Popularity Of Hobby Drones
With Christmas just weeks away, you don’t have to look very far to find drones being plugged as perfect Christmas present for the gadget lovers everywhere. But, you also don’t have to search very hard to find home made videos of drone disasters, some with potentially dangerous outcomes. Getting your hobby drone stuck in a tree is one thing, but when an unidentified drone came close to hitting an Airbus A320 as it landed at London’s Heathrow during the summer, hobby droning suddenly became a front page issue. Having crossed over from just being used by military specialists, drones are now becoming a niche hobby for RC enthusiasts everywhere. What is effectively an aircraft, needs careful and structured rules and regulations in order to not only ensure that they are flown safely, but also to protect the privacy of those on the ground. If you are thinking of using drone footage for your commercial venture, you will need to ensure that you chose a provider who is fully accredited and correctly qualified. It Pays To Hire CAA Approved Drone Operators. Read on to find out why.
Safety & The Law
The issues surrounding unsafe drone flight apply to more scenarios then the big headline mentioned above. Be in no doubt, a 2kg object moving at 30 – 40mph can do a lot of damage to people and property. To get an idea of this, imagine dropping a 4lb club hammer from a two story building onto someones head. Yes, these are the kind of energies we are talking about here. It is not a trivial matter. A CAA approved drone operator will always ensure that a full risk analysis is carried out before any flight takes place. They will also ensure their equipment is serviced and in great condition. CAA approved drone operators will usually work in teams of two or three to ensure the flight operations area is safe, clear and managed. Please keep in mind, if a drone operator charges you money but does not have CAA approval, they are breaking the law.
Public Liability Insurance
‘Sorry’ just won’t cut it if your drone operator has injured someone, damaged property or rendered a work place inoperable. A CAA approved drone operator MUST have public liability insurance in case of the worst case scenario. However, the chances of a CAA approved drone operator making a critical mistake through ignorance or recklessness is massively lower then that of an illegal operator or hobby flyer. In very rare cases where the unforeseen happens, mandatory, substantial PLI cover goes a long way to putting things right for anyone involved.
A CAA approved drone operator is accountable to both the CAA and the Police. Unsafe practices can and should be reported so they can be thoroughly investigated. It is important to note that a CAA approved operator must report all incidents to the CAA and must be able to demonstrate they are flying to the letter of their operations manual, which the CAA approved as part of granting the operators Permission For Aerial Work / Permission For Commercial Operations (PfAW/PfCO).
As a paying customer your primary concern is the quality of the aerial photographs, aerial video or aerial survey you have commissioned. The operating characteristics of professional UAV (drones) far exceeds those of high street hobby drones. This results in smoother and more refined flight paths (in the right hands). The flights are carefully planned by the pilot and camera operator, then executed efficiently and safely in the air. The cameras on professional equipment are vastly superior to those on hobby drones, which results in high quality images free from fish eye, data loss and aberrations. The aerial photographs or aerial footage are not the end of the story. Frequently you need the images to be edited or processed to get compelling results. This is factored into our prices, and those of many other CAA approved operators. What initially seemed like a saving ends up becoming an expense if you have to commission video editing from a third party with whom you have no ongoing relationship and little room to negotiate.
Choose a qualified drone pilot for your aerial photography
Professional drone pilots (like ourselves) are fully CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) certified and have undertaken extensive training to ensure we know how to operate our drones safety and effectively. Using qualified pilots for a commercial project is an absolute must. As a professional aerial photography company covering London, Essex and the South East, our pilots are fully qualified, which means we:
- Have studied how to operate drones within the law, abiding by navigational orders and guidance laid down by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
- Have gained Unmanned Aircraft Qualifications (UAQ)
- Have gained the Permission for Aerial Work / Commercial Operations (PFAW/PFCO) certificate
- Have public liability insurance
- Have carefully created a CAA approved operations manual, setting out procedures to stringently asses and mitigate risk, flying as safely as possible.
So, if you need to capture stunning, top quality digital aerial photography for your marketing video, promotional material or website, contact us or speak to our fully qualified pilots today on 01277 200455.