Flying at mountain range


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Hi Everyone 

Question about flying up the side of a mountain and from mountain top. To stay within the 400 ft AGL rule when flying up a large slope or from the top of a mountain how is "AGL" determined, other than the obvious.  If I fly up the mountain the vertical distance can be larger than 400ft, but I can be close to the slope. If I am at the top of a mountain and fly off the top and be well above 400ft. Is the 400 ft AGL absolute vertical or should it be interpreted like a tower, stay within 400 ft horizontal  and below 400ft from top.


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Living and working in Crested Butte, Colorado, I run into this all the time. Even though I can find no specific directions from the FAA, I have assumed flights should be treated like flying around tall buildings or towers. Stay within 400' of the mountainside or summit. One advantage to such flights is that there are rarely many people or aircraft to deal with.

Hopefully, someone else with more specific knowledge will chime in.

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