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Old 01-20-2012, 02:37 AM   #1
mmickels
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Default How do you estimate your altitude?

I like to fly high, but I don't want to go over the 400 foot limitation set by the AMA. What is the best/easiest way to estimate your altitude? I honestly don't know how high I'm flying. Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks!

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Old 01-20-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
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400ft is pretty high, unless you are deliberately trying to fly as high as possible, your unlikely to go higher unintentionally.

Easy way is to pace 400ft and see what your model looks like at that distance, can you make out skids/fins and use that as a reference.

I'd suspect the 450 you will be uncomfortable flying anywhere near that distance, depending on your eyesight, the 550 maybe a risk though ?

For RC gliders I've seen people put stripes on underside of the wing, 2" stripe, then 2" gap, 1" stripe, 1" gap, etc, you can tell how high you are from how many stripes you can distinguish.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:44 AM   #3
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The actual AMA rule is

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMA Guidelines
2. Model pilots will:
<SNIP>
(c) Not fly higher than approximately 400 feet above ground level within three (3) miles of an airport, without notifying the airport operator.
400ft is pretty high... the statue of liberty is less then 400ft tall... a typical 30 story building is just under 400ft tall... so that should give you an idea of how high 400 ft actually is.

I rarely go that high up... only when doing loooong autos or giant loops... and if I do, I am barely there.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:51 AM   #4
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Well, that seems reasonable enough. Thanks James!
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicovaludemero View Post
The actual AMA rule is



400ft is pretty high... the statue of liberty is less then 400ft tall... a typical 30 story building is just under 400ft tall... so that should give you an idea of how high 400 ft actually is.

I rarely go that high up... only when doing loooong autos or giant loops... and if I do, I am barely there.

Ah, didn't know about airports being included in the rule. Still, it is a good rule of thumb to go by. Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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cell towers are between 150 to 200 ft minimum , ask me how i know
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmickels View Post
I like to fly high, but I don't want to go over the 400 foot limitation set by the AMA. What is the best/easiest way to estimate your altitude? I honestly don't know how high I'm flying. Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks!

Mark
If it helps I have the spektrum altimeter telemetry module goes back to my dx8, with a hk500gt inside a ec-135 fuselage. I had that up to 210ft and that was certainly high enough for me......
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobys550 View Post
If it helps I have the spektrum altimeter telemetry module goes back to my dx8, with a hk500gt inside a ec-135 fuselage. I had that up to 210ft and that was certainly high enough for me......

yeah, find a buddy with a DX8 and ask to pop up to 400 feet to show you. Having said that I'd be very surprised if you're comfortable flying a 450 that high. On the other hand, why are you so bothered? As there's no way anyone can ever prove how high you are it's a bit of a moot point, you could have the head of the AMA and your local police chief stood next to you with a pair of binoculars each and they still would be none the wiser.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:46 PM   #9
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I think it may not be a question of getting caught but a question of how to avoid what one is not supposed to do.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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use the sun and shadows at high noon, pythagorean theorem? hover overhead, the ground is your right angle. You took geometry in school, pretty simple calculation
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:36 AM   #11
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if brave enough, strap a cellphone with gps to the heli.
just climb as high as you dare, and and then get the altitude from the gps.. then you at least know how high it is until you chicken out.
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:59 PM   #12
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I use my antenna as a reference. I got a mate to walk out a measured 400ft with the heli pointing at me and used the antenna to see how much poked out the side's. I can just see the end of the blades with my arms at full reach.

Worked for me as an approximate indication.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:31 AM   #13
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If I can still see it, it ain't too high.lol. seriously the 400ft limit only applies when your near an airport. There is no actual limit when not near an airport, there is of course common sense. I know I couldn't see my 450 well enough at 400ft to maintain orientation. Quite regularly break that limit with my IMAC plane and my glider though.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:45 PM   #14
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With my helis I don't think i ever come close to 400ft. A few of my planes have been little dots in the air and I wasn't sure if I could get it home. Haven't lost one yet...
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:28 AM   #15
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SO far not yet fly more than 50foot yet... also duno how to balance my heli when it was flying high...
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:50 PM   #16
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Planning to get an altimeter (or the GPS module if Spektrum fix it to provide altitude data!) just as I tend to fly between 'high' and 'very high' on the 450, so as to take pretty pictures with the keychain video camera strapped to it. To the point where I'm mostly just guessing orientation based on the direction that little black dot has started moving, and sending test-controls to confirm before bringing it down low enough to see clearly again. Not like it's going to hit anything up there unless a plane happens by, though a failure could be... pretty bad, with that much potential gliding distance if nothing else.

Been a bit worried about going over the 400' limit as a result.. though as far as I was aware, there was also an FAA regulation regarding the 400' ceiling (applying outside of that 3 mile radius), the AMA safety code just mirroring it to restate for clarity.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talesin View Post
though a failure could be... pretty bad, with that much potential gliding distance if nothing else.
If you have the failsafe set correctly (Motor off) I dont see a 450 gliding anywhere far, plummeting would be more accurate. Unlike planes helis tend to come down pretty close to where they were when you shut off the power, unless you actually try to auto.

Any non-radio failure you hit TH and let it go splat.
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