Booking a drone and frequently asked questions
How to book our drone services?
We like to keep the booking of our drones simple and flexible.
1. Get in touch and tell us how we might be able to help...
Drop us an email or give us a call – you tell us about what you are looking for from our drones, including the purpose, the subject, where (exact address and postcode if a specific location), and when (is it is a fixed date or fixed time frame).
The first thing we will usually do is take a look at the location on our maps to see the areas to safely fly our drones in.
2. We discuss and agree...
We will then discuss and agree on the brief and quote. This will, of course, include locations, timings, delivery of the footage, and any editing and processing requirements.
3. LUNAR works on the logistics...
We will have to do a Risk and Method Statement – This includes, either using Google Earth, land maps, or a site visit or any combination of these – this enables us to establish a safe take-off/landing point as required by the Civil Aviation Authority and to identify potential hazards – power lines, airfields, public rights of ways. We may also need to inform certain authorities about our activities - such as prisons and airport and on some occasions we need special permission to have our drone unlocked to fly in a strict no fly zones.
We also need to work on getting the landowners permissions from where we take off, LUNAR will work on this, but any contacts you have always helps to speed up the process. Sometimes it is a quick process; sometimes it can take some time, depending on whom we are asking the permission from.
4. Drone pilots are weather watchers...
Once everything is lined up we will take advantage of the next available day with weather to suit your requirements - sometimes sun, sometimes grey and occasionally you may want fog, its your call. We just can't fly in strong winds or rain.
5. We will keep you posted along the way... and double check the details prior to flight day.
We try to keep it simple as possible for our clients.
Drones and frequently asked questions.
What is a UAV?
UAV or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is a technical word for drone; the CAA sometimes uses SUA (Small Unmanned Aircraft). The USA prefers UAS (Unmanned Aerial System). It is an aircraft which does not have a pilot on board and is operated remotely.
What does an drone (UAV) offer that a helicopter does not?
As well as being significantly cheaper and flexible, drones can provide close-up aerial shots, whereas a helicopter is restricted from flying below 500 feet. At LUNAR Aerial Imaging we can fly the drone through a tunnel or a line of trees and even inside buildings.
What quality images can your camera and drone equipment produce?
At LUNAR Aerial Imaging we use exactly the same camera equipment as any professional ground photographers or videographers. For example we use the Canon 5D SLR, and can shoot 4K RAW image sequence. We can transcode to ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422 or ProRes 4444. Please check in with us though as we are regularly updating and improving our equipment.
What do you need to fly drones for commercial purposes?
For commercial purposes you need to have completed training, created a hefty safety manual, and proved yourself with knowledge and safe flying skills. From this you need your permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This permission is renewed annually.
What about insurance?
LUNAR Aerial Imaging has full public liability insurance of £10 million.
Can you fly the drone indoors? What about at night?
Yes to both. Flying indoors is one of the unique benefits of drone filming. You do need special CAA permission to fly at night, LUNAR has this.
What do you charge for flying the drone?
As part of the process, the price will cover both the CAA approved drone pilot costs and that of the CAA-required observer cost. In some cases Spotters may need to be employed in the interest of public safety – these are passed on to the client. As a guide, prices can start at around £300, and we usually charge £450 for a half day for still photography. For video work we employ a camera operator and the half-day charge becomes £550.
Where relevant travel and accommodation costs will be agreed in advance.
How high and how far can the drones operate?
Under CAA law the maximum legal height for a drone is 120m (400 feet) with a maximum distance of 500m from the pilot.
What about privacy, confidentiality and data protection?
Our policy - we aim at all times to comply with the regulations laid down by the Data Protection Act and the guidelines suggested by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Plus we use common sense.
What's your Plan B?
If permissions are not forthcoming or if there are serious public safety or privacy reasons why we can't fly the drone, we can use our 17 metre telescopic camera pole or elevated mast to get some amazing stills or video. We carry it in our van at all times, just in case.