Frequently Asked Questions about Drones & Aerial Photography

Frequently Asked Questions

The topic of drones can open up endless questions and it can be a very confusing world! I’ll attempt to answer some common questions below, but if I’ve missed anything, just contact me and I will help you out.

  • What is aerial photography?

    Any photo or video shot from the air! In the past, most aerial photography was done from helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft. Now our drones can achieve similar or better results at a much cheaper cost!

  • I only want one photo, is it cheaper?

    It can be, yes, but keep in mind that most of the work involved in a drone operation is in the planning and permissions phase – hours of planning could go into a 5-minute flight.

    If the one picture you wanted to get required no extra permissions but a shot from the rear of the property would – then it would certainly be cheaper to just go for shots from the “easier” angle. Generally though, if we have put the work into planning the flight for one photo, we would certainly take a variety of shots that you can use too at no extra charge while we are at it.

    One good aerial photograph of a house for sale can have such a massive impact on it’s visibility and engagement on property websites, so the value returned nearly always outweighs the cost.

  • What is a drone?

    The term drone is widely used to describe unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Many drones have cameras, which allow you to see things from the drone’s perspective. 

  • Are you a trained drone pilot?

    Yes! I am proud to be a member of the Flyby Family after completing my Combined PfCO / GVC / A2 CofC course.

  • Do you have a drone licence?
    CAA Approved Drone Pilot

    There’s no such thing as a “drone licence” in the UK – instead, permission is granted by the Civil Aviation Authority for flight operations. I hold a current Operational Authorisation (OA) / Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the CAA.

    I also have my GVC and A2 CofC.

  • How much is an aerial photo of a house?

    Prices start from £199.

    However, it does depend on the location of the property – airspace restrictions and uninvolved persons in the flight area affects the price. The best bet is to contact me with the address of the property and I will give you an exact quote.

  • How much does a roof inspection by drone cost?

    Most likely cheaper than erecting scaffolding!

    Most of the cost of a drone flight is in the planning rather than the actual time the UAV is in the air. The price will depend on the location of the roof that needs to be inspected. Days of planning and permission gathering may go into what looks like a simple operation. Or it may be a very simple planning job – for example, a roof outside of a congested area and outside of any flight restriction zones.

    No matter how complicated the planning required, a roof inspection by drone is still most likely going to be cheaper and faster than erecting scaffolding and sending people climbing!

    The best bet is to contact me for a quote and I will do an initial feasibility study and determine a price.

  • Can you fly a drone near an airport?

    I can – yes!

    I am trained and have been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority. I fly in accordance with the Air Navigation Order (CAP393). Manned aviation pilots need to request permission to enter airspace near an airport and I am entitled to do the same. Getting that permission takes time and a lot of communication with the relevant parties, but it is possible.

    There has been so much bad press about drones and airports – for example, the Gatwick incident – but that’s only because that pilot did not have permission to be in the airspace. A trained and approved drone pilot can apply for these permissions.

  • Can you fly at night?

    Yes! I have special procedures in my Operations Manual allowing flight at night. I have battery operated lighting to illuminate the landing zones.

  • How far away can you fly?

    By law we must fly within Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) which means that the aircraft must be able to be clearly seen by the person flying it at all times when it is airborne. The maximum distance from the pilot is 500m – although a vehicle can be used to move the pilot with the aircraft.

    In simple terms, the aircraft must not be flown out of sight of a human eye.

    We are also limited to 400ft above the ground, however, it is sometimes possible to get permission to fly higher. Let me know what you are planning and I can have a chat with the CAA to see if it’s possible.

  • What happens if the weather is bad?

    Drones are powered by electricity. Electricity and water do not mix! Unfortunately, we can not fly in wet conditions or high winds. The safety of everyone is my highest priority, so we either wait out the weather or postpone the operation.

    Exact details of weather clauses will be outlined before we sign a contract, but it’s all very fair stuff – we all accept that the weather in the UK is unpredictable!

  • Can you fly inside?

    Yes! And there are no aviation regulations to contend with so planning is much easier! And I have insurance in place for indoor flying.

    Whether for inspecting hard to reach areas or a promo video, I can help you out. Check out this post for a sneak peek inside a theatre.

  • Where are you based?

    I am based in Manchester, UK but often travel all over the world with work.

    I don’t add silly per-mile charges for travel – I just charge my expenses and time travelling at a very fair rate.

    I can often be found flying a drone in Blackburn, Blackpool, Bolton, Bradford, Chesterfield, Huddersfield, Lake District, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, The Peak District, Preston, Sheffield, Warrington and the Yorkshire Dales.

    If you need a trained drone pilot anywhere in the UK, please get in contact.

  • How much do you cost?

    That very much depends. Every project is very different and will involve different equipment and time. Projects even differ in what permissions we need to get from the Civil Aviation Authority – some being relatively simple and others requiring mountains of paperwork!

    Just get in touch, let me know your requirements and I can work out an estimated price.

  • I have an idea but it’s not listed on your site…

    The website is just a brief outline of what is possible with a drone. There is no way I could list everything – weddings, erosion monitoring, building site progress etc.! Just get in touch.

  • Are you insured?

    Yes! I have a £1million Public Liability Insurance policy covering aerial operations.

  • I’m a drone pilot. Can I work with you?

    Absolutely! I would love to hear from you. I often am either booked out or too far away to take a certain contract. I will keep your details on file in case a customer requests something I cannot do and will pass them on to you. Send me an email and say hello!

    Check out the White Label page if you require an experienced drone pilot for one of your operations.

  • I have a drone, why should I pay you?

    If you have the equipment and are legally permitted to fly the mission, then, by all means, do it yourself. It’s fun and rewarding! Just be aware of the local regulations and fly responsibly.

    However, currently in the UK, you need clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority and insurance if you fly a drone for commercial gain. If you don’t want to pay for all the CAA requirements, then book me instead! I have insurance and all the necessary training and certificates. Simple as that!