desertdroning

Typhoon H Height Limit?

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So I bought a phantom 4. Love it. But I'm eyeing the Typhoon H - I like the 360 degree camera and redundancy of the extra prop (feels safer, and better CYA for professional work). It's also probably a good idea to have 2 drones as I get into business so if one goes down I'm not SOL until I replace it. 

That said, I was curious to know what limits are hard coded in. I hate the 500m height limit w/ the phantom - feels like they're trying to make into more of a hobbyist machine than a prof one. Note - I've not had a need to go higher yet, but I live near some very very tall cliffs and have some ideas for cool shots, and as long as I'm w/in 400 feet i can use the top of the cliff as the ground level for AGL. So I wanted to know, would the Typhoon H be able to go above 500m? If so might need to bite the bullet and make that the prof drone and the phantom 4 backup/recreation.

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In case anyone is following/curious, I heard there is a firmware limit, but if you contact Yuneec and explain your situation they can give you other firmware. So I just emailed them and said I'm buying DJI unless that is true, and if so, how do I apply for the firmware upgrade. And I explained why I'd need to go over the 8000 ft hard ceiling (towns in CO are 7500+ feet) and why I'd need to go over 120m (the cliffs I mentioned above).

I'll let you know what I hear!

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I'm thinking of the "H" as well and it states it is FAA 400' AGL compliant. Since you raise a valid point on where the ceiling should be given the starting altitude, there should be some way for the craft to go higher as I can think of several possibilities where you would need to. That said, within the scope of the recent policy enactments, you would have to obtain an FAA Exemption to go higher because you are going to in 'shared' (different Class) airspace; unless I read my study material wrong lol. I'm more surprised at the companies for putting that limit in anyhow, unless the FAA & Trade Commission co-wrote policy that any copter without those limits could not be sold in the USA. Also, there is the line-of-site issue with being able to see the craft when your up to 3k vertical. One way around that would be to start at the top of the mountain/structure as the are absolutely no "down" limits and shoot top to bottom. Would set "HOME" at the top, go straight down and hit the home button to see if it returned back up. Please let me know what Yuneec has to say as this might help set a president of them having to make it so the user would 'set your altimeter' from given location just as you would for fixed wing/helo taking off from the airport. Might have to write the FAA to see what they say given your elevated height location. Thanks, Charles

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Thanks for the great response. I'm still working through the lectures and haven't gotten to airspace yet - doing the meterology one twice before moving on as that's all 100% brand new to me :-). But what you said makes sense. I know if you go into controlled space you need to know. But I was also planning on buying a headset so I can communicate w/ ATC around me (assuming that is OK, again haven't gotten to airspace yet :-) ) so I could fly in controlled airspace.

As for the H, I wrote them about 2 questions - 1 the artificial 8000 ft ceiling (I visit Colorado frequently and towns there are 7500+ feet in elevation!) and the 400' limit. They got back about the 8000' ceiling and said the H (and only the H) will auto detect elevation so if you take off over 8000 it will still let you go to a height of '400 AGL.

They didn't get back to me on the 400' limit so I reasked :-)

 

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Just a quick note re ATC contact.  FAA does not want UAS operators contacting ATC directly, either by radio or telephone.  The ONLY way to obtain airspace authorization is via the web portal at FAA.gov.  This is by no means a real time system, although that is the ultimate goal of FAA.  In my case, it took about 35 days for them to get back to me and although I did obtain an authorization, it was nowhere near what I had requested.

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48 minutes ago, Ed O'Grady said:

Just a quick note re ATC contact.  FAA does not want UAS operators contacting ATC directly, either by radio or telephone.  The ONLY way to obtain airspace authorization is via the web portal at FAA.gov.  This is by no means a real time system, although that is the ultimate goal of FAA.  In my case, it took about 35 days for them to get back to me and although I did obtain an authorization, it was nowhere near what I had requested.

Oh that's interesting and disappointing. I was hoping I could just plug in and communicate with them. 

Honestly that's kind of scary. I've flown my drone in the middle of the desert and have had helicopters come up on me doing sight seeing tours and they are right around the 400' limit it looks like. Most likely a little lower. Without a way to communicate with them it's a little nerve racking thinking one could just come around a mountain and fly right into my drone. 

Does the communication blackout only extend to ATC? Or does it also include other pilots?

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I am not aware of any regulations that would prevent you from communicating directly with an aircraft in flight.  I too have that capability here but have not used it as yet.  

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12 hours ago, Ed O'Grady said:

But, your responsibility under part 107 is to yield to ALL manned aircraft. 

Thanks for the tip. I have covered that part of the study guide so when it happened I just flew straight down to make sure. But it was still unnerving and makes you think about the what ifs - malfunction, turbulence, whatever.  Just want to make sure I can alert the pilot to the drones location and the emergency  

 

Edited by desertdroning

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I think the best practice if an a/c or helo was approaching would be to simply reduce altitude immediately. Assuming, as you say, you are out in uncontrolled airspace in the desert, what frequency would you use to attempt contact with the approaching a/c?  And even if you were permitted to contact atc, who would you contact? Bear in mind that a handheld aviation transceiver used at ground level will not have very great range if the a/c is at very low altitude. Again, I think the only option is to decrease altitude or land.

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Yea, that's exactly what I did - I also left. Wont fly there again. It wasn't like it was a close call or anything. I just wasn't expecting it - and I was definitely away from airports - used several apps to check before I went out. I always drive a ways away and fly in sparsely populated areas. I'm still learning to fly so I want to be as safe as possible while I do so. 

As for communicating with a pilot, I honestly don't know. Was going to research it if it wasn't covered in the course material (in the ground school portion of this site). I just figured if it's possible to do so, might as well so I can be as safe as possible (like I said, the what-if emergencies). If it's not possible, then it's not. But worth looking into I thought.

 

 

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On 12/4/2016 at 10:51 PM, desertdroning said:

Yea, that's exactly what I did - I also left. Wont fly there again. It wasn't like it was a close call or anything. I just wasn't expecting it - and I was definitely away from airports - used several apps to check before I went out. I always drive a ways away and fly in sparsely populated areas. I'm still learning to fly so I want to be as safe as possible while I do so. 

As for communicating with a pilot, I honestly don't know. Was going to research it if it wasn't covered in the course material (in the ground school portion of this site). I just figured if it's possible to do so, might as well so I can be as safe as possible (like I said, the what-if emergencies). If it's not possible, then it's not. But worth looking into I thought.

Yo @desertdroning ! Just discovered this which might be helpful for contacting airports / heliports:

http://www.city-data.com/airports/

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