Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers. However, if you have any questions not we have not covered then please get in touch. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 07725 104184.
Yes – Dropzone Images has the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) “Permission for Commercial Operations” PfCO which means as a licensed commercial operator of UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) we are governed and regulated by the CAA. The Civil Aviation PfCO is mandatory for anyone flying drones for commercial use in the UK. We are happy to show you our approvals.
Yes – Dropzone Images are fully insured against injury and damage for each flight with £2million public liability. Our insurance provider Moonrock are very flexible so we can increase our levels of public liability for temporary periods at short notice.
Under CAA regulations we are allowed to fly from ground level up to a maximum altitude of 400ft. The airspace for manned aircraft is over 500ft so this leaves a separation zone of 100 feet.
We do not fly in high winds and rain, although we can fly in winds gusting up to 25mph. Our advanced camera gimbal system gives very smooth shots even at these wind speeds.
Our drones are capable of flying in light rain but rainwater on the camera lenses can spoil any shots, therefore this is not advisable.
Our drones will fly in temperatures from -10°c to 40°c. In very cold weather we make sure the battery packs are warmed and kept warm before flying. The maximum drone flight times can be reduced by up to 50% in very cold temperatures.
We monitor the weather forecast 5 days in advance of any shoot. If the signs are not good we talk to the client 48 hours prior to the shoot.
If we both decide to stay with the day and we have bad weather, our pilots will wait on site as long as possible in the hope of a break in the weather.
If we have to re-schedule a date because of weather the booking deposit is transferred to the new date.
Weather is a known risk in the UK so we are as flexible as possible to ensure that bookings can be rearranged.
However, if a client requires us to attend despite Dropzone Images advising against the weather conditions and we are unable to fly, then the agreed rates will still be chargeable. The drone operator always has the final decision on whether the flight can be made safely.
The maximum flight time on a single battery in normal conditions is upto 30 minutes. On average we fly up to 20 – 25 minutes before landing and changing the battery. We carry spare pre-charged batteries on each shoot. It only takes a few minutes to change the battery and get back in air. So we are able to fly all day with very little disruption.
Yes – We can fly indoors but we need space. We have flown in warehouses, studios and for safety we can install propeller guards for indoor flights.
Our drones are battery powered with electric motors so there is no worry about polluting the environment. The dynamics of flying indoors are different. The construction and materials in the building can affect how the drone UAV flies.
Flights indoors do not come under the control of the CAA.
This depends on the job. In most cases we send a single pilot to client sites. In some instances we may require a multi manned crew for marshalling, spotting and in some instances a separate camera operator.
Some shoots also require more than one drone so that we can capture the scene from more than one angle. Dropzone Images can provide this service if required.
Yes – We stream the aerial drone footage in real time to the pilot’s remote controller which allows the client on the ground to see what the aerial camera is capturing.
We also have the capability to display onto a secondary monitor so that the drone operator and client can maintain social distance at all times.
This allows us to adjust the camera pan, tilt, framing and drone flight path as we fly to get the best shots.
Yes we can. We have a night rating from the CAA and all our pilots are trained to fly at night. We are highly skilled and experienced at night filming and photography and can deliver exceptional results.
Additional risk assessments during daylight hours are required to enable us to operate safely at night.
Our CAA approval clearly defines where and how we can fly.
The main operational conditions for a small unmanned aircraft SUA are:
• Maintaining a distance of 50m from people and property not in control of the pilot.
• During take off and landing maintain a distance of 30m from people and property not in control of the pilot.
• Ensure that no trespass laws are infringed.
• Do not fly directly overhead or within a minimum distance of 50m from any assembly of over 1000 people.
• Maximum height of 400ft above ground level.
• Maintain visual line of sight of the SUA to a maximum distance of 500m.
• Restrictions apply to certain areas of Central London and additional permissions to fly in these areas need to be sought from the CAA.
• Restrictions and rules apply to flying near an airport and aerodrome.
We can fly close to buildings and people when we have consent of the owner and the people in close proximity have been briefed and are under the control of the pilot.
This allows us to do close survey work of building, roofs, building sites, hotels and golf courses.
The maximum airspeed of our drones is 58 mph. Our maximum range permitted by the CAA is 500m with the pilot maintaining a visible line of sight at all times to the UAV. Our maximum permitted altitude by the CAA is 400ft. This is required so that the drone remains in Visual Line of Sight at all times.