Drone Flight Lesson – Altitudes

DRONE23 is pleased to provide this video in our series of “Flight Lessons” for drone pilots. Visit our website at http://www.DRONE23.com. Welcome to the community of DRONE23 Pilots!

Video highlights:

00:10 Introduction to the Flight Lesson
00:14 Above Ground Level (AGL)
00:30 FAA 400 Feet AGL Limit on Drone Operations
00:55 Beautiful Video from Rincon Beach Surf Spot near Santa Barbara, California
1:22 Mean Sea Level (MSL)
1:53 Yuneec Q500 Typhoon Tested to 8,000 Feet MSL
2:27 Altitude Quiz Time
3:59 Closing – Tune in for More Flight Lessons

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Learn more about the Yuneec Q500 Typhoon Aerial Photography and Videography Drone at http://www.DRONE23.com.

Hi, it’s Jimmy with another flight lesson from DRONE23. And today we’re going to be talking about the two different types of altitudes and why it’s important to understand the difference. The two altitudes that we’ll be discussing today are AGL and MSL.

The first altitude that we’ll be talking about is AGL, which height above ground level. A good way to remember AGL is imagining that you stretched out a tape measure from where you’re standing to where the drone is flying directly above you. That is your height AGL. The reason why this is important to know AGL is that the FAA limits you to flying up to an altitude of 400 feet AGL. Also, your controller on the Q500 limits you to flying no higher than 400 feet AGL. You’ll see in this example, the airplane is flying at 4,000 feet AGL and also flying at 5,000 feet MSL. We’ll talk about MSL in a little bit. But for now let’s focus on AGL. For example, you take off from sea level and you fly up to an altitude of 300 feet AGL, then you come across a hill that has a height of 200 feet, your actual height above the ground will be 100 feet AGL.

The difference between AGL and MSL is AGL is a measurement of how high you are flying above the terrain, whereas MSL is “Mean Sea Level”, it’s a measurement of how high you are in relation to sea level. Now, a good way to remember this is imagining there is no land, and you are elevated from sea level and how high you are above sea level is how high you are in MSL. The reason why it’s important to know what MSL is is because the higher you go, the lesser the performance of your drone. The motors have to work much harder to keep the airplane aloft and also the propellers are less efficient. The Q500 was tested to fly up to an altitude of 8,000 feet MSL. As your motors have to work harder at higher altitudes, your battery life will decrease, as it requires more energy to keep the airplane aloft than it would at sea level. At sea level, the Q500 has a battery of more than 20 minutes.

We hope this video helped you better understand the two different types of altitudes and their importance.

Now, it’s quiz time. So here we’re going to take a few minutes just to go over a few questions for a better understanding.

First question: What is the difference between AGL and MSL?

Answer: AGL is your height above ground level, and it changes as terrain does, whereas mean sea level is your altitude in relation to sea level.

Question 2: The FAA permits you to fly up an altitude of how many feet AGL?

Answer: The answer is 400 feet AGL, and also a good thing to know is the Q500 controller permits you to fly no higher than this altitude.

The 3rd and last question is “With an increase in altitude and a decrease in air density, does the motor performance increase or decrease? Does it affect the battery life of your Q500, and if so, why?

Answer: With an increase in altitude and a decrease in air density, the propellers are less efficient, thus meaning the motors have to work harder to keep the drone aloft, which requires more consumption of energy from the battery.

Thank you for watching this flight lesson from DRONE23. Please make sure to visit our website at www.DRONE23.com, also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DRONE23 and also on Twitter! Thank you for watching.

Listen to the audio here: http://yourlisten.com/DRONE23/drone-flight-lesson-altitudes

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Please note that these videos are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as formal flight instruction. We strongly recommend seeking professional flight instruction from a certified flight instructor.

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