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Max Altitude - EU rule - which is it?
826 14 2022-9-7
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jfbond
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Hi all,

I was looking at my local aviation authority (within the EU) and found which I consider to be 2 conflicting statements/rules :



1- 'the unmanned aircraft must not be flown further than 120 metres (400 feet) from the closest point of the surface of the earth'
2- 'You must not operate your drone beyond a height of 400ft (120m) above ground level in uncontrolled airspace.'



#2 sugests the maximum altitude allowed is 120m whereas #1 suggests you can climb way above that as long as you are close to a mountain or cliff.


In relation to DJI, if  #1 is true then it would be nice to have a metric in the safety settings that reflects this rule.



Does anyone have a comment on that?

2022-9-7
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DAFlys
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Not sure where you read that,  but in the UK the CAA is a bit clearer -

https://www.caa.co.uk/consumers/ ... -the-open-category/

The basic requirements for flying in the Open Category are described below:

You must pass the online test and hold a Flyer-ID, and must register as a UAS operator, and display your Operator ID on your UAS
You are responsible for flying your UAS in a safe manner
You must keep the UAS in your direct sight at all times while it is flying, so that you can ensure that it does not collide with anything, especially other aircraft
You must not endanger anyone, or anything with your UAS
You must not fly more than 400ft/120m above the surface
You must not fly within the Flight Restriction Zone of a protected aerodrome, or within any other airspace restriction without permission. More information on airspace restrictions
Your UAS must weigh less than 25Kg

So flying up a hill that is X00ft above take off point starting at 400ft is fine, as long as you can maintain VLOS.
2022-9-7
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Montfrooij
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It is measured from takeoff.
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jfbond
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DAFlys Posted at 9-7 01:56
Not sure where you read that,  but in the UK the CAA is a bit clearer -

https://www.caa.co.uk/consumers/remotely-piloted-aircraft/drones-flying-in-the-open-category/

'the unmanned aircraft must not be flown further than 120 metres (400 feet) from the closest point of the surface of the earth'

sources:
https://www.iaa.ie/docs/default-source/misc/iaa---eu-uas-regulations-outline.pdf?sfvrsn=6b1000f3_4
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg_impl/2019/947/oj

The closest point of the surface of the earth is not necessarily below the drone, it can be in front of it. This is why I think you can fly your drone at whichever height from the ground if it is less than 120m from  a cliff. As such having a metric that reflects that in our DJI controller/goggles would be useful.

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DAFlys
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jfbond Posted at 9-7 02:17
'the unmanned aircraft must not be flown further than 120 metres (400 feet) from the closest point of the surface of the earth'

sources:

They look like old rules for Ireland and were superseded when the new categories came into effect at the start of this year.  And they are also EU rules not the UK rules as per the CAA which is now separate since Brexit.
2022-9-7
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Depp
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I'd be very surprised if "surface" meant the side of a vertical cliff. But I also think that close to a vertical cliff (say 50m) should be okay as there won't be any other aircraft...
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jfbond
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DAFlys Posted at 9-7 02:20
They look like old rules for Ireland and were superseded when the new categories came into effect at the start of this year.  And they are also EU rules not the UK rules as per the CAA which is now separate since Brexit.

The EU document I sourced is dated 4/4/2022. It is the EU regulation that I am interested in. I imagine other countries have similar regulations but I did not do any research.
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jfbond
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Depp Posted at 9-7 03:12
I'd be very surprised if "surface" meant the side of a vertical cliff. But I also think that close to a vertical cliff (say 50m) should be okay as there won't be any other aircraft...

what could 'closest point of the surface of the earth' possibly mean?
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The Saint
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jfbond Posted at 9-7 03:29
what could 'closest point of the surface of the earth' possibly mean?

if you are 50 feet from the side of a vertical cliff and you are 300 feet from the ground directly below you, the closest point of the surface of the earth = 50 feet. (ok)

if you are 50 feet from the side of a vertical cliff and you are 450 feet from the ground directly below you, the closest point of the surface of the earth = 59 feet. (ok)

if you are 500 feet from the side of a vertical cliff and you are 550 feet from the ground directly below you, the closest point of the surface of the earth = 500 feet. (not ok)

i think the idea is when you fly and you hang a ruler off the edge of your drone, a 400 foot ruler has to be able to touch the earth at some point somewhere.
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Depp
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jfbond Posted at 9-7 03:29
what could 'closest point of the surface of the earth' possibly mean?

In my - limited - understanding of English the most common meaning would be the ground. But I admit it's not clear. Cleared would be: 400 ft above the ground directly below...
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DAFlys
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jfbond Posted at 9-7 03:26
The EU document I sourced is dated 4/4/2022. It is the EU regulation that I am interested in. I imagine other countries have similar regulations but I did not do any research.

OK,  I assumed you were in the UK as thats where your icon shows you.  

In Europe you have the EASA rules and then each country will add additional requirements onto of that. These rules also changed at the beginning of this year.
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jfbond
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DAFlys Posted at 9-8 00:07
OK,  I assumed you were in the UK as thats where your icon shows you.  

In Europe you have the EASA rules and then each country will add additional requirements onto of that. These rules also changed at the beginning of this year.

The EASA is pretty straight forward:



Like I said, I would like DJI to implement a feature to show this metric: distance to earth surface.

The rational being that I want to be able to fly my drone to the fullest of its capacity within legal means.


I stand by what I was saying: 120m legal limit is not altitude from point of take off, rather it is the closest point of earth surface meaning your drone can legally fly up to 300m within LOS if it is less than 120m away from a cliff.

If someone from DJI can pass this on to the eng team that'd ne great. I don't know how feasible that is though.
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The Saint
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jfbond Posted at 9-8 10:50
The EASA is pretty straight forward:

[view_image]

sorry jfbond, sometimes being a "pilot" means figuring things out for yourself.
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The Saint
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https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=273978
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jfbond
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The Saint Posted at 9-8 14:25
https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=273978

Legally, in the EU (and some other countries), it is permitted to fly up to 120m from earth surface, within VLOS up to 300m.
2022-9-9
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