You are dreaming of purchasing a drone to take aerial photos and videos of your property but aren’t sure of the current legalities surrounding the flying of drones in your area. What rules do you need to abide by? Are there any restrictions? When is a license required?

If your drone flies above 400 feet, you won’t be able to tell it what to do with your remote control or its GPS system. It will just kind of keep going until it runs out of battery or hits a tree or something.

Well, in this article we will cover all these aspects in detail.

The Federal Aviation Administration Limits All Drones To 400 Feet In The Air

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) limits all drones to 400 feet in the air

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) limits all drones to 400 feet in the air. But some drones can go higher than that. The truth is that if you try to fly a drone above 400 feet, it will likely auto-pilot back to the ground. If this happens and your drone crashes, you’re responsible for destroying someone else’s property or even putting people on the ground at risk of injury.

There are also several state and local regulations that place similar limits on drone altitude. Make sure you know the rules before you fly!

Drone Altitude Rules Are Different For Where You Fly

Before we start diving into specific rules, it’s important to understand the FAA’s general operating rules for drones:

  • Your drone must weigh less than 55 pounds when fully loaded.
  • The drone must remain in visual line of sight for the entire flight. (~lesson 1~)
  • You can only fly during daylight hours, or if your drone has anti-collision lights, then 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.
  • You cannot fly at night. (Even with anti-collision lights.)
  • Your drone must stay below 400 feet above ground level (AGL), unless otherwise stated by a waiver from the FAA. (~lesson 2~)

Drones May Be Able To Go Higher Than 400 Feet

This may tempt some drone operators to fly higher than 400 feet. Before you do, you should know that flying higher is more dangerous. If you are flying at this height, it’s recommended that you have a high-end drone with advanced features like GPS and automated sensors.

With these features, your drone will be able to detect obstacles, steer clear of them, and maneuver on its own in windy conditions. This way if something goes wrong or the controller loses connection, your aircraft has a better chance of making it back safely.

Higher Is Better For Clearer Photos

The altitude at which your quadcopter is flying isn’t as important if you’re just amusing yourself and your friends, but it’s still good to know the reasons for the 400-foot limit that applies in most places.

You may have noticed that drones are typically sold with an advertised maximum altitude of a few hundred feet. That reflects the limitations imposed by their GPS stabilization algorithms, and is not related to the FAA regulations.

Beyond this point, most drones will lose any positional awareness they had and will turn into nothing more than unguided projectiles. But with some advanced modifications, this restriction can be bypassed.

One interesting side effect of higher altitudes is that you can get better shots from above because there’s less distortion in the photos and videos taken at higher altitudes (since the camera is further away from its subjects). There’s also no noise pollution, so audio recordings are clearer too!

So what happens if you fly a drone above 400 feet? Well, first off: don’t do it without proper training or certification. It’s illegal without approval from air traffic control or air navigation services in most countries. However, if you’re licensed to fly above 400 feet, then great! You’ll be able to view some amazing bird’s eye views of your surroundings!

Higher Altitudes Require A Better Drone

Higher Altitudes Require A Better Drone
  • You need a better drone.
  • You need to know more about drones.
  • You need better flying skills.

If you are new to flying drones, then don’t fly at high altitudes as you can’t control it properly and might crash your drone.

Check Local Regulations Before You Fly!

  • Check with local regulations. If you are new to drones, you should check what the local regulations say before you start flying your drone at higher altitudes. Some areas have regulations that say drones must be kept below 400 feet in altitude, while other areas require more experience or even a pilot’s license before someone can fly their drone above 400 feet.
  • Practice flying below 400 feet before attempting higher altitudes. It is important to practice flying your drone before attempting to fly it above 400 feet, especially if you are doing this for the first time.
  • Make sure that your chosen drone is a good one for flying at higher altitudes. Some drones have very short ranges and may not work well when flown at an altitude of over 400 feet or so. You may want to get a better drone if yours does not seem to be working as well as it could at higher altitudes.
  • Keep the drone in sight. Drones have limited ranges and should not be flown out of sight of the operator under any circumstances, since this makes it harder for the operator to keep track of where the drone is and what it might be doing or where it might go next.

Why You Should Not Fly Drone Above 400 Feet

The FAA, in line with international aviation standards, requires all unmanned aircraft to stay below 400 feet. This is the limit established as a safe distance for drones to operate, as there’s less traffic above that altitude. It’s also important to note that drone pilots can’t legally fly above people who aren’t directly participating in the flight.

While there are no official guidelines on how high a drone can safely fly outside of the 400-foot rule, most experts recommend keeping commercial flights under 300 feet and hobbyist flights under 200 feet for safety reasons.

Although the airspace between 300 and 400 feet is considered Class G Airspace—which means it’s unmonitored and uncontrolled by air traffic controllers—there are still other lower-flying aircraft that you need to be aware of before taking your drone higher than 400 feet.

