Demonstration of why Altitude Limits should be removed

Do you agree or disagree with DJI's over-reaching flight restrictions?


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Here is my take. I agree with them locking down the system for anyone who flies under the hobby rules of whatever country they are in. In the US its "Special Rules for Model Aircraft." I don't agree with them being locked down for anyone flying under formal rules, be it a Canadian SFOC or the US's Part 107 or 333 to the Part 91 rules or whatever system is used in another country.

This is an unfortunate thing because of the lowest common denominator. The guy who just went to Best Buy and picked up a Mavic, Spark or P4P and spent maybe ten minutes reading the quick start guide, plugs in a battery and flies. That guy gets a little comfortable in his abilities and has an unqualified belief in what the system can do. Then he decides to take it out in areas where he shouldn't and does stupid stuff all the time.

Then there is the ill-informed belief that if you are under the hobby rules, that somehow you can fly and do whatever you want with impunity. That simply isn't the case. But the guy who just bought his drone from best buy is completely unaware of section 336 of the USPL 112-95. Under hobby rules you can go above 400ft AGL as long as you are adhering to the full scope of the 336. All flying under the 336 directs everyone to be flying under the safety guidelines of a national community based organization. Under that part the only relevant one to be recognized at the moment is the AMA. The FAA is going to be setting qualifying minimum standards for future CBO's probably next year. Under the AMA you are not supposed to fly where model aircraft activities are prohibited. Not supposed to fly in a careless or reckless manner. Not supposed to fly over unprotected persons, vehicles vessels and structures. Yet we see youtube videos constantly showing people flying over highways, around major metro areas and in airspace where they probably did not contact every airport within 5 statute miles. Yes private strips and heliports qualify under this definition. That is another part of the 336. The FAA states on their website an airport operator may not deny the flight, however you continuance to do so maybe evidence that you conducted an unsafe operation of a model aircraft in the NAS. The last part of the 336 has a clause that states, "nothing in this section shall prohibit the administrator from pursing enforcement action against unsafe model aircraft activity in the NAS."

Unfortunately there has been a lack of enforcement action as the FAA does not have the resources to catch every idiot around the country on a daily basis. As a result the FAA as well as other governments have been working with the major manufacturers to lock the systems down top prevent some of the buffoonery.

In an ideal world you would have a system that prohibits flight in unauthorized areas, but would let yo unlock that system right away, but the system has your contact info and goes to a database to the governing agencies. This would prevent 90% of the BS flying out there. Since I fly under authorizations and COA's and the FAA knows what I do anyway I would not be against it.

I agree with your thoughts. I feel that DJI should not be controlling or policing my flying. I have spent a small fortune with DJI over the years and no where does it state that I can only fly so high or so far until I take the quad out of the box after they have my money.

I am part 107 Licensed and I spent a lot of time studying and came out with a 90 on my first attempt. I did not take the test until I fully understood the material. Actually I found it very interesting and it did make me much more aware. Not that I was reckless beforehand, but, I now understand Airspace and the Rules and they all make sense to me. I do not object to the FAA's reasoning one bit.

I have stated before that the persons that are licensed to fly should not be restricted in their activities by DJI. I would not fly near an Airport or its flight path even with a waiver. Just not safe.

I have a drivers license and my car is registered and I am not restricted to certain roads or speeds by the car manufacturer.

We should be able to submit our Certificate and proof of registration and have our gear unlocked. I have already dissolved DJI of any liability as soon as I activated the gear.
 
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The limits on how high Phantom can fly are based on the home point.
Any regulations are based on height above ground level.
I haven't updated my firmware from day one so I can fly where I want and how high I want and I never get tracked. Never had an issue.
 
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OK - I'll bite. Which aircraft and which firmware?
We can't talk about these things here, but firmware older than June 2017 allow you to open the doors to great heights, like this flight to over 14,000' MSL, a climb that was over 3000' above the launch point, but always below 400' AGL
 
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sar104

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We can't talk about these things here, but firmware older than June 2017 allow you to open the doors to great heights, like this flight to over 14,000' MSL, a climb over over 3000' from launch point.
Yes, that's common knowledge, but the point is that it's not simply a matter of not updating firmware, unless he's flying a P2 or earlier.
 
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Yes, that's common knowledge, but the point is that it's not simply a matter of not updating firmware, unless he's flying a P2 or earlier.
Yes, that's correct. It's not that simple, however for a Mavic or P4P it's not that difficult either, if you have older firmware. The Mt. Lincoln flight was flown with a P4P.
 

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Try flying above clouds then get back to me
So when you said:
I haven't updated my firmware from day one so I can fly where I want and how high I want and I never get tracked. Never had an issue.
What you meant was .. I'm running hacked firmware and I fly well past the limits of a stock Phantom
That's quite a different thing.
 
