Are you qualified?
Yes. We hold the CAA PfCO “Permission For Commercial Operations” and the legally required BNUC-s certification to make this valid. We have been operating UAV’s for over 8 years and shooting aerial photography for over 20 years! We also hold the CAA OSC (Congested Areas Operating Safety Case) which enables us to fly up to as close as 20m to people and property “not under our control”.
When can you fly?
We can fly during the day and also at night as we have an enhanced CAA PfCO. This is a legal requirement to operate during the hours of darkness.
What are the advantages of using the Skylens UAV for image capture?
For low to medium altitudes and in tight confined airspaces this gives more flexibility on movement. The Skylens UAV is far less intrusive than full size aircraft and is not subject to many of the same airspace restrictions. The risk to persons and property is also far less than full size aircraft. The images / footage we can capture is unique to this type of UAV shooting and cannot be obtained in any other way.
How does the cost of image capture compare to using full size aircraft?
Compared to a full size helicopter our rates are typically well below half and usually a lot less for the same time on site.
How far and how high can the Skylens UAV fly?
The Skylens UAV is operated by the pilot within “line of sight”. This range is set by the CAA as 500m horizontally and 120m vertically.
Where can you fly?
Our Enhanced CAA PfCO states that we can fly:-
At a maximum altitude of 120m
A maximum of 500 metres from the operator
Outside of 20 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under our direct control – most operators can only fly as close as 50m.
during the hours of darkness (night flying)
see https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/Flying-drones/ for more detailed information on CAA regulations
We have a good relationship with the CAA & NATS and can apply for special permission / exemptions in certain locations such as London.
Why do you use battery powered UAV’s?
Electricity is cleaner and there are no fumes /exhaust gases to get in the way of the cameras and are also very reliable and require less maintenance and hence less cost to be passed on to the client. The UAV is also extremely quiet in flight and virtually un-heard 20m away meaning we can fly without disturbance to neighboring buildings or people.
What are your weather limitations?
We can fly in most temperatures. We can also fly in windspeeds up to 10m/s ( 22mph), although we prefer to fly in wind speeds less than 15mph. Dry conditions are essential. There can be issues such as turbulence near to buildings and structures so that is taken into account when looking at the suitability of a site to launch.
Can you fly indoors?
Yes, but the location needs to be fairly open and free of obstructions. Our smaller systems are ideal for indoor use.
Can you fly from moving vehicles?
Yes, we can and also from a wide array of vehicles such as ATV’s and boats.
Do you fly over water?
Yes. There may be an additional charge however due to the additional risk to the equipment.
Are you insured?
Yes, we have full Public Liability insurance coverage, Professional Indemnity and Employers Liability insurances.
Do you fly internationally?
Yes, we are equipped to fly world-wide
Do you have a minimum charge?
We cost each job according to the time it will take and post – processing of footage required etc. Contact us for a quotation as we may be able to offer a special rate if the shoot can be arranged to fit in while “we are in the area”!
How smooth is the video you provide?
Very! Our UAV’s have the latest multi-axis stabilised gimbals which produce footage ready to use directly from the camera without any stabilisation in post. See our gallery for examples.
Can you fly over large crowds?
For legal and safety reasons no, we never fly over large groups of people. The exception to this is that we are allowed under CAA regulations to fly near to people or property that we have “control over”. So there is usually a way to obtain the shots needed.
How do you know what you are filming?
The camera is operated from a mobile base-station. From this station the camera operator can see the live image from the camera on a display while controlling the camera position. A separate display is also available for the client if required. The pilot has his own screens for camera view and UAV telemetry.
How precise is your control of the Skylens UAV?
The control is very precise. The UAV is electronically stabilised and hovers in position hold by GPS.
We carry appropriate PPE, including hard hats, Hi Vis clothing, Safety boots, glasses etc. when working on site where this is required.
We provide full RAMS for clients that require this
The Skylens crew hold valid CSCS cards allowing them to work on construction sites.
Can you offer Video and DVD production?
Yes, call us with the details of your project for a quotation. Our Video production company are specialists in editing and also ground level filming using full HD equipment.
What are our options if a UAV isn’t suitable?
If for legal or safety reasons a UAV cannot be operated then we have vehicle mounted telescopic mast systems (see the Technology page) that can be used almost anywhere to raise a camera up to 20m+. If higher views are needed we have helicopter companies that we fly with and shoot from.
Contact us if you have any other questions.