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Four Hundred Feet?

Old 01-01-2016, 02:55 AM
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Lifer
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Default Four Hundred Feet?

I've been flying for a long time without any altitude limit except the limits of my vision. Now that we have a Federally imposed altitude limit the question arises, just how does one determine a 400 foot altitude?

How will the Model Airplane Police come to my field and factually determine I have exceeded 400 feet?

I have thought about measuring a 400 foot string and attach a helium balloon to it and have someone from a distance away letting me know when I exceed the 400 foot level.

Are there devices that can determine my altitude other than an on-board device?

Any thoughts?
Old 01-01-2016, 05:04 AM
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Telemetry already exists for several radio brands.If it's accurate or not is another story.

Mike
Old 01-01-2016, 05:06 AM
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porcia83
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
I've been flying for a long time without any altitude limit except the limits of my vision. Now that we have a Federally imposed altitude limit the question arises, just how does one determine a 400 foot altitude?

How will the Model Airplane Police come to my field and factually determine I have exceeded 400 feet?

I have thought about measuring a 400 foot string and attach a helium balloon to it and have someone from a distance away letting me know when I exceed the 400 foot level.

Are there devices that can determine my altitude other than an on-board device?

Any thoughts?
Guys at our field have these, usually in gliders:

For standalone mode, simply plug the sensors into a spare receiver channel or small battery (4V to 16V) and fly your model. Then, when you land, your maximum altitude will display on the built-in 7 segment LED. For example, if you flew to 281 feet, the unit will display “2 – 8 - 1” repeatedly. No configuration, additional equipment, or computer required!

http://www.getfpv.com/altimeter-microsensor-v4.html?utm_source=google_shopping&gclid=CJj6ufvWiMoCFUWUfgodCL8OzQ



Old 01-01-2016, 05:07 AM
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Thanks for the reply, but my question is how someone else can determine that I have flown higher than 400 feet.
Old 01-01-2016, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
Thanks for the reply, but my question is how someone else can determine that I have flown higher than 400 feet.
Hear is part of what you asked:


Are there devices that can determine my altitude other than an on-board device?

As for the other part yes, there ways for someone on the ground to see how high up you are. The chances of that happening though are pretty small.
Old 01-01-2016, 05:15 AM
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What devices would be used?
Old 01-01-2016, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
What devices would be used?
Relatively simple commercially available units like this:

http://www.bestrangefinderreviewsguide.com/

What do you think the chances are that the feds have something more accurate for their use, for say perhaps military use? Again, not anything that will probably affect any of his, but I kinda think I see where this is going....

Don't discount Doppler units as well......
Old 01-01-2016, 06:03 AM
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Wouldn't they need to be standing directly beneath the plane to get an accurate altitude reading?
Old 01-01-2016, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
I've been flying for a long time without any altitude limit except the limits of my vision. Now that we have a Federally imposed altitude limit the question arises, just how does one determine a 400 foot altitude?

How will the Model Airplane Police come to my field and factually determine I have exceeded 400 feet?

I have thought about measuring a 400 foot string and attach a helium balloon to it and have someone from a distance away letting me know when I exceed the 400 foot level.

Are there devices that can determine my altitude other than an on-board device?

Any thoughts?
Hi Lifer ,

My thoughts are this ;

You will not be challenged on the 400 foot thing until a full scale at 5 , 6 , or 700 feet or so reports a near miss with your model . The FAA will relay this info to local law enforcement who will , in between investigating murders , rapes , and robberies , have to go to the closest field where the near miss was reported and hope to find you and the model fitting the description of the one involved still on site . A summons will be issued and it'll be you and the FAA in front of a judge each telling your side of the story . Now , with the "cookie cutter" nature of many of today's models (ARFs) it'll be likely that there will be more than one model at the field fitting the description of the one involved . I believe , unless a collision actually happens and the FAA is able to retrieve registration or AMA numbers , that there aren't likely to be many convictions on the 400 foot rule since without the direct evidence provided by an actual collision , all the FAA will have to go on will be a rather vague description of what the full scale's pilot saw through his windshield . Gonna be awful hard to get a conviction on "It looked like a red plane" when there will likely be 5 red planes all owned by different people at the field that day .......
Old 01-01-2016, 06:30 AM
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I think your analysis is spot on. I still would like to know if there is an accurate way for an outsider to show up at my field and determine that my model has exceeded the new altitude limit. I suspect it will be only a guess, and that does not constitute PROOF.
Old 01-01-2016, 06:34 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA4N63Gdnao

I fly over 400 ft all the time.

