Helicopters flying low!

I live on a hill on the edge of a town, I have 5 acres around me so not near houses when I fly drone but notice that helicopters would be flying lower then my Mavic and I’m well in the restricted height limit.

I’m 4 miles as crow flies to nearest airport, no reason for helicopter being this low so far out from Airport, there’s no other place in county or town that has a heli pad except hospital which is next to airport, I know alot about landing sites and heights as I’ve done over 5 thousand flights in my job.

Only for me being careful and listening as well as scanning the skys constantly that I’ve not had a incident.

The low flying rules which affect helicopter operations can be found in Rule 5 of Section II of the Schedule to the Rules of the Air Regulations 1996, SI 1996/1396 made pursuant to Article 84(1) of the ANO. These rules may be summarised as follows:-
“A helicopter shall not fly below such a height as would enable it to alight without danger to persons or property on the surface, in the event of an engine failure.”
This is the most important rule as it directly affects safety and the CAA, which may give dispensations in certain circumstances to the other low flying rules, cannot grant variations to this one.
“Unless a helicopter is taking off or landing in accordance with normal aviation practice, no helicopter may fly closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure.”
This rule is sometimes referred to as the `500 foot Rule’, but for the present the word ‘closer’ is used and not ‘lower than’; thus flight over open moorland, for example at 200 feet, is legal providing no person or structure is within 500 feet. (Despite this the BHA encourages all pilots to fly as high as possible consistent with the weather and other factors.) The ‘500 foot Rule’ does not apply to police helicopters.

Edit: “Borrowed” from www.britishhelicopterassociation.org

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Thanks for response,

I would have been in helicopter’s low flying hedge hopping even when engine turned off and had air turbulence where we plummet at fast rate until it catches again (new pants needed a few times) I lost good mates in a roadside bomb so flying became more regular, I left northern Ireland then came back to a station where only safe to fly in fly out everyday.

But since the good Friday agreement I would hardly see helicopters but when I do they would have not bothered me as there imo at the time safe height not to bother me, a wee bit loud but it’s only for few secs. But since started flying drones I know that I would be well above these choppers that fly overhead.

Bloody dreading if I do come across a helicopter as I don’t won’t to be in this scenario do I quickly go up down left or right or just throw controller in the air and close my eyes😎

I will video it next time.

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You can make a complaint to the CAA but you need evidence in the form of a photo or video and the aircraft registration.

Have you though about putting some strobes on drone to make it more visible?

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Chances are, even with strobes, they won’t see you. Not expecting anything, so only half looking out and certainly not for anything so small.

99% of the time they’ll be flying from A to B in a pretty straight line without much change in altitude, so … if you can actually tell which side of their path you are - fly in the direction that will increase that space … would be my advice.

Also, they make a fair bit of noise, so you should be able to anticipate their arrival and reduce your height in time … unless they are flat out and so low (over trees, or something) that you can’t see them before it’s too late to make such decisions. Unlikely, though.

Same would apply if you came across this plane in Wales. LOL

I was paragliding at about 7,500ft in Italy, near Bassano … I could HEAR small jetS … no idea of their direction/heading/height … had a pretty confident feeling they were FAST. I just kept telling myself “What are the chances …. and would I actually see them before impact, anyway?”
Someone told me later that they passed directly under me by about 2,000ft. I never saw them. LOL

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Omg crazy lol, your right actually about the flight path from A to B as now thinking about it I have a chair I sit on and it seems to always fly’s straight above me.

@callum I will take a video time date and coordinates and talk to local small airport and see what they say as it maybe stupid paddy forgot to add a 0 to his height minimum.

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Taken 2 mins ago.VID_20180812_163307~3.mp4 (4.2 MB)

Just happen to be a plane instead of a helicopter lol

At what height are you estimating that to be?

Do you think it’s above 500 ?, I took that at normal view.
I thought it looks lower then my drone being at 400 ft🤔

I could be wrong and it’s my Perspective of size that makes me think drone is higher just would not like to take risk being a responsible flyer and respect the airspace.:grin:

I can’t be certain, obviously, but many hours spent at airfields looking up at planes in the circuit (1,000ft), I don’t get the impression that’s as low as 500ft.

It looks above 500ft to me but hard to tell from video.

I think you could work out distance to the aircraft if you know cameras focal length, sensor size and aircraft wingspan but I’m not sure of the formula.

I think it’s roughly this:


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Or more accurately:



Thanks by your calculations I’ve worked out there 600ft :sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::yum::yum::yum::yum:


Yep, that’s what I got as well :wink:

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I think someone’s pulling something…

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Ha ha your right mate​:joy::joy::joy::joy: