Mavic Air 2 is an impressive drone packed with all the buzzing features you might find in any high-end consumer drone.
The Mavic Air 2 became one of the hot-selling drones as soon as it was released in April 2020 and is still going strong.
If you recently got your Mavic Air 2 or planning to buy one soon and wondering about its max altitude, you are in the right place.
There is a myriad of information online regarding the Mavic Air 2 max altitude and if you are new to drones, things can get confusing.
After reading this post, you will be absolutely clear about the Mavic 2 max height.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 has a max altitude of 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) above sea level. This is technically the highest it can fly. However, the actual flight height is limited by law to 120 meters (394 feet) only.
Let’s explain things in more detail so that you don’t have any confusion remaining by the end of this short article.
Mavic Air 2 Max Altitude – how high can it fly?
Every drone has a service ceiling. It’s the max altitude a drone can fly technically. In the case of Mavic Air 2, this service ceiling is 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) above sea level.
If you fly your drone from any location, it can go as high as 5,000 meters from sea level. Above this level, the drone motors will stop generating any more lift to go higher because of low air pressure.
The important point to keep in mind is the “above sea level” part. The service ceiling is ALWAYS measured from sea level.
So, if you take off from a mountain top that is already 2,000 meters above sea level, you can go only 3,000 meters more before you hit the service ceiling.
Legal limit on altitude
Now that you know the Mavic Air 2 can climb as high as 5,000 meters above sea level, you might be wondering if you should or can go that high.
The answer is No.
In most countries, there is a limit to how high can drones go. This limit is usually 120 meters (394 feet) from the point of take-off (home point).
In the USA, Canada, and most EU countries, you cannot legally fly above that point.
That’s the reason why you have seen an altitude limit of 120 meters inside your DJI Fly App (see screenshot above).
You can further set this limit to 500 meters (1640 feet) if you are in a country that does not restrict flying up to that altitude.
Can you fly above legal limit?
Inside your DJI Fly app, you can set the max flight altitude between 20 – 500 meters above ground level.
Once set, you can take off and fly up to the max set altitude.
When you reach the common legal limit of 120 meters (394 feet) you will receive a warning about checking your local legal laws if you are allowed to go past that (check screenshot below)
You can fly above the 120 meters legal limit till you reach your set maximum altitude at or below 500 meters. Once you reach the set maximum altitude, your drone will simply stay there and won’t fly above.
NOTE: The legal set maximum altitude is measured from above ground level (AGL) at the point where you take off. Unlike the maximum service ceiling, this is not measured from sea level.
Now, do understand that this is a soft limit put inside your software. Physically, your drone can still climb up to the maximum height of 5,000 meters above sea level but is restricted from doing so via software lock.
Some daredevils have hacked their DJI Mavic Air 2 firmware to remove the altitude limit set by DJI to reach 5,000 meters above sea level BUT this is a highly not recommended practice and could reck your drone motherboard for good.
Similar software lock can also be seen for other DJI consumer drones like Mini 2.
How to reach a max service ceiling of 5,000 meters with Mavic Air 2?
The answer is YES. You can do this in two ways.
- Modify the Mavic Air 2 firmware to remove the altitude limit altogether (highly not recommended)
- Take off from a mountain top that is 4,500 meters above sea level.
The first option will remove the manufacturer’s set limit on altitude control and you can fly as high as the service ceiling.
But in doing so, you are going to void your warranty, break your local laws and potentially put others’ safety in danger.
The second option is totally fine as long as you are on a mountain altitude of 4,500 meters and know how to fly in high wind and possibly snowy weather because the weather at such a high altitude is not going to be very drone friendly.
From that take-off point, your drone will go up to 500 meters making your total altitude from sea level 5000 meters.
Now, these numbers can be off by some margin because the air pressure is not the same everywhere and if it is a particularly cold day, you might not reach 5000 meters ASL at all.
Another factor is your batteries. At such a low temperature, you won’t be having much juice in your batteries to fly for long.
All in all, just remain on the ground and fly like a normal person. All the good stuff is near the ground anyway.
Why you cannot go above 5,000 meters with Mavic Air 2?
Drones propellers generate lift when they spin and push down the air. As the propellers push down the air, the air push the drone up in reaction (Newton’s third law: every action has a reaction) and your drone goes up.
But as you gain altitude, the air pressure starts decreasing and the air gets thinner and thinner.
As you reach the service ceiling of your drone (for Mavic air it’s 5,000 meters ASL), the lift generated by the propellers is just enough to counter the weight of the drone and your drone just hovers without any going further up.
In other words, you have reached your service ceiling.
Summary – Mavic Air 2 Max Altitude
To summarise the discussion:
- Mavic Air 2 can go as high as 5,000 meters from above sea level.
- It is limited by software lock to go up to 500 meters from the take-off point.
- It is further limited to 120 meters by legal regulations in most countries.
I hope this discussion answered your questions about DJI Mavic Air 2 max altitude limits.
If you are still not satisfied, you can send me your questions via e-mail and I will be happy to answer. Happy Flying.