Based on what you just reported, you are the tool, that is not responsible flying, hence the restrictions placed on everyone else to try to control users like you. Also based on your response to DesertWindAero and your silly avatar I would say you are more like 10.
I think it depends on where you are flying, if I am on private property and fly 6000 feet away it is not irresponsible, as far as against the law…FAA is not going to chase you down on your or a friends property, I have flown over 6000 feet away on my property in NC before I have to turn around, I start at 100 ft. up (2300' above sea level) and then follow terrain features on the screen. At 6000 ft. I am not off our property, I do have an aftermarket antenna.
Flying responsibly is the key, VLOS is a rule the FAA enacted, if you hit someone or something then they can say you were in violation of the rule.
There are other places you can legally fly and be responsible beyond VLOS, flying a warehouse or a house and turn a corner you are out of VLOS, to my knowledge in the US the FAA has not started VLOS fines, I lose track of the little Spark at a few hundred feet.
Next time I go to NC I plan to push the limit on the distance, there is just no place in FL to do it safely and responsibly.
I live in a very rural area far from airports. You might think this would be an excellent place to fly very high. HOWEVER, EVEN HERE I've seen planes, small ones, flying low. They are probably doing surveys or some type of agricultural observation. So there is a reason for our restriction. As more and more drones get into the air, that risk will increase. I assume more regulation and punishments for breaking the rules will ensue as time goes by, especially if people brag online about "how high I went." It may be that drones will have height restrictions built in to them. This can be complicated at a canyon site or high cliff where height is not as it appears. However, if ON the cliff or highest point, that would be where height calculation begins. Regulators are already freaking out when there is a close call. I suspect a "hit" will cause an instant law change. With those ever recurring "updates" it would be easy to change the way the drones fly.
I think he is referring to horizontal distance, not vertical. As to vertical, the 400 ft rule is relative to the take off point. I have a spark for personal fun, but I am in Law Enforcement and run my departments drone program. We fall under a blanket COA, which still has the height restrictions, so we just find the highest point in range of our target and launch from there. The second operator uses binoculars to keep VLOS if we’re flying long distances. That is a rarity though. With our platform we can keep VLOS up to around 3,500 ft.
It never hurts to "know" the limits,of the Spark! Knowing the distance, and "real world, true flight time" of the Spark, can make all the difference, in decisions of, do I have enough battery/flight time to reach that point to shoot video/pictures,and enough battery to make it back?