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sirweston1
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United States
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I just got my Phantom2 Vision+.  It is a blast.  I'm still learning how to fly it.  I feel I'm getting ok at flying it by watching it.  As for FPV, even on my Samsung S5 with the DJI smartphone hood, it is hard to read the screen in full sunlight.  That is frustrating because I find that the Vision+ camera is not great in low light (sunrise or sunset).

I have a million questions.  But I will limit this post to one primary question.

How high can I get (I mean my drone)?  It seems to stop me out at 400 feet.  Is that normal?

I live on the base of South Mountain Park, AZ which is the largest urban park in the US.  So if my limit is 400 feet, if I spend the day and climb to the top of South Mountain, can my drone then climb another 400 feet above the peak?  And can I fly all the way back down to near elevation at my house and then back up to the peak?

I appreciate any and all responses

Wes

2014-12-25
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Gerry1124
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United States
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The 400 foot limit is set in your setup and means 400 feet above your takeoff point.
2014-12-25
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Dragonrider
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United States
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400 feet is a preprogrammed level for height as that is mandated by the FAA.  Can it go higher, yes.  How high can it go, higher than you might think but there are modifications you must do.  How do you change the height limit setting, read the manual, the answer is there.  It's easy peasy but think twice about it.  Read the manual......watch every youtube video you can find (search DJI Phantom and go from there.....Then take your time and learn to fly slowly and correctly so you know what to do when something goes wrong.

Have fun flying....shoot and share.....do it again!

Merry Christmas!
2014-12-25
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droneflyers.com
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Flight distance : 17516
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You may be within the "special area" for Sky Harbor Airport - which could limit your height depending on where in the park you were located. Typically, the limits will relate to where your takeoff point is - so if you walk up the mountain, you can still fly 400 feet above where you set the Phantom and take off. It may also be that by resetting the home point dynamically (as you move - see manual) that you can change the height allowed to above where you are when you reset it.

Keep in mind that the Phantom becomes a small dot at about 300+ feet above your head and you can certainly lose sight of it - even more likely with the strong sun out there. If you lose sight and orientation often, you are likely to lose your precious Phantom quite quickly. Learn not to rely on the failsafe or return to home, but on your piloting skills.

If you have not already, you should learn about NAZA-M/OIC mode -as explained here:
http://www.pattayadays.com/2014/ ... e-phantom-2-vision/
2014-12-25
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MacCool
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You can reset the max altitude in the Phantom Assistant software. The AMA would like you to stay below 400 feet but there's no rule or regulation that says you have to - the FAA has no regulation limiting altitude of model aircraft being flown as a hobby. Flying within an airport control zone (5 miles), however...that you can't do unless you notify the airport operator. There are apparently some limits built into the firmware of the Phantom 2 preventing flight in a control zone, but I haven't tried that, don't know if it's real, or if you can bypass or change it.
2014-12-25
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sirweston1
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Dragonrider Posted at 2014-12-26 11:33
400 feet is a preprogrammed level for height as that is mandated by the FAA.  Can it go higher, yes. ...

Thank you for your response.  I am very happy to hear I can fly higher than 400ft.  I'm still learning how to fly.  Flying with the drone in sight is not that difficult.  I can fly it as high as it will go (400ft) as far as it will go before losing contact about 2100 ft.

For the me the fun has to be in flying FPV.  But my Samsung S5 is soooooooooo dim in the sunlight I just can't fly with it.  I can engage the compass mode and fly home with that but that is so disappointing.  I want to see what I am filming.
2014-12-25
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sirweston1
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2014-12-26 11:45
You may be within the "special area" for Sky Harbor Airport - which could limit your height dependin ...

Thank you for your response.  I live exactly 7.8 miles for the edge of Sky Harbor Airport.  So even If I climbed straight up to the top, I would be well beyond 5 miles.
2014-12-25
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Gerry1124
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sirweston1@gmai Posted at 2014-12-26 12:45
Thank you for your response.  I am very happy to hear I can fly higher than 400ft.  I'm still lear ...

