How High Can a Drone Fly Legally

Owning a new drone can be an exciting time and you just can’t wait to get the aircraft up flying in the sky and checking out the amazing scenery around you. A lot of beginners want to check out how high they can fly their drone and what it will look like from the birds-eye view of a great altitude.

Unfortunately, you can’t just send your drone to a big altitude, and there are some good reasons why you can’t just do that.

How High Can a Drone Fly Legally?

How high can a drone fly legally? In the United States, Australia, and the UK, the maximum altitude for flying a drone is 400ft (120 meters). If you hold a drone license you may get an exemption through FAA in the United States, CASA in Australia, or CAA in the UK.

Not all countries have the same drone laws and regulations, so make sure you check out the laws and rules for flying a drone in your state and country to ensure you are following the rules.

How high can a drone fly legally. This picture was taken from a DJI Mavic Mini at an altitude of 400-feet (120 meters).
This picture was taken at an altitude of 400-feet (120 meters)

Why Can’t I Fly My Drone Over 400 Feet Altitude?

Drone height restrictions are in place for a reason. The main reason is that there is a lot of aircraft that fly in airspace greater than 400-feet altitude. The chances of coming into contact with a manned aircraft would be very low but, if you were to have an accident with a manned aircraft, the outcome could be catastrophic. The penalty for causing such an incident would not be worth it. This is why there rules and regulations are in place when it comes to flying an unmanned aircraft vehicle.

If you are flying a drone that weighs less than 250 grams, depending on where you are, you may be eligible to fly within the airport limit restrictions. You must remain vigilant at all times, keep your aircraft in VLOS (Visual Line of Sight), and lower your aircraft immediately when a plane or helicopter is approaching.

How To Keep Your Drone At a Safe Altitude

Most drones that connect to a device such as a phone or a tablet will come with an app that is used on your phone i.e. DJI drones use DJI’s app that is specifically designed for the drone.

These apps have settings for you to set your maximum altitude, distance, and RTH (Return to Home) settings to ensure that when you reach the set parameters, your drone will not go any further and will also prompt you that you have reached the maximum height or distance.

So if you are worried that you may push the boundaries, set these on your device before exceeding the height restrictions. You will then have peace of mind that you won’t be breaking any laws and can focus on enjoying your flight and taking in the scenery.

Tips For Flying Your Drone at a High Altitude

Providing you aren’t exceeding the altitude limits for flying your drone. Here are some handy tips for flying your drone at a high altitude.

  • The higher the altitude usually means the higher the wind speed. Make sure you are aware of what wind speed your drone can safely handle. There are some apps that will tell you the wind speeds for different heights for your location. One of the most popular apps is called ‘UAV Forcast‘. UAV Forcast will tell you if it is safe to fly or not for your location also.
  • You must keep your drone in VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) at all times. Flying at a high altitude of 400-feet (120 meters) can make it hard to see your aircraft. So, make sure you can see it at all times because if it is BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) you could run into problems and could also be facing the law.
  • Ensure that your drone and controller are charged fully before going out to fly your drone. You don’t want to be at an altitude of 400-feet and realize that your drone or remote control battery is too low to bring it back down to land safely.
  • The higher the altitude you fly means the air has less density and can make it difficult to control your drone as you would at a lower level altitude.
  • Be aware of changing weather patterns. Weather and wind conditions can change very quickly, so keep an eye on the weather or check the forecast before heading out to fly your drone.
  • Don’t fly overcrowded areas. It is against the law to fly over crowds because of the risk of injury or property damage if something was to go wrong.


Now that you know how high can a drone fly legally, make sure you stick to the rules and regulations and you won’t be in trouble with the law. These rules are in place for a reason – to protect yourself and others.

So get out there with your drone and happy flying everyone!!

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