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Not contradicting, asking a question.

Are you sure that the altitude reported by ADS-B on those apps is MSL altitude? It's common to set aircraft barometers at the field elevation for local flights. I've not been able to find any specifications on what the altitude reference is on those apps. The only thing I've found so far is that the altitude is what's reported by the individual aircraft's ADS-B.
On FlightRadar24 you see the barometric altitude but you don’t know what pressure setting they have.
 
On FlightRadar24 you see the barometric altitude but you don’t know what pressure setting they have.
Yes, that's my question. I've been unable to find any information on the web, other than, "It's whatever the aircraft is reporting."

Relevant to drones, it seems that the reported altitude from ADS-B apps shouldn't be depended upon (knowing the MSL elevation of your location) to estimate the AGL altitude.
 
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Yes, that's my question. I've been unable to find any information on the web, other than, "It's whatever the aircraft is reporting."

Relevant to drones, it seems that the reported altitude from ADS-B apps shouldn't be depended upon (knowing the MSL elevation of your location) to estimate the AGL altitude.

This is covered in CFR 91.227, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipment performance requirements.

Both barometric and geometric (MSL derived from GPS) altitudes are reported. Section (d) Minimum Broadcast Message Element Set for ADS-B Out:

(3) An indication of the aircraft's barometric pressure altitude;

and,

(14) An indication of the aircraft's geometric altitude;
 
I was in the yard yesterday, got pics, video, and after I felt he was long gone, I launched my Mavic to my ceiling, which was just below 395 feet - I can GUARANTEE this plane was around 200 feet above my house. And! I have it on video - this guy cuts his motor down, and clearly you can hear when he ramps his engine back up. Am I crazy? NO! I'm trying to get the tail number off the pics, I had my 200mm zoom out, and if I did show them to anyone, you can see he is barely over the pine trees and/or over the top of my house. Also, was he doing an approach to the airfield that is to the northeast? Hell no, when he is ramping up his motor he is going almost the exact opposite direction.
I guess if a manned aircraft is always in the right, I'll keep my videos and pics, and if something does happen or god forbid a crash, I'll come out of the woodwork and prove that this guy is very, very low over the tops of a housing development.
 
If this is , in fact, a housing development it would be a congested area dictating minimum flying altitude of 1,000 feet. If you are certain that he is below that level call the local airport operations office and get the local FAA office's phone number and inform them of what is going on. No one should be practicing power on stalls at that low altitude you indicate or in an area like that. When practicing stalls one is supposed to start at minimum 1.500.
 
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I was in the yard yesterday, got pics, video, and after I felt he was long gone, I launched my Mavic to my ceiling, which was just below 395 feet - I can GUARANTEE this plane was around 200 feet above my house. And! I have it on video - this guy cuts his motor down, and clearly you can hear when he ramps his engine back up. Am I crazy? NO! I'm trying to get the tail number off the pics, I had my 200mm zoom out, and if I did show them to anyone, you can see he is barely over the pine trees and/or over the top of my house. Also, was he doing an approach to the airfield that is to the northeast? Hell no, when he is ramping up his motor he is going almost the exact opposite direction.
I guess if a manned aircraft is always in the right, I'll keep my videos and pics, and if something does happen or god forbid a crash, I'll come out of the woodwork and prove that this guy is very, very low over the tops of a housing development.

Again, are they military aircraft? This is the primary trainer used at NAS Pensacola. If so, call NAS Pensacola's public affairs office and ask about it.


If the airplane was 200' above you, you should be able to see the military markings and read the N number.

"Also, was he doing an approach to the airfield that is to the northeast? Hell no, when he is ramping up his motor he is going almost the exact opposite direction."

The wind was southerly yesterday in Navarre. So it makes sense that the pilot would be applying power to climb away from an approach to the south or southwest. He may have flown over your house on the base leg going to the north or northeast.
 
