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Autel Software! more drones to end up in the trees?

ProMapper

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To all Xstar Pilots in hilly country...Welcome to the trees!

Way points! First we find out about the 1600 foot range hard coded by Autel limit from the home point. Then we find that there is now a 396 foot limit of elevation for way points.

I'm not talking about east Tennessee hills/mountgains but gently rolling ones like in south central TN, West VA, KY, Etc. It is not unreasonable to find hills in excess of 300 to 400 foot elevation change. Our property in south central TN has an elevation change of 340 feet. Not at all excessive. Some of the hills I want to fly over for photos and to check on livestock are at best 4 wheel drive country.

Take the 396 foot maximum limit in the software and subtract the actual ground change of 340 feet and my drone will be 56 feet above the tops of the hills. Well into the TREES !

section 107.51 (b)

The altitude of the small unmanned aircraft cannot be higher than 400 feet above ground level, unless the small unmanned aircraft:


(1) Is flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure; and

(2) Does not fly higher than 400 feet above the structure's immediate uppermost limit.

Structures are defined here;
Obstacle Data - Structure Types

should we not be able to set the maximum altitude along the flight route to that ABOVE the obstacles to avoid crashes?

So why the vertical and Range limitations Autel?
 

fundy

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Have you tried to go as far as you can and reset the home point to the higher elevation.
 

xspwhite

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Also, did you go into your settings, and change your max altitude from 390 to something higher?
 

ProMapper

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Have not tried it yet but is a good idea. I will have to create a new reference list as all waypoints are flown at a different elevation if more than 10% different shooting for a maximum pixel size . that being said when I reset home I will have to be at a pre determined elevation. I should just be able to modify the spread sheet a bit.

Thanks
 

ProMapper

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yes, I checked maximum elevation and it was set at a considerable number above 396 and even zipped to a "random" elevation "slightly higher" than the 396 but without using the waypoint option. It Will exceed that elevation of 396 but not with GPS waypoint usage.
 

xspwhite

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I think it's on the same screen where the beginner mode switch is at. The default setting is something like 390 or 400 feet, but I believe you can change it to whatever you want. I keep mine at 390 to try and be safe. Even though I came across a plane yesterday that was cursing over the trees at about 200 feet.

GOT AH BE CAREFUL FOLKS!
 

xspwhite

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yes, I checked maximum elevation and it was set at a considerable number above 396 and even zipped to a "random" elevation "slightly higher" than the 396 but without using the waypoint option. It Will exceed that elevation of 396 but not with GPS waypoint usage.

That sucks. I'm irritated about the orbit mode only allowing it a 300 foot radius.
 

ProMapper

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Why is there a 396 foot elevation limit when planning gps waypoints.

reply message from Autel. as well as my reply back to customer support.

"Thanks for contacting Autel Robotics. This limit is in place due to FAA regulations you can adjust the altitude limit under the flight controller settings up 2600FT. This should allow you to adjust waypoints higher "

my reply; "
I just went and checked it. I set the elevation in flight controller settings and went back to modify the waypoint. It would NOT let me enter a value higher than 396. In fact if I entered the first number as a 4 or greater it would red out and it I did enter a value higher than 396 I could but could not "OK" out of the screen.

"Are you saying that the FAA is mandating Autel to set a software or firmware limit?"

I would like to know if anyone else has verified my findings.
 

ProMapper

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looks like a final reply from Autel.

"
Hello Greg
The FAA does not mandate us on anything. These are our safety precations we have put in place. My apologies for the confusion. We will be seeing updates to waypoint mission in the coming months "
 

johnny

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I'm curious about one thing. you have mentioned "Some of the hills I want to fly over for photos and to check on livestock are at best 4 wheel drive country.". This implies that you will be flying over the top of the hill and onward. How are you maintaining the "visual line of sight" rule. I'm just curious as I have some rather tall hills also and if I try to fly over them I can't see my drone. Just sayin!!!
 

ProMapper

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Flying "onward" beyond visual site would of course be contrary to the regulations that we all should follow lest we invoke the wrath of the federal government and they decide to further regulate our "hobby". I like others believe if we do not self regulate then someone else will regulate for us.