If you will be using RTH, make sure you set the RTH altitude higher than any obstruction in your area.
2014-12-25
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sirweston1
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MacCool Posted at 2014-12-26 11:51
You can reset the max altitude in the Phantom Assistant software. The AMA would like you to stay bel ...

I got to the point in the manual where it went into 22 billion camera settings and I got bored and put the manual down.  For me camera settings are advanced advanced advanced setting.  I want to learn how to fly the thing
2014-12-25
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sirweston1
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sirweston1@gmai Posted at 2014-12-26 12:55
I got to the point in the manual where it went into 22 billion camera settings and I got bored and ...

Basic basic basic camera use and advanced flying is where I want to start
2014-12-25
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Gerry1124
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If you want to go to altitude, open and connect the app assistant 3.6 and connect the Phantom.  Go to "advanced" "limits" and "distance limits"  There you can change altitude and distance.  Once new numbers are entered, press enter.  To change the Return to home altitude,  select go home altitude and enter altitude higher than any obstruction near you, then press enter.
2014-12-25
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sirweston1
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The good news about Phoenix is that nothing is taller than 60 feet.  People try to grow trees here and the die.  Nothing is taller than 60 feet tall within 20 miles of my home
2014-12-25
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Gerry1124
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sirweston1@gmai Posted at 2014-12-26 13:42
The good news about Phoenix is that nothing is taller than 60 feet.  People try to grow trees here a ...

You hope, I think I would want a safety margin of 20 feet at the least.
2014-12-25
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jmtw000
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MacCool Posted at 2014-12-26 11:51
You can reset the max altitude in the Phantom Assistant software. The AMA would like you to stay bel ...


While there's no FAA regulation requiring you to stay below 400' That doesn't mean you're free to fly as high as you want. You still have to stay in class G (uncontrolled) airspace, which varies in altitude depending on location.
2014-12-26
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ccrosett
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France
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the drone became uncontrollable ; it is mounted vertically without the remote react ; he fell out of power and fall vertically; I have not found yet . ( I try ) .
He was in GPS mode ! .
Failsafe did not work, and he did not look back .
This is a disaster .
2014-12-26
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MacCool
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jmtw000@gmail.c Posted at 2014-12-27 00:05
While there's no FAA regulation requiring you to stay below 400' That doesn't mean you're free to  ...

I don't think that's true.

If the aircraft and its use fall under the "model aircraft" for "hobby" or "recreational" use, the operator's only legal responsibility is to fly the model aircraft within line of sight, and "in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft". And then there's the thing about notifying the control tower of airport operator for flight within 5 miles of an airport.

That's all that exists under PUBLIC LAW 112–95, aka "FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012". Now, it's true that flying a model aircraft "in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft" is open to interpretation, and if one of our hobby drones did cause an aircraft accident, the FAA, which has already been granted absolute jurisdiction over "anything that flies through the air", would land on the drone pilot pretty darn hard. And the rest of us would likely pay too.
2014-12-26
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jmtw000
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MacCool Posted at 2014-12-27 10:52
I don't think that's true.

If the aircraft and its use fall under the "model aircraft" for "hobby" ...

You may be correct, I'm not 100% sure. I'm definitely no expert on FAA regulations. But, I would think anything entering controlled airspace (any class other than G) needs to be authorized to be there by the FAA. Also, if you're in controlled airspace wouldn't you be required to comply with all FAA regulations for that controlled airspace, including requirements for transponders, flight plans, and 2 way radio contact with air traffic control? Personally, I won't risk leaving class G airspace where the FAA has limited jurisdiction and I'm 100% sure of my legal right to fly there
2014-12-27
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MacCool
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jmtw000@gmail.c Posted at 2014-12-28 01:16
You may be correct, I'm not 100% sure. I'm definitely no expert on FAA regulations. But, I would t ...

