ™„

  38. KernsJW on July 25, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Badly phrased question. I can fly my drone as high as the battery allows. How high can I fly legally is a different question. Where they got the arbitrary numbers or how me flying lower than higher objects around me is a safety risk still baffle me. Your AGL to MGL comparison brings up a great point many of us never consider when it comes to flying around natural landscapes.

  39. Hidden Compass on July 25, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Born in Prescott, Arizona! Immediately recognized the map! Yeauuh

  40. Ariel-view _yt on July 25, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Hey!! I have multiple drones, I have a traveler 111, dji phantom 4, inspire 2, mavic 2 and mini 2 I also have an fpv drone and I want to know how high the traveler 111 can fly because I’m planning on giving it to my little cousin because I don’t use and he told me to find out how high it can go can you help me out??

  41. Infected Neuronz on July 25, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    this is why i use the Elevation App for iphone, i check the height of the terrain along my flight route, that way im always aware of my AGL height!

  42. Andy Cartwright on July 25, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    Under part 107, could I technically use a tall building(within 400 ft of the sides) to fly up and get a much higher than normal perspective of the city for photography? (say the building is 1000 ft tall and I fly up to 1,400 ft while staying within 400 ft of the sides of the building and no clouds in the sky) Is this frowned upon for any reason? I know this rule is meant so you can inspect a tall building but it seems it could also be used to raise your perspective much higher than normal rules allow.

  43. Bob boyd on July 25, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    is there a drone that has a sensor looking straight down that will indicate the AGL? that would be really a great option.

  44. Chuck Purnell on July 25, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    I posted a photo I came across in a pilot’s FB group the other day of someone flying near the top of one of the tallest buildings in Philly and it spawned a great conversation on how high you can fly. Someone then shared this video to my post. I really like how well you explained this information in a way that made it easy to understand. I hope everyone watching this video, saves it so they can use it as reference in the future.

  45. Chris Dembinsky on July 25, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    @2:47 I think aviation should start referring to MSL as HBARO(Barometric Altitude) since that’s really what they are using in most cases. The mean sea level has so many different datums to choose from. I realize aviation doesn’t care what I think. Just a thought.

  46. MrPlaneTalk on July 25, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    If I am a Part 107 pilot, but am "operating" as "Recreational flight," can I apply the 400 feet within obstacle concept?

  47. Jakub Photography on July 25, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    Question: One location of my worksites falls in a 0′ controlled airspace area, but the building itself is appx. 100′ tall. Can I (as a recreational) fly around this building at all, keeping my flight lower than the top of the building? It seems like if there’s any conflict with an airplane, we have much larger problems on hand than my drone.

  48. fishycomics on July 25, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    what if yougots absolute no communications and you fly, answer is always 400ft

  49. C19 COMANDANTE on July 25, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    The technology exist for manufacturers to make drones to fly hours.
    why dont companies build and sell them to the public ? there is blank greed everywhere.
    why a drones that stay up in the air for hours. have to cost thousands.

  50. Airhead Bit on July 25, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Missing one scenario: Mountains with 9,800′ peak, base at 6,600′ flying up the side until reaching loss of VLOS

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