Frequently Asked Questions

Please find our frequently asked questions below. If you cannot find the answer you require, please email us at info@drone-air.com or call us on 01273 921991 and we will be happy to assist you.

How many years of aerial videography and aerial photography experience do you have?

We have been filming and photographing aerial imagery since 2007.

Have you worked with any notable clients I may have heard of?

In broadcast we have worked for the BBC, ITV, Sky, Discovery Channel, TF1 and CBS as well as other international broadcasters. Other clients include EDF, Barking & Dagenham City Council, French Metropolitan Police and the Paris Air Show. Take a look at our Testimonials page to find out what our clients think of our work.

Which platform should I choose? UAV (drone) or helicopter?

Both platforms offer different and distinct advantages. Please see our Our Aircraft page, which explains the benefits and limitations of each platform.

To what altitude are UAVs and helicopters legally allowed to fly?

UAVs are legally required to fly below 400 feet and helicopters are legally required to fly above 500 feet and no lower than 2,000 ft over urban areas. In all cases exceptions can be made if approval from the CAA is granted. Let us know your requirements and we can recommend the likelihood of permission being granted.

Are you able to fly at night?

Yes, we have been granted special permissions from the CAA for flying drones at night and helicopter night flying is also an option.

Can I see what the camera is recording in real-time?

If you would like to be present and watch the aerial view as it is recorded, for UAV shoots, you can watch via our ground-based monitoring screens. In the case of helicopter filming, our helicopter can be configured to take up to three passengers with a director’s monitor.

What formats do you offer for the recorded footage?

For UAV shoots we offer the footage in mp4 format recorded at 100mb/s in 4k or up to 200mb/s in 1080p. For Helicopter shoots our Cineflex system accepts a range of recorders, from solid state options such as the Odyssey SSD or P2, to tape formats such as HDCAM and HDCAM SR.

What are your aerial filming prices and aerial photography prices?

Our standard prices are as follows:

UAV:

  • Day rate: £1,500 with GH4, pilot and payload operator
  • Day rate: £1,200 with GH4 and pilot (still photography only)
  • Additional: HD lightbridge (live broadcasts) – £200/day

Helicopter:

  • Day rate: £750 with Cineflex operator only
  • Day rate: £550 with Cineflex technician only
  • Day rate: £1,400 with Cineflex only
  • Package rate: £5,000 with full Cineflex setup: SSD recorder, operator, pilot and one hour of flight in the twin engine AS355. Additional hours are at a rate of £1,000.

These are our standard prices, but please contact us to discuss your project and the costs involved.

Do you require payment in advance?

We require 50% of the total amount of your shoot in advance to secure your filming date. We require the balance 48hrs in advance of the shoot, as we will be able to confirm the weather is suitable at this time.

What if the weather is bad on the day of the shoot?

We closely monitor the weather and if we believe the weather is likely to be bad at least 48 hours in advance, we will move the shoot to the next suitable day. Provided we are able to reschedule this will be at no additional cost. Where we cannot reschedule due to factors outside our control (i.e. client availability, live events) we cannot refund the initial payment.

What about flying restrictions?

We always conduct an online site survey and check for any flight restrictions or other factors that may limit us. We then arrange for any special permissions if necessary.

Where are you based?

We are based in Lewes in East Sussex in the UK but will travel nationwide, to Europe, and internationally to help you achieve the perfect aerial shot.

I have a project in mind which isn’t listed under your available services. Can I still work with you?

Yes by all means. If your planned project is not listed under our Services page, please see our Other services page, or contact us with your enquiry. We will consider all proposals.

Can you edit and post-produce my aerial images or aerial video?

Yes absolutely. Please see our Post-Production page for more details.

Do you offer any form of online promotion for the finished product?

Yes. Our parent company, So Motion specialises in the online promotion of video.

What make and model of camera drone do you use?

Our current flagship unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV is the DJI S900 hexacopter, coupled with the Panasonic Lumix GH4 4K resolution camera. Further information can be found on our Our Aircraft page.

How long can the UAV fly for?

Our UAV can fly for up to 12 minutes at a time. Battery changeover only takes three minutes (five minutes if the camera battery also needs to be changed). We always carry a large supply of batteries, so loss of power is not an issue and we are able to fly all day with very little disruption.

What is the range of the UAV?

The UAV can safely fly within a range of 500 metres.

What happens if the UAV goes out of range, loses power, or the pilot is incapacitated?

Our drone has failsafe ‘auto-land’ and ‘return to home’ modes, which ensure it automatically returns to base in the unlikely event of signal loss, low power, if our pilot becomes incapacitated, or any other unforeseeable issue.

How fast can the UAV fly?

The maximum ascent speed is six metres per second with no payload. The maximum flight speed is 16 metres per second with no payload. Attaching the camera slightly reduces these maximum speeds.

How many people are required for a drone shoot?

At least two. Our drone shoots require one qualified pilot and one experienced camera operator. For operations in areas with members of the public present we may require an observer in addition. For complicated shoots, where we are filming near large crowds we may need to mark out our flight plan with a cordon and employ additional spotters to keep the public away from this segregated area. We can advise on crew requirements at the time of the initial consultation.

Can you broadcast the footage live?

Yes, we can provide a clean HDMI or SDI output at 720p resolution, however our range from the ground receiver needs to be under 200 metres to avoid interference and breakup.

What resolution are the still photographs that the camera takes?

Our camera drone takes 16 megapixel still photos. These are included free of charge as part of our aerial filming service.

What weather conditions are you unable to fly in?

We are unable to fly in rainy conditions and very strong winds of over 25mph gusting. Whilst our UAV can cope with a little more, the wind makes the footage unusable in any event.

Do you have a commercial licence to fly drones?

Yes, we have full CAA permissions for commercial work.

Do you have public liability insurance?

Yes, we have public liability insurance of £5m.

Can you fly in congested areas?

Yes, as our drone weighs less than 7kg, we do not have to conduct case-by-case applications for congested areas. Other restrictions on flying close to the public still applies.

Can you conduct aerial filming and aerial photography in central London?

Yes, but there are more strict restrictions that apply in central London. Please let us know what you require and we will inform you of the best way we can capture the shots.

I need to film a very large crowd of people. Are there any additional restrictions for this?

If you need to film near a crowd of over 1,000 people, there are additional CAA restrictions, but please advise us of your requirements and we will help you to achieve your desired shots, whilst adhering to all the appropriate regulations.

Can you fly in indoor spaces?

Yes, if the space is large enough!

What make and model of helicopter and camera do you use?

We recommend a Eurocopter twin engine AS335 helicopter for filming as it provides a great amount of performance and endurance for the price per hour. We can fit the system to a smaller craft such as a Bell 402 (Jet Ranger or Long Ranger) or even an EC120. Smaller craft limit our ability to perform vertical moves or sit stationary, so please discuss your requirements with us first. We have also fitted the Cineflex to everything up to an ex-Vietnam Huey and a Super Puma. So if you have access to a large military craft let us know and we can advise on whether it is suitable.

The Cineflex HD camera system, comes with a Sony HDC-F950 camera and a 42x Fujinon zoom lens, which delivers breathtaking HD images. Additional information can be found on our Our Aircraft page.

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