Frequently Asked Questions about aerial photography and filming

 

1. CAN YOU FLY ANYWHERE?

No, we're not permitted to fly wherever we like. We must have permission from the landowner of the take-off and landing site and in addition we are generally not allowed to fly the drone:

  • Within 50m* of any person or property not under our control (30m at take-off and landing)
  • More than 400ft above ground level
  • Further than 500m from the drone pilot (operator)
  • Out of visual-line-of-sight (VLOS) - ie. not behind any buildings
  • Overhead or within 150m of any open-air assembly of more than 1000 persons
  • Within 5km of an aerodrome or airport (unless we obtain permission from air traffic control)
  • Outside daylight hours

* 50m is in any direction not just horizontally, so think of it as a bubble around the aircraft.

 

It may be possible to obtain permission from the CAA to remove one or more of these restrictions but this involves making a special application, a process which can take several weeks.

 

 

2. WHAT DOES 'UNDER OUR CONTROL' MEAN?

This means that anybody owning/occupying a property and any people within 50m of our flight area are made aware that we are operating a camera drone, have no objections and have ageed to follow our instructions. To prevent members of the public coming within 50m it may be necessary to set up a manned cordon for the duration of the flight.

 

 

3. CAN YOU FLY IN RAIN AND WIND?

Not in rain or drizzle because water droplets will obscure the camera lens, it's not good for the drone's sophisticated electronics and the photographs won't look good. The Inspire can fly in winds of up to 20 mph but over that it becomes difficult to maintain stability for good aerial photography and filming.

 

 

4. HOW LONG CAN THE DRONE FLY BEFORE LANDING?

It depends on the wind conditions and flight plan but we usually get somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes on a battery. We have a number of batteries and also bring chargers to a shoot.

 

 

5. DOES THE DRONE HAVE ANY SAFETY FEATURES?

Yes the Inspire is fitted with a failsafe feature so that it will automatically return to the launch area on command, if the battery level gets too low or the control signal is lost. We can also fit propeller guards to protect the aircraft and individuals where we consider it necessary for safety reasons.

 

 

6. DO YOU FLY OVER PEOPLE AND ROADS?

Never over public roads unless they are closed off and in general not over people but it is permitted if they are under our control. In such situations safety is considered and appropriate measures taken. For example our flight path may be offset slightly instead of passing directly overhead, although it will still give the impression of filming from overhead.

 

 

7. CAN YOU FLY IN A BUILT-UP AREA?

As the Inspire comes under the 'less than 7kg' UAV category then we are permitted to fly in a congested area. However the 50m rule still applies, so as in (2) all property owners/occupiers and people within 50m of the flight area must be informed and agree to follow our instructions. It's possible to get this distance reduced by submitting a special saftey case to the CAA but this can be time consuming.

 

 

8. WHAT FORMATS DO YOU SHOOT IN?

Stills are shot in RAW(DNG) and JPEG formats at up to 16 megapixels resolution. Video comes as MOV or MPEG4 files, in full HD or 4k and at up to 60fps (NTSC) or 50fps(PAL). The images are recorded directly on to a microSD card within the camera body but can be previewed from the ground at the time of shooting.

 

 

9. CAN YOU EDIT THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEO?

The choice is yours. We can simply hand over the photographs and footage following a quick download onto a memory stick or alternatively we can produce a fully edited product.

 

 

10. CAN YOU OFFER GROUND LEVEL VIDEO AS WELL?

Yes we can. Working with our professional partners we are able to film, edit and produce all sorts of videos. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

 

 

11. WHERE DO YOU OPERATE?

We offer our services throughout the UK but primarily carry out aerial filming and photography in the South East from our base in East Sussex. We operate in West Sussex, Surrey and Kent covering the following towns: Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings, Tunbridge Wells, Crawley, Horsham, Uckfield,  Haywards Heath, Lewes, East Grinstead. We also work in Greater London but please note that the CAA impose severe restrictions when working here and special permission is likely to be needed to fly drones. 

 

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