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Altering flight height software restrictions

Apr 3, 2016
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Los Angeles
I understand the FAA reasons for wanting restrictions, however the 400 ft. max height limit on the new Typhoon H is going to be an issue for my remote landscape imaging. And by remote I mean far far from any city, far from any airports, or flight paths.

Is there a way around this? Like is there a way I could I alter the code to increase that --and then revert it back when I am done? Or would that be breaking the law.. which I won't do.
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If you register yourself with the FAA, then you would be violating the written agreement that you filed saying that you would stay below 400' AGL and would be subject to the penalties if caught. Does not matter if you are in a downtown park, or the corner of No and Where, where a plane would only be flying that low if it was coming in for an emergency landing.

I don't know if the Typhoon H will have the same features as the Q500 where you can change the ceiling height in the GUI interface.
If used commercially, on further investigation I discovered one can actually petition the FAA for an exemption. While the process is nothing short of a mini nightmare, it can be done. They don't even have a standard form --one has to figure out how to do it by sifting through a lot of information, researching codes and reviewing other approved petitions.

For those that want more info --this is the email reply I received when I asked for the form:


Thank you for your email. There is no set form to apply for a Section 333 exemption.

Please carefully review the guidance found here Section 333.

I strongly recommend you review the exemption the FAA granted to Aeryon Labs, and the other exemptions that are referenced within that. I also recommend you visit regulations.gov and review the petitions that were submitted by these operators. These provide a good set of references for you.

Regarding exemptions, 14 CFR part 11 describes the FAA rulemaking process. Exemptions are considered rulemaking. Please review part 11 and also visit Rulemaking for more guidance on this process.
Part 11 requires that the petitioner identify the specific applicable regulations from which relief is required and describe how the operator will maintain an equivalent level of safety or no adverse impact to safety. Part 11 also states that operators should petition for exemption approximately 120 days in advance of the planned operation. The reference exemptions and petitions will help you understand this more thoroughly.

Current statutes require that all aircraft operations in the National Airspace System (NAS) be conducted by pilots holding an appropriate airman certificate and for the typical operations conducted under Section 333 related grants of exemption. The FAA determined that they can be conducted safely by airman holding airline transport, commercial, private, recreational, or sport pilot certificates.

The FAA cannot deviate from this statutory requirement. For more information, visit: Airmen Certification

For guidance on how to submit a Petition for Section 333 Exemption, please visit Petitioning for Exemption under Section 333.

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