Mike
Old 01-01-2016, 06:51 AM
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Cool video!

Looked like 400 feet to me, too.
Old 01-01-2016, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
I think your analysis is spot on. I still would like to know if there is an accurate way for an outsider to show up at my field and determine that my model has exceeded the new altitude limit. I suspect it will be only a guess, and that does not constitute PROOF.
That's all it would be is a guess. Most people,even flyers don't realize how high 400' is.
Next time you are at the field ask other pilots how high they think they are flying or how high is 400' ? You will probably be surprised at the answers. If you have someone there with a Q500 or Chroma quad have them take it up to 400' and show everyone how high it actually is ! Probably it will be higher than most realize.
Old 01-01-2016, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
Cool video!

Looked like 400 feet to me, too.
Working on a better way to mount that camera.

Mike
Old 01-01-2016, 09:34 AM
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Can you please show me where the "FAA Mandatory 400' AGL " is ?
Old 01-01-2016, 09:49 AM
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When you sign up for drone license, you hit agree. Recommended has been around for a long time in a FAA Advisory Circular. In full scale aviation when talking to a tower, the tower will ask you to do something, it is not binding until you agree. Then it is expected. It is usually the right thing, but every once in a while you will hear" unable to comply" and then they will try to take your recommendation. The FAA is treating everyone just like full scale. Hit agree and it is binding.
Old 01-01-2016, 09:53 AM
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I NEVER fly higher than 400 feet and never faster than 200 mph.
Old 01-01-2016, 10:44 AM
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Sorry, that's not what I'm asking. 400' AGL, 400' MSL, can you show me where it says I CANNOT fly above that altitude. A control tower or any flight controlling agency, approach, departure or center is MSL. Do I need the local altimeter setting? If I fly on a hill top, 400' above me or over that side of the hill or valley. Where do I measure??
Old 01-01-2016, 11:21 AM
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Before the thread degrades into a small group of people arguing, I'd still like to find out how the altitude can be determined by the average person or how the authorities can verify my altitude from the ground.
Old 01-01-2016, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rcmiket View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA4N63Gdnao

I fly over 400 ft all the time.

Mike
Truly out in the middle of no where!!! I remember flying over that area! Can't imagine 400' ever being an issue there.
Old 01-01-2016, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by RCFlyerDan View Post
Truly out in the middle of no where!!! I remember flying over that area! Can't imagine 400' ever being an issue there.
I thank God everyday we get to fly were we do.

Mike
Old 01-01-2016, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
Before the thread degrades into a small group of people arguing, I'd still like to find out how the altitude can be determined by the average person or how the authorities can verify my altitude from the ground.
If someone had a laser distance finder(not a range finder) and you were hovering your plane, they could shoot a point on the ground below it and then the spinner of your plane and the device will show the height. They wouldn't need to be directly below it but would need to be close enough to see the ground below your plane. A moving plane ? That would be tough to get accurate (if any) readings.
If the gov. has/gets something that works I'm sure they will make them available to the state/local police along with a WIFI/GPS jamming device .........but then the "fee" won't be $5.00 anymore !
Old 01-01-2016, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
Before the thread degrades into a small group of people arguing, I'd still like to find out how the altitude can be determined by the average person or how the authorities can verify my altitude from the ground.
You have asked the question twice and you have several answers, are you fishing for an answer that you don't see yet? Laser radar and doppler....already available...already in use to some degree by law enforcement for radar traps. Yes, some of it will be a guess. No, the chance of you having to ever deal with it is slim and none.
Old 01-01-2016, 01:34 PM
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Just trying to get as much info as possible before it becomes necessary. I view the 400 foot rule as the equivalent of the Article 14.
Old 01-01-2016, 01:46 PM
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If you feel that uncomfortable about it, you can always add telemetry (another way of confirming your height) to your birds, and then you won't have to guess, you'll know. God knows those systems do everything including talking now. Flew next to a guy today with Flysky I believe it that thing yapped on and on about every thing possible. Like driving with my mother in law!

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