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Author: topstuf
Date: July 9, 2019

​How High Can A Drone Fly? Capabilities & Regulations Explained

Are you interested in flying a drone above the clouds? Are you curious how high can a drone fly? Different drones come with different capabilities, so you need to choose the right range. Lots of newbies assume that the maximum control range is the maximum altitude a drone can fly – a terrible mistake. You can fly a drone over a field at five feet in the air and send it half a mile away. It is far, indeed, but it is still flying at five feet.

How high can a drone fly?

Comparing different drones

Some of the top middle range drones can go up to 300 yards in the sky. It is legal and it can be done without too much hassle. Even if you try to go higher, the drone will not go – you will lose control over it, so it will not get out of the area.

A top range drone can exceed a mile in altitude. Some of the best rated drones you can buy for commercial purposes can go up to four miles. Of course, there are situations when certain drones have flown up to 10,000 feet in the air – almost as high as airplanes.

If you are into high altitude flights and you want panoramic views of the horizon, one of these top range drones seems like a good idea. But then, where do you plan to use it?

Rules and regulations

FAA is the authority responsible for flying drones in the USA. Its jurisdiction is officially over a five mile radius from any kind of airport. Technically, any airspace above the USA is under its jurisdiction. In the USA, you can fly a drone up to 400 feet in the air – around 120 meters. Why? Easy – this is the minimum height for planes, so the general idea is to prevent accidents.

Another rule claims that you cannot fly a vehicle beyond visual range. In other words, you commit an illegal act if you can no longer see the drone – even if it is within 400 feet in height.

On the other hand, the European Union is more permissive. You can fly a drone in Europe as long as you do not exceed 500 feet.

Tips for flying a drone

Make sure you stay away from airports. Sure, if you live in a neighborhood close to an airport and you barely reach 100 feet in height, everything should be alright.

On another hand, the higher you push your drone, the more significant the damage it will do if it falls down, whether it falls over a moving car or people. As a general rule of thumb, avoid flying above people.

Finally, keep an eye on your battery. If it goes under 40%, it might be time to stop recording and take the drone down. You do not want it to fall from a few hundred feet in the air.​​


So, how high can a drone fly? While you will find reports and videos of drones flying at thousands of feet in the air, most of the top ones can go up to a few miles. But then, given the local laws and regulations, keep it under the limit. A drone sucked into the engine of an airplane can cause a tragedy, hence the importance of following rules.​


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