News & Blog

This week found David and myself undertaking more aerial filming for a major construction company, over at Avonmouth, on our monthly progress reporting schedule. I am pleased to say the weather was exceedingly kind to us, which makes a nice change to the weather with strong winds we have been experiencing for the past couple of weeks. I still have to remember what it was David was trying to say to me when we took this pic...

A few weeks ago we were asked to produce a short promotional video for a family run business, down on the Bridgwater Levels. It just happened that the weather was perfect for us, which fitted quite nicely for undertaking the drone filming. The client was happy with the final result, I hope you agree!
For those who are unaware of the imminent changes relating to the flying of SUA (Small Unmanned Aircraft) in the UK, here is a link to the ANO Cap 1763 which will come into force on 13th March.

In addition, it's worth emphasising, those who operate a SUA for commercial purposes, without the correct CAA permissions, will be doing so illegally. If you are unsure whether the correct training and permissions are required, it is defined as:- “commercial operation” means any flight by a small unmanned aircraft that is performed under a contract between the SUA operator and a customer, where the latter has no control over the operator, in return for remuneration or other valuable consideration. For example, this could include free advertising or some kind of barter arrangement, or even if the operator would benefit from monetising their work on YouTube. So it isn't just about receiving financial recompense.

I suggest this document is read by anyone involved in the procurement of SUA equipment or hiring of operators, as it will be a useful insight into the legalities of flying drones in the UK.
I was recently asked to film the Rally of the Tests which finished at the RAC building in Bradley Stoke, Bristol on 11th November. This three day event follows a 750-mile route from Harrogate through the East Midlands and South Wales. During this time the competitors undertake numerous driving skills challenges at different private estate throughout the course, eventually finishing in Bristol. Thanks to David for his camerawork on the day. I had a blast editing his footage. I did actually get a couple of drone shots into the film, but most of the time we were experiencing the excitement of the event on the ground!

It's concerning when you don't hear from a client for a while, especially when they have told you how happy they've been with the drone work you've done for them. So it came as a nice surprise to get a call from a client I haven't heard from for seven months, only to be asked to capture some aerial photos and create a progress report video for them. It just so happened that the weather for the following day was being forecasted as being perfect for some drone flying. So with a pre-deployment form completed, batteries charged, software checked, I was ready for some flying on the Friday.

It was perfect weather, I mean , just perfect. 3/8 cloud cover and a light, warm, gentle westerly breeze. I was very happy with the photos and the video material dropped into place like a dream. I delivered the completed drone video on the Monday, along with the photos and the client was overjoyed. Job done I thought! It's nice when everything falls into place.

2018 will be the year of change in the drone community, and not before time. Things need to change and this is accepted by most commercial drone operators in the UK. For too long there has been far too many incidents of careless and downright dangerous flying from some people flying drones. These incidents, are without doubt, in my opinion nothing to do with commercial operators, but children or adults intent of breaking the law and showing a flagrant disregard for CAA regulations.

It should come as no surprise that the government, in conjunction with the CAA, are introducing a sweeping set of revised regulations for those wishing to fly drones. These regulations will affect the commercial operator, but moreso the casual flyer and hobbyist. Under new proposals, police officers may get the power to issue on-the-spot fines of up to £300 for the misuse of drones, as well as being able to seize them. Banning children from owning drones weighing at least 250 grams is also a possibility and one that I believe is sensible and a 'no-brainer.'

As with any new technology, there will always be the few who use it recklessly, for malign purposes or for illegal activities. It's just a shame that many commercial drone operators run the risk of having to pay the consequences for the reckless actions of the few.