We are based in Thruxton, Hampshire and our principal area of operations are within a 100 miles radius of the SP11 postcode. However, we are able to consider interesting assignments anywhere in the UK!
All of our pilots have Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recognised UAV pilot qualifications, which is a Remote Pilot SUAS from RUSTA. Flying Horse Imaging operates under its own CAA-approved Operations Manual which always ensures safe and legal flights at all times. Our CAA Permission for Aerial Work (PfAW) number is 2519 and can be shown on request.
We are insured in accordance with CAA rules for commercial work, with a £5m of public liability insurance. Our Insurance certificate is available on request.
Unfortunately, we cannot fly in rain or any form of precipitation because the damp will damage the electronics. Although our UAVs are very capable and resilient in windy conditions, we do have an upper limit as per our Operations Manual and, sometimes, certain windy conditions can prevent the acquisition of high quality imagery.
As part of our flight process, we do weather checks 24-48 hours before a project is due to start and make a decision on whether we can fly. All of this is explained in our Terms page and will be detailed in the booking procedure.
There has been a large increase in the number of drones flown without regard to the regulations. These tend to hobbyists who are unqualified and uninsured and are either ignorant of the laws governing their use or act in blatant disregard. These people cannot undertake commercial operations legally. Unfortunately, although the number and type of incidents reported by the press are often without foundation or are grossly exaggerated, they make headline news and create bad feeling towards UAVs.
The laws that apply are promulgated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and their particular references are:
- CAP 393: “Air Navigation Order 2016” Paras 94 & 95, and;
- CAP 722: “Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance”
First of all, the law states that anyone who flies a drone commercially must have permission from the CAA and be insured. So before you engage anyone to work for you, ask to see their CAA “Permission for Aerial Work (PfAW)” which has now become “Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO)” and insurance certificate. This protects you and members of the public, as your drone pilot will be fully trained and approved by the CAA and will follow strict safety procedures as laid down by the CAA regulations. This is the big distinction between a professional UAV operator and someone who flies for a hobby.
It should be noted that if a client engages a drone operator without a PfAW/PfCO and insurance, they are acting illegally and could be liable jointly and severally with the drone operator for substantial costs and damages in the case that someone is hurt or property is damaged.
At the moment we use DJI Drones and will select the most appropriate UAV for the project. We use a Phantom 4 Pro and also the Inspire 1 Pro. Both can shoot in 4K video and high quality stills. The Inspire has a resolution (16 megapixel) stabilised X5 Camera with interchangeable lenses attached and the Phantom4 Pro (20 megapixel) stabilised camera. It is our policy to upgrade our equipment on a regular basis to take advantage of major advances in this fast moving technology.
On average we can get about 12-15 minutes of flight each battery for the Inspire Pro and up to 25 minutes flight time each for the Phantom 4 Pro, and we bring several charged batteries with us on every project. This usually allows plenty of time to get the footage you need.
As part of our photography packages we offer an image editing service. We do our own editing at competitive rates. Or you can have the RAW images and video and arrange the editing yourself subject to agreement on the copyright of the images.
The maximum height above the ground is limited to 400 feet, and visual line of sight must be maintained with the aircraft at all times, whilst ensuring the aircraft does not go beyond 500 metres from the pilot. The aircraft must not go within 50 metres of any person or buildings not under the control of the pilot (30 metres when taking off or landing). Subject to these limitations we have permission from the CAA to fly in urban areas with a CAA-approved Operations Safety Case and Risk Assessment.