Flying above 400 feet could mean losing control of your drone or having it collide with some form of manned aircraft. Not only is this highly dangerous, but it’s also illegal, and you could end up paying hefty fines if caught flying above the designated altitude limit.

It Is Illegal To Fly A Drone Above 400 Feet

One of the rules you will have to follow when flying a drone is where you can fly it. The FAA has a few different restrictions, depending on whether you are flying recreationally or commercially.

First off, it is illegal in the United States to fly a drone above 400 feet. It is also illegal to fly near an airport (within 5 miles) and national parks are completely off limits. If you break these rules you can face fines amounting up to $11,000.

Faa Rules Govern All Flights Below 400 Feet

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the government agency that regulates all air travel in the United States. The FAA has a website where you can learn more about the rules and regulations governing drone flight. According to FAA rules, it’s illegal to fly drones above 400 feet.

A Drone Can Get Lost In The Clouds And Not Be Seen Again

The drone pilot would lose control of their drone. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the drone’s GPS would be unreliable because GPS signals can only go so high, and the higher the drone flies, the less reliable the GPS becomes.

The second reason is that radio waves can only go so high before they bend and become useless for communication between you, your remote control, and your drone.

A second issue with flying a drone above 400 feet is that since all drones have to land at some point, there will be no way to get it back down again if it flies too high in an area with few buildings or structures around it. This situation could potentially result in either a lost or crashed drone depending on whether or not your particular model has a return-home feature (which not all drones do).

Lastly, there are laws against flying drones above 400 feet in most places. This law exists because if pilots fly too high then they risk hitting airplanes and other objects in the sky like birds or balloons which could cause a crash landing on someone’s house/car/etc..

It also puts people on aircraft at risk of being hit by your quadcopter if something were to happen where you lost control over it due to interference issues like we discussed earlier.

People should always follow legal guidelines when they’re using any type of technology especially those made available through technology advances such as this one–so please stay below 400ft!

Many Planes That Fly At Under 400 Feet High

  • Things that fly below 400 feet
  • There are many planes and helicopters, as well as drones, flying under 400 feet. These aircraft cannot see a drone beneath them. The pilot of the aircraft must be able to see his/her own aircraft at all times to be able to avoid other craft, vehicles, people and obstacles.
  • If you are flying a drone above this height but cannot see it then you have no control over your aircraft and it could collide with another airborne craft.
  • Why is there a 400′ limit?
  • The FAA does not allow drone flight above 400 feet. This is for several reasons:
  • You need to be able to see your drone to fly it – if you lose sight of your drone it will automatically return to home (RTH) if you selected “Return Home on Loss of Signal” in the DJI Go app before takeoff or RTH will initiate if the battery gets low (it’s usually set at 30% by default). Below 400ft this is fine but when you start getting higher than this things get difficult because:
  • It’s very hard for most people’s eyesight to spot a tiny object like a quadcopter at anything higher than about 300-400ft away – so although the drone can set off an ‘auto-return home’ command if signal is lost or battery reaches critical level, the pilot may not be able to spot the returning aircraft until it’s too late! If they don’t notice the signal loss warning in time they won’t realize it’s returned home until they hear “bzzzt… bzzzt… bzzzt…” coming from behind them – way too late!

Your Drone Will Run Out Of Battery Life

The bigger the drone and battery, the longer the flight time. However, there’s no way to know exactly how long your battery will last before you head out to fly. Wind conditions, altitude, and even temperature can affect the life of your drone’s batteries.

Batteries are far more efficient at lower altitudes. If a disaster does occur and your drone runs out of power before it hits 400 feet in altitude, you’ll still be able to get it back from a much safer distance than if it were higher up in the air.

No Potential Benefit

There is no reason to go over 400 feet because you won’t get any better pictures or interesting data. You don’t need more data, and you won’t get a better picture. Flying higher isn’t practical for most people unless you have a truly exceptional drone with an outstanding camera.

Even then, it would be very difficult to get a good quality photo from more than a few hundred feet off the ground without wind interference and without being able to see the screen. Unless you’re flying your drone in a very remote location that’s far from people and buildings, there’s not much advantage to going over 400 feet.

Safe Height

While there are no official guidelines on how high a drone can safely fly outside of the 400-foot rule, most experts recommend keeping commercial flights under 300 feet and hobbyist flights under 200 feet for safety reasons.

Although the airspace between 300 and 400 feet is considered Class G Airspace—which means it’s unmonitored and uncontrolled by air traffic controllers—there are still other lower-flying aircraft that you need to be aware of before taking your drone higher than 400 feet.

Flying above 400 feet could mean losing control of your drone or having it collide with some form of manned aircraft. Not only is this highly dangerous, but it’s also illegal, and you could end up paying hefty fines if caught flying above the designated altitude limit.

What Drones Can Fly Above 400 Feet

Air Hogs Helix X4 Stunt

Air Hogs Helix X4 Stunt

Only buy this drone if you already know how to fly. This is a good drone for those who have experience, because it has no onboard camera or GPS tracking. It does, however, have the ability to perform 360-degree barrel rolls and loops for five minutes at a time. However, we don’t recommend using this feature because it makes the drone more difficult to control and can cause it to crash if not timed properly.

