Frequently Asked Questions
This is a tough question to answer when every job has unique features. Some aspects of every job are determined by legal requirements (no fly zones, proximity to airfields and other restricted areas etc.) and can be addressed fairly easily. However, others such as nearby structures/hazards, the availability of suitable take-off/landing site(s), and authority/access permissions may require that a preliminary site survey is carried out. By adhering to a staged process, which always includes a risk assessment, and requires close co-operation with the client, we can be confident that every aspect of a potential job is considered. This ensures that a firm quotation is provided that we are confident will fully satisfy our client’s needs.
Yes, and in addition there are areas where we would need to seek permission from the relevant authorities. These areas are typically around airports, sites of military activity and major conurbations such as London. In such cases it can take several weeks or even months for permission to be granted, and would be a prerequisite to undertaking any aerial work.
Permission is usually required from the landowner where we want to take-off and land, and we are limited by CAA rules regarding distance from the pilot (500 meters) and height above ground level (400 feet).
Safety is our principle concern and weather conditions need to be assessed to ensure that people and property are not put at risk. Moreover, if the quality or usefulness of the end product is likely to be compromised by weather conditions it would make sense to postpone the task. Generally speaking we can fly in benign weather conditions with winds of up to 22 mph. One of our drones, a DJI Matrice 200, is also capable of operating in light rain and sub-zero temperatures. We are limited by the CAA constraint of Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) to the drone, so may be restricted in poor visibility conditions (i.e. fog or mist).
Whilst strong winds can be challenging (especially when operating near trees or other structures), our cameras are mounted on gimbals which afford extremely steady high quality imagery. If a task has to be postponed due to bad weather, we will reschedule for another agreed time.
Our multi-rotor aircraft can fly for up to 30 minutes in good conditions. This may not seem very long, but you will be surprised at how much can be achieved during a single flight. We also carry a number of spare batteries, which enables us to increase the flight time necessary to complete the job.
The range of our aircraft is limited by the flight time, comprising outbound and inbound journeys as well as loiter (period on task) time. We must fly the drone within visual line of sight (VLOS) rules and no more than 500 meters from the pilot. Moreover, we must not fly over 400 feet (approximately 120 meters) above ground level.
Telemetry (flight data) is constantly fed back from the aircraft ensuring that operating parameters are conformed to.
Yes! A well designed, constructed, and certified drone, such as the ones in our inventory, are intrinsically safe. But as we all know, things can sometimes go wrong. All of our airframes are modern state-of-the-art machines, and are routinely maintained in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications. They are fitted with multiple failsafe systems including collision avoidance sensors, battery monitoring and automatic return to home functions in the event of signal loss. Our pilots have been professionally trained and examined, and are approved by the CAA for commercial operations. Handling emergencies is an integral part of the training. A detailed risk assessment and site survey(s) prior to undertaking any task ensures that potential risks have been appropriately addressed. Flights will never be undertaken without a satisfactory risk assessment.
Yes. It is a CAA prerequisite for Public Liability insurance to be held by companies or persons engaging in commercial drone operations. We are able to provide evidence of cover on request.
We are based in Malvern, Worcestershire, which aside from providing the magnificent backdrop of the Malvern Hills, affords easy access to all parts of the UK.