Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Here are some common questions about Drone photography:
What is a Drone?
Drone is a generic term for remote-controlled aircraft that contain some kind of imaging system.
Also known as:
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
- Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA)
- Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft (SUSA)
- Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
Essentially, in most cases, they are an aerial camera platform capable of flying above, below, and around the subject to capture video and still photography.
What can a drone do for me?
The public are getting used to drone photography, but the possibilities of what they can do are expanding fast.
We can offer:
- Dynamic aerial photography
- Stunning aerial videography in 4K resolution
- By combining us with your wedding photographer we provide wonderful aerial images and videos of your Special Day
- Building inspection:
Buying a house and need the roof and gutters checked?
Resolving boundary disputes?
Worried about potential flooding risks?
Need to view your solar panels and assess their efficiency?
Lost an animal?
- Solar Farm inspection
- Building project progress – perhaps overlaying progress shots before releasing stage payments?
- Building inspection:
- Selling a property, residential or commercial, and want to create the first and lasting impression? we can take video and stills for you to edit, or we can deliver a stunning finished promotional for you.
Are you licenced?
In the UK the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requires, by law, that anyone flying a drone for commercial purposes must hold a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO).
Whilst not a licence (there is no such thing in the UK), all our Remote Pilots hold a valid PfCO
What is involved in becoming CAA approved?
Gaining a PfCO requires training for EACH Remote Pilot by a formally recognised training establishment in Meteorology, Airlaw, Airmanship, and an examination. Once this is completed the trainee pilot must then complete a practical flying assessment. If successful in both areas the training body will then make a recommendation to the CAA for a PfCO; however, it doesn’t end there.
Before making an application the Remote Pilot must demonstrate a minimum number of flying hours, professional insurance cover, and complete an operations manual (Ops Manual)… Ours is currently 38 pages long!
The CAA will then review the manual, training establishment’s recommendation, the hard-cash handed over to them, and insurance cover before they will issue the PfCO.
It doesn’t end there.
The Remote Pilot must maintain a minimum number of logged flying hours, and resubmit the application every year!
Can I just buy a drone and do it myself?
In short, No.
Firstly, if the images or footage is to be used for ANY commercial gain (including YouTube clicks) the pilot MUST hold a valid PfCO at the time of filming.
Secondly, the equipment for good quality, stable flight and imaging is not cheap.
Finally, from November 2019 the UK will require ALL drones over 250g, including battery and camera, to be officially registered. It is then planned that ALL Remote Pilots will have to undergo formal training and assessment.
As much as drone flying is fun, the potential for bringing-down an aircraft carrying people by irresponsible/untrained drone flying is very real. Just check YouTube for near-miss videos and you will see the need for safe, professional and credible Remote Pilots.
Can you film at night?
Yes. At Unmanned Images our Remote Pilots hold what is called a ‘Night Rating’, and our aircraft are suitably equipped with the required additions.
What do you charge?
This is a typical “how long is a piece of string” type of question, but completely understandable.
There are a number of general points to consider:
- Location – The UK is covered with invisible patches of sky called Airspace (A through to G). Some go from the surface to space, others start at particular levels. We need to ensure that we are operating at legal levels within the accessible airspace.
Add to this the legal requirements for:
Take-off and landing zones
Alternative landing zone for emergencies
The need to maintain minimum distances to People, Structures, and Vessels
The need to maintain Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) whilst flying (no fancy goggles allowed)This may involve one or more pre-flight visits
- Duration – How long will we need to fly, and how long will it take to set-up and breakdown
- Type of imaging required (Stills/video/raw/edited etc.)
- Planning and permissions – In some cases we have to submit an application for Non-Standard Flying Operations (NSF), which involves making an Operational Safety Case to the CAA
- Post capture editing – Do you want a finished product, or raw, unedited images/footage?
Every job requires, as a minimum:
- Risk Assessment – A process which is documented before and during the job and includes:
- Visibility of the aircraft throughout the job
- Public access
- selection of take-off/landing point (TOLP) and alternatives
- Potential radio interference
- Electronic and paper record keeping for the CAA
- Weather Assessment – forms part of the Risk Assessment
- Pre-flight equipment inspection
- Post-flight equipment inspection
- Privacy Assessment – notification to any persons within a specified exclusion zone (generally 50m of the aircraft)
- Obstructions Assessment ~ (pylons, masts, overhead cables etc.)
- Bylaw checks with the local council
- Property assessments – nearby properties, structures, vessels, and vehicles within the immediate exclusion zone
- Insurance – based on location
- Transport – we have to get to the location, and back again
By now you have an idea of what is involved in safe and professional Drone operation, yet “all this is well and good, but what are the costs?”, we hear you say. Well to give an idea using guide prices only:
- Roof survey (all unedited video and stills supplied) between £200 for a house and £600 for an industrial unit.
- Property video and stills start at £300 depending on location, size and finished article (raw or edited, music, voice-over etc.)
- Wedding photography stills and videos by Drone – Starting at £250 for high resolution stills, with options to include aerial video edited into a beautiful reminder of the day, using music of your choice.
- Drone + pilot availability for 6 hours using one-man crew starting at £600 – unedited footage up to 4K resolution
- All aerial work is fully insured and flown by CAA approved Remote Pilots.