Until recently, I believed the 400ft ceiling limit issued by the FAA was a maximum height restriction enforced by the FAA. Because drone laws are constantly in a state of flux, and the technology is progressing faster then the law’s can be created, it’s really hard to get a legitimate answer.
I have yet to fly above 400ft but its nice to know we can fly in rural area’s above that limit for non commercial use. However It’s still good practice to follow this guideline, because small general aviation aircraft can fly at 500ft AGL. So fly safe and try to stay out of the flight paths of other aircraft. Most of you best shots will be under 400ft anyway.
The FAA’s drone database Appeal
Recently due to a recent U.S. Court of appeals ruling against John Taylor, who argued that the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t have jurisdiction over what the law classifies as model aircraft, which the drone registration database violates the 2012’s FAA modernization and reform Act. And he won. This is a win for hobbiest however those flying for commercial use under the Part 107 rules must still register their aircraft.
This past weekend I was flying above my uncles cabin in Millersburg MI. Checking my Android Airmap app and observing the sky for several hours of any potential aircraft, I removed the height restriction on my DJI GO app and deemed it safe to fly above the 400ft recommendation, and flew my drone 915ft high to get a nice sunset of the nearby lake. The sun already set over the treeline at 80ft, very cool to see the sun peak one last time at that altitude!
References: Google App Store – Airmap App