S2A Media have BNUCs certified pilots and “permissions for aerial work” granted by the CAA and the IAA (both of which you need legally in order to carry out any type of commercial aerial work with UAVs).
What are our qualifications?
Do we have insurance?
We are fully insured and have £5 million public liability cover. *Note: Only certified BNUCs or RPQ-s pilots can actually get insurance to carry out aerial work with UAVs.
Does the weather effect the flights?
For safety reasons we don’t fly in the following weather conditions: Wind speeds of over 20 knots (for our smaller UAVs) and 15 knots (for our larger UAVs). We also don’t fly in rain (this is because it can damage the onboard electronics and the moisture in the atmosphere can also effect the radio/video signals between pilot and aircraft).
Do we fly indoors?
We can fly indoors (although this may take a little more time to risk assess and we’d also need to have a discussion with the client regarding insurance).
How close can we fly to/over people?
We adhere to CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) rules and regulations. This means not flying any closer than 50 meters from people (unless they’re in “our control”). If the crowd is over 1,000 people, we can’t be any closer than 150 meters. If we were to fly directly above people, they’d have to be in “our control” which means they’d have to be made aware that we were going to be operating above them. But this is very high risk and similar shots/video can be captured from the side of them. But if the shots absolutely have to be taken from above them then we’d strongly advise using our Flyline (Cable Cam) instead. This is piece of equipment is equally effective and a much safer option.
How do the aircrafts work?
Flying our aircrafts is a two man operation. This is made up of a BNUCs certified pilot and payload/camera operator. We fly by VLOS (Visual Line Of Sight) rules. This means the pilot has visual contact with the aircraft at all times, whilst the payload operator concentrates on framing the shots. We also often use ground spotters as extra eyes and ears at ground level to help operations to run safely.
What are the flight durations?
Depending on which aircraft we’re flying we can be airborne from anywhere between 8 to 18 minutes. Although the desired shots are generally captured within the first 5 minutes of a flight. *NOTE: It is necessary to have time in-between each flight to check equipment and let the pilot rest.
How high/far can we fly?
We follow CAA rules and regulations which means we can fly at 400ft (120m) altitude and 500 meters distance from the pilot. These restrictions are more than enough to capture any desired shot.
Can we fly at night?
Yes we can.
Can we fly in towns and cities?
We can fly in congested areas, but there are many factors involved in doing so. It can also sometimes take a few weeks to organise depending on exactly what’s being asked of us. Central London for example may take even longer as there’s a lot of paper work involved and there’s certain locations in central London that are restricted areas. We are also restricted to the size of the aircraft that we can fly within a congested area (i.e. it has to be under 7kg in weight). There is also no guarantee that the necessary permissions from all the various authorities will be given to fly within central London. *NOTE: We are currently in the process of obtaining a special certificate which will enable us to fly our larger aircraft (over 7kg) in congested areas.
Can we work outside of the U.K?
We currently have permissions to work in the U.K. and Ireland. However operations further abroad may take some extra time to organise. So therefore advanced notice should be given in order to help make this possible.