The FAA has jurisdiction over  ​aircraft operated in US airspace and they have defined, and an appeals court in the Pirker case has ruled that an aircraft is "any' 'device' that is 'used for flight". That does two things....(1) It sets the stage for their ability to further regulate drones or other model aircraft. They haven't done so yet, but they do have the authority, at least according to the Appeals Court. (2) It gives them authority to sanction pilots of any aircraft, including model aircraft, who through their flight activities pose a risk to other aircraft or people on the ground. For the time being, model aircraft are subject to a different set of rules, and those are the ones I described above. You can't be busted for violating FARs, including flight into controlled airspace, but if you hurt someone, they have the authority to fine you for flying recklessly if they become aware of it (as in Pirker).

No. Model aircraft don't have to comply with the same airspace regulations that full-scale aircraft do (or UAV's weighing more than 55 lbs).

As mentioned, the FAA has jurisdiction over everything that flies, no matter where, when, or how high. Including class G airspace. As I said, the FARs  for some airspace categories might be different, but they still have jurisdiction. According to currently existing regulations, you have a legal right to fly a model aircraft anywhere, as long as it's line of sight and being flown recreationally (must notify airport if within 5 miles). The new wrinkle is that if you hurt someone, you can be fined by them. Pirker was fined $10,000.

2014-12-27
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jmtw000
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MacCool Posted at 2014-12-28 01:59
The FAA has jurisdiction over  ​aircraft operated in US airspace and they have defined, and an app ...

That's good to know. Still, I'm sticking to flying in class G just to be safe.
2014-12-27
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MacCool
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The FAA doesn't have enforcement agents out on patrol. They'll only start hunting you if they become aware of you...ie, you do something with your drone that endangers the public. This would usually be a filed complaint by somebody, or as in Pirker's case, you post a video of your antics online.

It is worth noting that local municipalities, including states, cities, counties etc , have the ability to regulate use of drones too. You might not get accosted by the FAA, but your local cops might visit you at your flying site. They won't care about FARs, but they will address citizen complaints and might talk to you if they see you flying the thing in certain locations or in a manner they think might be reckless. And even if you don't have any local laws governing R/C aircraft, there's always "disturbing the peace".
2014-12-27
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ciprianboboc
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jmtw000@gmail.c Posted at 2014-12-28 08:56
That's good to know. Still, I'm sticking to flying in class G just to be safe.

you can also look on a map like http://skyvector.com/
Look for the numbers on the map - they the minimum and maximum flight limits in those airspaces. If you see 80 over 20, then 20 means a minimum altitude of 2000 feet. However, 80 over SFC means the surface up to 8000 feet. More description can be found here: http://www.usppa.org/resources/reading_charts.htm
And aside from commercial airlines, you still have to always watch for smaller aircrafts, helicopters and other obstacles (even if you're in class G). It's quite hard to avoid something and judge the altitude in relation to an aircraft when your quad is really high in the sky. And if you fly FPV at high altitudes, well... you shoudn't do that because you can put yourself and others at risk.
2014-12-27
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MacCool
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ciprianboboc@gm Posted at 2014-12-28 12:12
you can also look on a map like http://skyvector.com/
Look for the numbers on the map - they the m ...

The National Airspace System is (currently) irrelevant to model aircraft. It is relevant to jmtw000 since it's his preference to fly In only one particular type of airspace. And you're right, no matter where we are flying, we have the obligation to see and avoid other aircraft (flying solely by FPV is illegal). If you hit another aircraft with your model, whether you're in Class G airspace or not, you're going to have some 'splainin to do.
2014-12-27
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jmtw000
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MacCool Posted at 2014-12-28 12:46
The National Airspace System is (currently) irrelevant to model aircraft. It is relevant to jmtw000 ...

Thanks for all the good info MacCool and ciprianboboc.
2014-12-28
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