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Question about max drone height in UK

GreenGoddess

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Hi,

I am a drone newbie and I have some questions about the max flying height here in the UK.

I know the legal limit is 120m (400ft) but I have read that the limit corresponds directly to the take off location i.e. If I take off from the top of a 1000m mountain I can fly my drone 120m higher (1120m total height including the height of the mountain).

However, what happens if I fly my drone away from the mountain summit? e.g. When the drone is 500m away from the summit of the mountain it could well be 600-700m above ground level. Is that still legal? Or would I need to fly so that my drone "hugs" the side of the mountain?

I just want to know where I stand legally. Fast jets and other military aircraft sometimes fly through the valleys here in the Lake District and I want to ensure that I am flying safely and legally.

Any advice appreciated.
 

pross

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Google drone code uk
There is a good graphic that explains it very clearly
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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Yes in general you follow the landform as closely as possible to 120m AGL.
It’s not an exact process with no way of telling as flying just how high you are to the altitude rules, but unless pre flight planning with maps etc is done to assist keeping precise or a little under, a best guess is all most can do.
As long as it’s not silly difference no one is really going to be able to see any difference between 120m and say 130m . . . but if some sort of incident did happen then obviously flight data will show exact location, and later map analysis could easily put the altitude within perhaps a few metres.
 

ZX14-R

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Ernie Willey

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I guarantee that the fast jets and big old 4 props are WAY below 400 feet. They often pass over our buildings at below 250, best advice, if you hear one, drop ASAP.
Hi,

I am a drone newbie and I have some questions about the max flying height here in the UK.

I know the legal limit is 120m (400ft) but I have read that the limit corresponds directly to the take off location i.e. If I take off from the top of a 1000m mountain I can fly my drone 120m higher (1120m total height including the height of the mountain).

However, what happens if I fly my drone away from the mountain summit? e.g. When the drone is 500m away from the summit of the mountain it could well be 600-700m above ground level. Is that still legal? Or would I need to fly so that my drone "hugs" the side of the mountain?

I just want to know where I stand legally. Fast jets and other military aircraft sometimes fly through the valleys here in the Lake District and I want to ensure that I am flying safely and legally.

Any advice appreciated.
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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I guarantee that the fast jets and big old 4 props are WAY below 400 feet. They often pass over our buildings at below 250, best advice, if you hear one, drop ASAP.
Of course Ern, your taking flight paths etc, which are total NFZ airspace.
And what you say is right about drop ASAP if you hear anything like an aircraft in the area, we have loads of uncontrolled airfields and heliports on our ‘ok to fly’ apps here and that’s just what they say in those areas.

Applies in total open airspace too, just that normally 400’ is (should be) totally safe 99.9% of the time.
 

Ernie Willey

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You would think... both UAV Forecast and Kittyhawk show no restrictions, close to but not NFZ for 2 small airports, however, local knowledge and experience for years b4 I started flying tell me not to even THINK about flying at Tebay!!
Of course Ern, your taking flight paths etc, which are total NFZ airspace.
And what you say is right about drop ASAP if you hear anything like an aircraft in the area, we have loads of uncontrolled airfields and heliports on our ‘ok to fly’ apps here and that’s just what they say in those areas.

Applies in total open airspace too, just that normally 400’ is (should be) totally safe 99.9% of the time.
 

gnirtS

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Ignore all apps other than NATs Drone Assist. They all miss out significant airfield restrictions.

That said its perfectly possible to encounter manned aircraft below 400ft who are totally legal and not in any sort of restriction zone.
Thats why you have rules about direct,unaided line of sight (roughly 400-500m according to the CAA) so you can see/hear something and get out of its way.
 
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Congoblue

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Thats why you have rules about direct,unaided line of sight (roughly 400-500m according to the CAA) so you can see/hear something and get out of its way.
You don't get much time for evasion with the training jets in the Lake District. Often you don't hear them until they are overhead.
 

gnirtS

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Correct. But if its close enough to you then you have some sort of chance as opposed to a drone a mile+ away.
I live in the mid wales MTA so some fast jets will be down to 150ft quite legally.
Ultimately knowing when they fly and the usual routes help.