Is flying a drone safe?

Yes, we have very strict safety measures in place. We carry out a thorough risk assessment before all flights and every aircraft is flight tested and maintained before any flight. We also have onboard safety measures and at the flick of a switch the drone will come “home” and land by its self. The same procedure is in place should the batteries run low or we lose communication with the craft.

What are your flight times?

A typical flight lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. However, these times vary depending on a variety of factors including the weather, flight characteristics and the job requirements. Although these flight times may not seem like very much, in our experience they are easily long enough to enable us to achieve a great deal. We also carry with us a number of batteries which can be swapped over quickly enough in order to proceed with the flight almost immediately. We also have on-site charging capabilities allowing us to always have enough batteries to be able to begin another flight.

What weather conditions can you fly in?

Generally speaking, we can fly in weather conditions with winds up to 20mph and no more than very light rain. We prefer to operate in good weather conditions, due to the negative impact it could have on the quality of the photo. If there are adverse weather visibility conditions (e.g. fog/haze) we may need to alter our flight plan in order to maintain a line of sight with the UAV.

Can you fly at night?

We can apply to the CAA on a job by job basis if the client requires this service. We will need prior warning as an application to the CAA can take up to a month to process.

What is the maximum distance and height you can fly to?

As ruled by the CAA, we are permitted to fly at heights of up to 400ft above ground level (approximately 120m), and at distances of 500m from the pilot. This is in order to ensure the UAV stays in the pilot’s line of sight.

Are you able to operate in congested areas, such as Central London?

Yes this is possible. Sometimes extra permissions need to be obtained from the CAA when operating in Central London. The cost of the survey can increase if it is in a complex area.

Is there anywhere you can’t fly?

Unfortunately, yes. As well as the constraints set out by the CAA to protect public privacy, there are certain airspaces across the country where we need permission from the relevant Air Traffic Control to fly. These areas are typically around airports and sites of military activity. We also need permission from the landowner for land we want to take-off or land on.

Can you fly indoors?

Yes, we’re perfectly able to fly indoors.

How fast can it fly?

The maximum speed of the DJI Phantom is 20mph. The maximum speed of the DGI Inspire is 48mph

How much do your services cost?

Due to how much our work tends to vary in terms of timescale and data processing requirements, it is very difficult to quote a standard price for our jobs but we are always happy to offer a free no obligation quote. We are usually able to give you a rough estimate of costs in a quick phone call.

Please contact us to discuss your aerial surveying needs and we will supply you with a bespoke estimated quote for our services.

Safety

Are you insured?

Yes – all our machines and equipment are insured, and we have £5 million public liability insurance.

Are you legally allowed to do this?

Yes, we hold a “Permission for Commercial Operation” (PFCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which regulates aviation activity in the United Kingdom. This allows us to operate our UAVs commercially and perform aerial data acquisition. Furthermore, we always operate well within applicable legislation, including CAA regulations and the Data Protection Act. For more information on legal stipulations surrounding the use of UAVs, please see the CAA’s guidance at www.caa.co.uk/unmannedaircraft/.

What qualifications and training do your pilots have?

We are fully CAA Approved and have permission to Operate with accredited BNUC-S qualifications.

What emergency prevention features do your UAVs have?

As well as our numerous procedures which reduce the likelihood of an accident, our systems all possess in-built emergency prevention features to minimise any damage in the unlikely event of an emergency. This includes low battery voltage alarms, motor redundancy and a return to home feature which, if contact with the radio controller is lost, allows the UAV to fly back to its take-off zone at a pre-defined height and land itself.

Do you do demonstrations?

Yes, we’re happy to arrange demonstrations of our capabilities. Please contact us to discuss this.

How do people react when they see you flying?

Generally everybody we encounter is very positive and enthusiastic about the use of UAVs for aerial surveys. Despite the sometimes negative reputation ‘drones’ have in the media, related to their military uses, we have found that people tend to be very excited by the technology.

Do you allow clients to fly your UAVs?

Due to insurance and legislative restrictions, we are unfortunately unable to allow clients to operate our UAVs. This is because all commercial pilots must hold a remote pilot license. However, clients are always welcome to accompany us on jobs.

What regions do you operate in?

As aviation laws differ country to country, we are currently only able to offer our services in the UK. We are based in East London and operate nationwide.