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Max altitude - law or guideline?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Joe0000, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Joe0000

    Feb 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Hello everyone. Is the 400 ft max height a FAA guideline or law as of February 2016?

  2. msinger

    Approved Vendor

    Oct 30, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Harrisburg, PA (US)
    It's a suggested guideline.

    Nov 17, 2014
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    in all honesty you dont really need to go higher than that anyway I would keep it at 400ft. In the UK I think it is law but dont quote me on that!
  4. BayouBill

    Jul 1, 2016
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    Below is an excerpt from the AMA web site. From the beginning the FAA acknowledged verbally that members of community based organizations can comply with FAA requirements by adhering to the CBO safety guidelines. A recent letter from the FAA confirms that the 400' guideline is not an absolute limitation IF you are a member of a CBO and operate within safety rules that apply.
    In January of this year, the AMA requested that the FAA clarify the 400-foot issue in writing. We are happy to share that in a recent letter to the AMA, the FAA recognized AMA’s role as a community-based organization and acknowledged our safety program, including allowing flight above 400 feet under appropriate circumstance. The primary AMA requirement is that you must maintain visual contact and be prepared to avoid collision with AC. Also stay below 400' when within 3 miles of an airport.

    In this letter, dated July 7, 2016, the FAA states:
    1. “…model aircraft may be flown consistently with Section 336 and agency guidelines at altitudes above 400 feet when following a community-based organization’s safety guidelines.”

      “Community-based organizations, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics, may establish altitude limitations in their safety guidelines that exceed the FAA’s 400 AGL altitude recommendation.”
    Essentially, this letter confirms that sailplanes, large model aircraft, turbines, and other disciplines can responsibly operate above 400 feet if the AMA member is operating within our safety programming. Equally important, the FAA again acknowledges AMA as a community-based organization.
  5. fastfed

    Jul 5, 2016
    Likes Received:

    While its not something people should be doing often and I really do believe you should keep it low as possible, saying you don't need to go higher is not true at all. Maybe you don't need to, but some other do, some people live in forests and wouldn't be able to go anywhere without bringing altitude a little higher, people like to say there is no good pictures to be taken at high altitudes, again thats complete BS. some of the best shots of many historical places have been shot at high altitude.
    ZebraDrone3 and nsheridan19 like this.
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