If you are looking for a long-distance quadcopter that can also shoot HD video or stills of your aerial adventures then this is not the drone for you. Instead, consider a model like the Dji Phantom 4 that has GPS tracking.

However, if you want something simple and fun then try the Air Hogs Helix X4 Stunt!

Dji Phantom 3 Standard

Dji Phantom 3 Standard

One of the most popular mid-level drones, DJI’s Phantom 3 Standard comes in at under $500 (half the price of their top model), but doesn’t sacrifice too much in terms of performance or quality. The drone comes with a 2.7K HD camera, which can also take 12-megapixel photos.

It has an indoor/outdoor flight time of 25 minutes and can fly up to 400 feet using GPS technology, so you can have it hover in place and take that perfectly framed photo without worrying about flying out of range or into a tree or lake. You can control your drone directly from your smartphone or tablet using the DJI Go app, available for both Android and iOS devices.

Yuneec Typhoon H

If you’re looking for a drone that can fly above the 400 feet threshold, you might want to consider the Yuneec Typhoon H.

The Typhoon H has a range of over 1 mile and a maximum flight time of 25 minutes. It is equipped with an adjustable 4k camera with a 16mp sensor.

The camera is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, which gives it full 360 degrees of freedom for smooth video without any jerkiness, shake, or vibration. It has a flight ceiling of 1,000 feet above sea level, so if you’re near higher terrain that should be kept in mind as well.

Parrot Rolling Spider

The Parrot Rolling Spider is a little drone that can fly up to 11 mph and up to 65 feet in the air. You can attach wheels to it, which allow you to drive it on walls or along the ceiling. There’s a camera mounted on its underbelly, so you get an aerial view as you zoom around your house.

You can control all of this using an app on your phone, which is pretty neat. The Parrot Rolling Spider is great for beginners who aren’t afraid of heights! Price: $69.99

Dji Phantom 4

The DJI Phantom 4 is a drone that can fly at altitudes above 400 feet. With its advanced features, it’s an excellent choice for both beginners and professionals.

The Phantom 4 uses precision flying and stable hovering to take sharp photos and videos. It also has obstacle avoidance technology to prevent collisions, longer flight times to keep you aloft, and the ability to fly back should it lose connection with your remote. If you want a drone that can perform well in any situation without endangering people or property around you, the Phantom 4 will perform admirably.

Frequently Asked Question (what Happens If You Fly A Drone Above 400 Feet)

Can We Fly Drone Above 400 Feet?

Yes, you can fly a drone above 400 feet in the United States. But should you?

The answer depends on where you live. In some states, flying drones above 400 feet is illegal and could get you into trouble with the law. In most areas of the country, however—including California and Texas—you are permitted to fly drones over 400 feet if:

  • You follow all FAA regulations
  • You do not fly near airports or other restricted airspace

What Happens If You Fly A Drone Above 400 Feet?

You may be surprised to learn that flying a drone above 400 feet is illegal, and if you’re caught doing it, you could be subject to civil penalties.

The FAA will consider flying a drone above 400 feet to be reckless. The FAA considers flying a drone above 400 feet to be reckless because the higher you fly your drone, the more likely it is that someone on the ground might mistake your aircraft for an airplane or helicopter and get hurt as a result.

What About Anything That Your Drone Hits If You Don’t Keep It Under 400 Feet?

If your drone hits something or someone, you may be liable for damages and fines. And if the incident results in harm to anyone’s person or property, you could also be charged with a crime.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said that it will continue to investigate incidents of flying above 400 feet first-hand when they occur. If it finds that someone was operating a drone illegally and was responsible for causing damage or injury, the agency will take action against that person—and possibly their drone as well.

How High Can Drones Go?

The maximum altitude for recreational drone flights is 400 feet above ground level, or about 122 meters. If you have a pilot’s license, however, you can fly higher than that—as long as it’s under Part 107 (or if you’re operating under a Part 61 waiver).

Though there are no strict regulations on how high drones can be flown in the United States, there are some guidelines to keep in mind when flying your drone. The FAA recommends flying no higher than 400 feet above ground level or 122 meters above sea level if you want to avoid running into any problems with local law enforcement officials or other authorities who may try stopping your flight.


If you fly your drone above 400 feet, you may be breaking the law. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has strict rules about flying drones, including a height limit of 400 feet. If you fly above that altitude, you could face fines and penalties from the FAA.

Flying a drone above 400 feet without authorization is a federal offense and can result in steep fines. What’s more, flying high can also damage your drone, making it all the more expensive to repair. So you really don’t want to fly high just because you can.

A good rule of thumb is to never fly your drone higher than you would be willing to fall. In other words, if you wouldn’t jump off a cliff with your drone in hand, don’t fly it at higher elevation!

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