Duke Aerial Productions have RPQ certified drone pilots and have been granted “permission for commercial operation” by the UK and the Isle of Man CAA which is a legal requirement in order to carry out any form of commercial aerial work with SUA (Small Unmanned Aircraft).
- What are our Qualifications?
- Are we insured?
We are fully insured for commercial aerial operations and have £5 million public liability cover. *Note: Only certified BNUCs or RPQ-s pilots can actually obtain insurance to carry out aerial work with SUA (Small Unmanned Aircraft).
- Does the weather affect flight operations?
There are some limitations that will prevent us from carrying out flight operations. Firstly, we don’t fly in rain as it can damage the aircraft’s onboard electronics and the moisture in the atmosphere can also effect the radio/video signals between pilot and aircraft. Furthermore, for safety reasons we don’t fly in wind speeds of over 10 m/s.
- How close can we fly to/over people?
We adhere to UK CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and Isle of Man CAA (Civil Aviation Administration) rules and regulations. This means we are not permitted to fly any closer than 50 metres from people, vehicles, vessels or structures, unless they’re under “our control”, except that during take-ff and landing this distance can be reduced to 30 metres. If we are filming a crowd of over 1,000 people, we can’t be any closer than 150 metres. If we are to fly directly above people, they have to be under “our control” which means they must be made aware that we are going to be operating above them.
- How far/high can we fly?
We follow Isle of Man and UK CAA rules and regulations which means we can fly at 400ft (120m) altitude and 500 metres distance from the pilot, retaining VLOS (Visual Line of Sight|) of the aircraft. These restrictions are more than enough to capture any desired shot.
- How do we operate our aircraft?
When flying our aircraft(s) we mostly operate as a two man team, consisting of a pilot and a camera operator, who are both UK and Isle of Man CAA approved. We fly by VLOS (Visual Line Of Sight) rules ensuring that the pilot has visual contact with the aircraft at all times, whilst the camera operator concentrates on framing the shots. Furthermore, we often use ground spotters/observers as extra eyes and ears on the ground to help operations run as safely as possible.
- What is the flight duration?
Although the desired shots are generally captured within the first 15 minutes of a flight task, depending on which aircraft we’re flying with we can be in the air from anywhere between 18 to 23 minutes per flight battery.
- Can we fly in congested areas?
In the Isle of Man and UK airspace we have extended permissions to fly in congested areas as long as our aircraft is under 7kg in weight. However, additional permissions are sometimes required (eg. landowner, local council) and this can take a few weeks to organise depending on exactly what is required by our client.
- Can we fly at night?
No, we are not currently certified for night flying as this requires obtaining a special permission and additional qualification.
- Can we fly indoors?
Yes, we can fly indoors although this may take additional time to risk assess before any flight operations can take place. And some flights will not be feasible if risks cannot be reduced enough to a reasonably practicable level.