Frequently Asked Questions

Yes – Drone Photography Services 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. Drone Photography Services Pilots also have A2 CofC and GVC permissions which became active in January 2021.

Yes – Drone Photography Services are fully insured against injury and damage for each flight with £5million public liability to fly at altitudes of up to 400 feet.

Yes – All of Drone Photography Services pilots are very experienced and have passed the CAA-approved exams and flight assessments.  They all hold the established industry Remote Pilot Qualification (RPQ-s) for multi-rotor aircraft under 7kg. Also they hold the A2 Certificate of Competency and GVC that became active in January 2021

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. We can fly in winds gusting up to 22mph. Our advanced camera gimbal system gives very smooth shots in winds of up to about 15 mph.

Our drones are capable of flying in light rain but rainwater on the camera lenses can spoil any shots.

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 on one battery of 24 minutes 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 known business risk in the UK so we are as flexible as possible to ensure that bookings can be rearranged.

The maximum flight time on a single battery in normal conditions is upto 30 minutes. On average we fly up to 22 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.

95% of the time there are no issues with flying indoors but safety is our number one priority. Only a short flight test can give us the final answer.

No – We only hire our drones along with our own skilled and qualified pilot.

Each of our UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) are registered with the CAA and each pilot needs to be certified and licensed by the CAA.

This depends on the job.   In most cases we send a single pilot to client sites.  For a more complicated shoot we use two ground stations with a pilot and a separate camera operator.

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.

This lets us to adjust the camera pan, tilt, framing and drone flight path as we fly to get the best shots.

Yes we do.  However unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying rules and regulations vary from country to country.  Please ring us to discuss you requirements.

The maximum airspeed of our drones is over 50 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.

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.
• Permission of the landowner to take off and land.
• Directly overhead or within a minimum distance of 150m from an open air 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.
• During daylight hours, so that you can clearly see the SUA and take avoiding action from other air users if required.
• Outside of controlled airspace.
• 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.

Yes – We have autopilot software we can use to fly very precise predetermined flight patterns for specific commercial applications.

For example for agriculture flying over a 40-acre field, we can preset a horizontal pattern with a 75% overlap on each pass.

You will find quick guide to our UK prices here on the website.

Our prices may vary depending on the complexity, associated risks and location of the drone aerial photography. Please call or email us to discuss your plans and requirements.

Each job is unique and because all aerial photography drone flights are covered by CAA regulations.  We carry out a detailed online Pre-flight survey before we send you a final quote

They get different aerial footage and results.  Drones can fly closer to the subject, they are quieter, can be deployed quicker as weather and filming dictates, and they are a fraction of the cost of hiring a helicopter and pilot.

NDVI is a vegetation index, which is used to detect plant stress, ground moisture, irrigation issues, weeds, crop disease and compare vegetation conditions in various areas of a crop.

NDVI was developed by a NASA scientist named Compton Tucker in a 1977 paper entitled, “Red and Photographic Infrared Linear Combinations for Monitoring Vegetation.”

NDVI is simply a ratio of near infrared (NIR) reflectivity, minus red reflectivity (VIS) over NIR plus VIS. NDVI=(NIR-VIS)/(NIR+VIS)

The NIR reflectivity and red reflectivity should provide excellent contrast between plant and soil and even healthy plants and sickly plants.

It is not a gold standard, but rather an index that works.

Here are the most common ones:

SUA – small unmanned aircraft (used by the CAA)
SUSA – small unmanned surveillance aircraft (used by CAA)
UAV – unmanned aerial vehicle (used by the CAA)
RPA – remotely piloted aircraft
RPAS – remotely piloted aircraft system
UAS – unmanned aircraft systems
UA – unmanned aircraft

You often see them before or after the word drone – UAV drone or drone UAV

We are happy to offer a short demonstration flight in conjunction with a site visit.