I can guarantee it is NOT marked as a military aircraft. As I said, I can see the pilot, who saw me taking pics/vid and my wife swears he flew lower and over our house several times.
I haven't ascertained if it is the same aircraft each time, but it is a 3 wheeled Cessna, very much like I was going to take my pilot's license in. It has markings, but nothing military that I can see. White, with red lettering as a normal Cessna might be.
I'm going to leave this whole issue, I'll take your advice @MS Coast and call NAS Pensacola. It just makes me nervous as hell. BTW, I looked at 2 of the suggested replacements for B4UFLY, I'm embarrassed I didn't see that it was obsolete, although it was only on Feb 1 of this year. Anyway, both of them, and I am looking at AirHub right now, say that I am COMPLETELY safe to fly to my ceiling in my driveway. What I am also going to do, if I see this guy flying low again, I am going to immediately check AirHub to see if some temporary restriction has been placed on this airspace. No matter what, I'll NEVER launch if I hear an aircraft in the vicinity, nor will I stay aloft if one comes around whilst I'm flying.
If I call and get any resolution from NAS Pen, I'll repost. Otherwise, thanks to all again for a great dialogue!
 
I can guarantee it is NOT marked as a military aircraft. As I said, I can see the pilot, who saw me taking pics/vid and my wife swears he flew lower and over our house several times.
I haven't ascertained if it is the same aircraft each time, but it is a 3 wheeled Cessna, very much like I was going to take my pilot's license in. It has markings, but nothing military that I can see. White, with red lettering as a normal Cessna might be.
I'm going to leave this whole issue, I'll take your advice @MS Coast and call NAS Pensacola. It just makes me nervous as hell. BTW, I looked at 2 of the suggested replacements for B4UFLY, I'm embarrassed I didn't see that it was obsolete, although it was only on Feb 1 of this year. Anyway, both of them, and I am looking at AirHub right now, say that I am COMPLETELY safe to fly to my ceiling in my driveway. What I am also going to do, if I see this guy flying low again, I am going to immediately check AirHub to see if some temporary restriction has been placed on this airspace. No matter what, I'll NEVER launch if I hear an aircraft in the vicinity, nor will I stay aloft if one comes around whilst I'm flying.
If I call and get any resolution from NAS Pen, I'll repost. Otherwise, thanks to all again for a great dialogue!

If it's a tricycle gear Cessna, it's not military. It's probably a civilian instructor with students.
 
But calling the Naval Air Station is not going to help you with Civilian Aircraft...if you have the N number ( I believe you said you have actual photo and / or video of that ) ...call the FAA
..they do want to know about this activity
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or...dia/Help_FAA_Identify_Low-Flying_Aircraft.pdf
if you click on the link you will see the right # to call on the bottom left...in case you don't see it...here it is 202-267-8212
 
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Yes, that's my question. I've been unable to find any information on the web, other than, "It's whatever the aircraft is reporting."

Relevant to drones, it seems that the reported altitude from ADS-B apps shouldn't be depended upon (knowing the MSL elevation of your location) to estimate the AGL altitude.
Yes I wouldn’t depend on it but it is information. When you get used to seeing many aircraft with your eyes and used to comparing what you see with the reported altitude, you’ll get a feel for whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
 
Yes I wouldn’t depend on it but it is information. When you get used to seeing many aircraft with your eyes and used to comparing what you see with the reported altitude, you’ll get a feel for whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
I've flown airplanes and gliders for quite a while, been a passenger of on four continents, and jumped out of a few of them, too. And I've watched (with my eyes) a lot of them fly over me while I standing on the ground. There's no way that I trust myself to estimate the altitude of airplanes within a couple of hundred feet, particularly if they're any distance from me.
 
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I've flown airplanes and gliders for quite a while, been a passenger of on four continents, and jumped out of a few of them, too. And I've watched (with my eyes) a lot of them fly over me while I standing on the ground. There's no way that I trust myself to estimate the altitude of airplanes within a couple of hundred feet, particularly if they're any distance from me.
You’re correct, it isn’t possible to assess by eye within 200’ the height of an airliner flying between 20,000’ and 35,000’. I didn’t intend to imply it is. However, I think it is possible to recognize that a passing aircraft is at least 2000’ above ground level vice below 1000’, with some experience of watching them and seeing their reported altitude.
 
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