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As long as DJI is the best alternative we can't do much about it unless we DIY changes. I have not seen any new drone who could do what I can do with my DJI drone. Removing whatever annoys you is easy, just need a little google investigation.
 
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DJI needs to protect their business from the bad press given to those pilots who intentionally or obliviously violate safety guidelines/rules. With my latest firmware/software, I can release restrictions. No one should do this without filing for a waiver or authorization. I would recommend DJI work with companies who are providing software to more quickly get approvals for waivers and authorizations.
 
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Very interesting. I can only wish to go above the clouds like I saw in the videos. I would only do it once. I promise with my heart crossed. Hehe :)
 
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I have just been to Albania and Macedonia on holiday, took my P4P, in these two countries there are no altitude regulations and no distance regulations. Everywhere I went, like castles, I asked if i could fly my drone, every time I was told "no problem". It was a breath of fresh air for me, as in the UK pretty much every place you go, you get the answer "no you cant fly here". I did a 10.5 kilometer flight in the mountains. Also flew my drone up to the 500 meter height limit. Small civilian aircraft are pretty much no existent in the country, same with helicopters, and there are only four no fly zones in the whole country, all based on major airports or military bases.
Had a great time there flying without pretty much any worries, you wont see any jet trails in the sky all day long, unless you are in the capital Tirana.
I think in the more developed countries, drones are already massively over regulated, and nearly all of the over regulation is based on perception, not reality.
 

sar104

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I have just been to Albania and Macedonia on holiday, took my P4P, in these two countries there are no altitude regulations and no distance regulations. Everywhere I went, like castles, I asked if i could fly my drone, every time I was told "no problem". It was a breath of fresh air for me, as in the UK pretty much every place you go, you get the answer "no you cant fly here". I did a 10.5 kilometer flight in the mountains. Also flew my drone up to the 500 meter height limit. Small civilian aircraft are pretty much no existent in the country, same with helicopters, and there are only four no fly zones in the whole country, all based on major airports or military bases.
Had a great time there flying without pretty much any worries, you wont see any jet trails in the sky all day long, unless you are in the capital Tirana.
I think in the more developed countries, drones are already massively over regulated, and nearly all of the over regulation is based on perception, not reality.
But didn't you just explain that you think that the relative lack of regulation in Albania works because of the lack of general aviation traffic? That does not, therefore, support an argument that the regulation in much busier airspaces is unwarranted. Or are those unconnected observations?
 
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I live in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. There are MANY sea planes and ultra-lights that fly just over the tree tops (well beneath 400'). There are many small private aircraft which fly below 400' (unfortunately). So ... relaxing the drone rules would make no sense at all. Do I wish it were different? Absolutely. Do I decide to reject FAA drone regulations. Absolutely not. Do I really need to fly above 400'. At times it would be nice, but the answer is "NO" I don't need to fly above 400'.
 
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But didn't you just explain that you think that the relative lack of regulation in Albania works because of the lack of general aviation traffic? That does not, therefore, support an argument that the regulation in much busier airspaces is unwarranted. Or are those unconnected observations?
I think there are plenty of places in the US or any country where aircraft dont fly, for one reason or another. Geofencing is useful but perhaps it should be removed if you are in an area where there is no air traffic lower than 500 meters or aircraft dont fly due to dangerous conditions, mountains and the like. As pointed out earlier on this thread, cars in UK are not limited to 70 mph despite that being the speed limit. If you drive your car at high speed into a traffic jam, cause a large fire, the casualties can be large, but the government dont fit limiters on cars, despite the constant pile ups in traffic due to people driving too fast, or too fast for the conditions.
 
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sar104

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I think there are plenty of places in the US or any country where aircraft dont fly, for one reason or another. Geofencing is useful but perhaps it should be removed if you are in an area where there is no air traffic lower than 500 meters or aircraft dont fly due to dangerous conditions, mountains and the like. As pointed out earlier on this thread, cars in UK are not limited to 70 mph despite that being the speed limit. If you drive your car at high speed into a traffic jam, cause a large fire, the casualties can be large, but the government dont fit limiters on cars, despite the constant pile ups in traffic due to people driving too fast, or too fast for the conditions.
I thought we were talking about regulation, not the manufacturer's geofencing. In terms of your driving example, many vehicles on the road are speed limited, although at speeds well above the speed limit. A bit like DJI drones are altitude limited, but well above the recommended (mandatory under Part 107) altitude limit for drones.

But anyway, since you obviously feel that vehicles and drones should be somewhat parallel in their regulation, does that mean that you would support mandatory testing for all pilots, along the model of driving tests?
 
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Add to that mandatory insurance too???
 
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My hope is that smart phone apps like AIRMAP will quickly mature so that, where and when appropriate, pilots can be authorized to fly in more situations/locations. In this case, the actual drone flight plans will be approved and known if for any reason a plane expects to fly in an area where drone flight plans have been approved.
 

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