Thanks for your reply.
A couple of points to consider:
1) As per cited FAA response "Although such safety guidelines may provide for flight above 400 feet AGL, Section 336 also protects the safety of manned aircraft operations by requiring that model aircraft not interfere with and give way to manned aircraft. 8. The statute also explicitly affirms that the FAA may pursue enforcement action against model aircraft operators who endanger the safety of the NAS.9"..... Pretty strong language from FAA...Do you think they are going to make an example of an AMA flyer who causes an accident or close call above 400 ft.?
2) If you are reported by another aircraft ( local Helio pilot, ultra light, sport pilot ) or just some yahoo that reads too much right wing done spying BS on internet....
3) The cops show up take your Autel quad.... then turn it over to FAA who then reads your
flight log code and finds that you were flying beyond 400ft.... so what you do think happens next? AMA exception to 400 ft rule? Ha Ha Ha... lawyer time!
Look at past cases where they have fined people...FAA is looking to make headlines... They want to scare the crap out of sUAS flyers....
4) For me it is ALL about risk-reward.... Have been flying quads and shooting photos and video since 2013 ... When the FAA started fining people, I quite flying altogether until I got my 107 certs....Now that the FAA stepped in with some rational rules I feel good about flying and shooting again....So now I'm trying to add a legal aerial component to my Photography/video business.... Is a 500ft aerial photo better than a 400ft.... not in my book! If a client wants something different then I will go the COA route.
4)Tom, you sound like a rational guy that's a little miffed about being told what they can for can not do with their new Autel quad.... again two words...risk-reward!
Cheers and Happy New Year,
I get your point and I am not one to carelessly fly at over 1000' for example. However, point me to any document on the FAA site that states that over 400' is NOT allowed for non-commercial flying.
At best all FAA literature I have seen says "Guidelines" to fly below 400' not law etc.
You can read the Section 336 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, specifically the Special Rule for Model Aircraft.
Also remember that the FAA does acknowledge AMA as a community based organization and the safety rules that the AMA must operate by.
I have finally found some documents which make this 400' thing a little clearer.
The AMA has sent a letter asking for explanation of the 400' rule to the FAA a few months ago:
The FAA responded : " As stated in the FAA's Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, and in historical references below, the 400 foot altitude limit is RECOMMENDED and NOT a requirement of Section 336. Model aircraft may be flown consistently with Section 336 and agency guidance at altutidues above 400 when following a community based organization's safety guidelines. "
You can read the whole document here:
Therefore, does that mean that I will take out my drone to 500 feet tomorrow? No, of course not, but if safe to do so will will I if I need to, yes I may fly higher than 400'.