How to Determine Obstacle Height with Your Drone - The Drone Trainer


Here we go with another great drone training question, “How can I determine obstacle height?” Obstacle avoidance is pretty much the number one thing that you need to do if you want to have a safe drone flight, and knowing their heights can be a big help. How do we figure out the height of an object? Let us show you how to determine obstacle height with this easy technique!

You could use an expensive laser rangefinder with height capability, or as you see in the video, we use the drone to determine obstacle height. If you have a bunch of trees, buildings, poles, whatever, these are the steps you follow to determine their height.

1. Look at your objects and determine which one looks the highest.

2. Start your drone off at the lowest point that you’re going to be flying.

3. Ensure your drone displays a height of “0” at this ground point.


How to determine obstacle height - Zero Height


 4. If the object is above the horizon, you’re going to have to fly higher.


How to determine obstacle height - Below Horizon Height


5. Fly your drone up so that the object is just below the horizon.


How to determine obstacle height - Horizon Height


6. Look at your drone’s display to see what height the drone is at.

7. Repeat for any other obstacles on your site that you need to check height for.

8. There you have it! Your object will be at or just below that height!

Now that you know the height of your obstacle(s), start flying above them with peace of mind that you’re not going to crash into one of them. At what height you fly above objects is completely up to you! Some might want to fly at at least 30′ above any objects, while others are comfortable with flying much closer. Whatever you chose, make sure it’s within your skill set, and something that you’re comfortable with.

Alright, get out there and start flying! If you have any questions that you’d like answered in a video like this, be sure to ask us here and we’ll show you how it’s done! Remember, we’re The Drone Trainers, and we don’t just talk about how to do things with your drone, we actually show you how to do it! See you again soon!


  1. Good morning,
    I’m Teresa Mormone from 3f & Edin, an Italian IT company (

    I would like to ask you a questions about Matrice 100:
    I recently purchased the DJI M100 drone with Guidance but on the DJI Go app I can’t see “avoidance warnings”.

    Can you help me ?
    Thank you inadvance.

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