Assuming I have a ridge line that I wish to view over and into the next valley but access to the ridge is not possible due to slope, trees, rocks etc. access by land to the next valley/ draw is possible with a 3 mile 4wd trail which I don't care to use except when moving livestock back and forth. However, If I were to get to the top I could look down into the next valley/draw to view whatever my object of interest was without loosing site of the aircraft. in fact I can see both valleys on either side implying I can also see up from the bottom keeping the aircraft in site.

So basically, if there was a riidge with a valley/draw on both sides that implies by definition of a ridge that there is a greater elevation on top of the ridge than in the valleys/draws. In my case there is a 330 foot difference from the dirt at the top of the ridge and the dirt at the bottom of the draw/valley. If I launch from the bottom of the valley and hover above the top of the ridge or fly parallel to it I can look down into the next valley/draw. without loosing site of the aircraft. But because of the 400 foot rule from point of takeoff I can not get over the trees on the top of the ridge.

And no, not every tree on the ridge is over 70 feet but the varying tops along the ridge can make some of the trees above the permitted 400ft.

My real point is that the FAA regulations as mentioned above REQUIRE for the PIC (pilot in command) to remain above and or sideways from an Obstacle/obstruction. And trees are a specific item listed in definitions of Obstacles in the FAA document. SO, I am upset that Autel Robotics limits Way Point elevation to 396 feet above the takeoff point and not 396 feet from the Obstructions! Which of course only the pilot would have real time knowledge of.

Yes, I could fly manually but flying from waypoint to waypoint within visual range is a better way and more consistant when I want to compare photos or video of the same area every day. Military photo interpreters will tell you If you really want to know what is going on on the ground, do not look at what is on the ground but look at what has changed over time. the same can be said for trails, fences, gates, downed trees, etc.

Hope that helped.
 

johnny

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Flying "onward" beyond visual site would of course be contrary to the regulations that we all should follow lest we invoke the wrath of the federal government and they decide to further regulate our "hobby". I like others believe if we do not self regulate then someone else will regulate for us.

Assuming I have a ridge line that I wish to view over and into the next valley but access to the ridge is not possible due to slope, trees, rocks etc. access by land to the next valley/ draw is possible with a 3 mile 4wd trail which I don't care to use except when moving livestock back and forth. However, If I were to get to the top I could look down into the next valley/draw to view whatever my object of interest was without loosing site of the aircraft. in fact I can see both valleys on either side implying I can also see up from the bottom keeping the aircraft in site.

So basically, if there was a riidge with a valley/draw on both sides that implies by definition of a ridge that there is a greater elevation on top of the ridge than in the valleys/draws. In my case there is a 330 foot difference from the dirt at the top of the ridge and the dirt at the bottom of the draw/valley. If I launch from the bottom of the valley and hover above the top of the ridge or fly parallel to it I can look down into the next valley/draw. without loosing site of the aircraft. But because of the 400 foot rule from point of takeoff I can not get over the trees on the top of the ridge.

And no, not every tree on the ridge is over 70 feet but the varying tops along the ridge can make some of the trees above the permitted 400ft.

My real point is that the FAA regulations as mentioned above REQUIRE for the PIC (pilot in command) to remain above and or sideways from an Obstacle/obstruction. And trees are a specific item listed in definitions of Obstacles in the FAA document. SO, I am upset that Autel Robotics limits Way Point elevation to 396 feet above the takeoff point and not 396 feet from the Obstructions! Which of course only the pilot would have real time knowledge of.

Yes, I could fly manually but flying from waypoint to waypoint within visual range is a better way and more consistant when I want to compare photos or video of the same area every day. Military photo interpreters will tell you If you really want to know what is going on on the ground, do not look at what is on the ground but look at what has changed over time. the same can be said for trails, fences, gates, downed trees, etc.

Hope that helped.
Oh I agree 100% the 400 ft limit is agl and if there is a 1000 foot hill you should be able to go to 1400 feet. As you said it is up to us to self police otherwise eventually there will be nowhere to fly unless you gave completed 100 pages of paperwork, signed your life away and donated your first born.
 

dwlow0920

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i've taken mine to 1000ft at a friends house out in the boonies to see what his house looks like at that alt.
 

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