UAV Aerial Work – Your Questions Answered

What is an SUA or Drone?

SUA stands for Small Unmanned Aircraft, commonly know as a drone. Recent leaps forward in technology has opened up exciting new ways to shoot aerial imagery and gain data by using these remotely controlled aircraft.

What qualifications does Quantum Blu and the Remote Pilots have?

Remote Pilots must be qualified through one of the certified organisations that are licensed to carry out the training by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). The CAA requires that Remote Pilots demonstrate the required level of skill & aviation knowledge. Once satisfied with this and the organisation offering the aerial services, inc. having the mandatory level of public liability insurance, the CAA issues a PFCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) to the organisation, which is what Quantum Blu Ltd holds. There are several qualifications remote pilots flying for the organisation must hold, which include UAQ, BNUC & RPQ. All of our remote pilots hold one of these licenses.

How safe is it?

Safety is the prime concern and all the pre-flight planning is geared to ensuring a safe operation. This includes full site and risk assessments. Flying with a visual line of sight (VLOS) of the aircraft and flying within the scope of the aircraft and pilot's capability is mandatory, as is the altitude ceiling (max 400ft) and radial distance away from the pilot (max 500m). Often there will be a 2-man team, with the 2nd person being the camera operator and observer.

Is Quantum Blu insured for this type of work?

Yes we are. Quantum Blu holds £2m public liability insurance through a specialist provider of drone insurance.

What is the process if I book your Aerial Imagery services?

Once we receive a client request, we will ask you to fill out one of our enquiry forms providing the necessary location details, date and nature of the media/data required. We will then provide an outline cost, which will be firmed up once we have carried out a preliminary assessment of the site. If all is agreeable, we will then look to book the job into our system.

As the operations day approaches, we will monitor the weather conditions at the location to check suitability. If for any reason it looks likely that we will not be able to carry out the flight on the agreed day, we will look to reschedule, if agreeable, or cancel the operation if rescheduling is not applicable.

Can you fly anywhere?

There are a good many situations and locations that we can fly in or get special permissions to do so. We must always have the written permission of the land-owner where we take-off and land before flying commences. However, there are strict guidelines about airspace that must be adhered to as well. These include not flying within 50m of persons, structures, vehicles or animals not under our control, or in restricted airspace e.g. near airports or congested urban areas. Once we know where you require us to fly, we will make an assessment of that location and quickly establish if it is suitable for the requested operation to take place.

Do weather conditions affect the ability to fly?

Yes they do. We are unable to fly in wet weather conditions or any precipitation (rain, snow, fog), however we have accurate weather information technology with real time radar, which often allows us to fly during dry spells in between the inclement weather. We are unable to fly if there are strong winds or gusts above 20mph, or if the temperature drops below -5 deg C.

What equipment do you use?

Mostly we fly the DJI Inspire 1 Pro with a four thirds sensor camera capable of 4k HD video and 16 mega pixel stills photography. The Mavic 2 pro is a recent addition providing similar 4k HD capability in a smaller form factor.

How long can you fly for?

Between 12 & 25 minutes flight time per battery, depending on the aircraft used. Naturally we carry several batteries on any given operation and can recharge the drained ones on site if operation flight time requirements dictate.

How much does it cost?

Each operation will be quoted individually based on client requirements, but our prices start at £250 (see our 'Prices' section under the 'Services' menu). If additional licenses or work is deemed likely, we will inform you of this and quote for it accordingly. A 20% deposit or £100 (whichever is greater) will be payable at the time of placing a firm booking.

What happens if a booked flight job is cancelled?

If, for any reason, it is felt we will be unable to carry out the flight on the agreed day, we will look to reschedule, if agreeable, or cancel the operation if rescheduling is not applicable. Every effort will be made by us to monitor the weather leading up to the day of the flight. The following cancellation guidelines apply:

Weather prevents flight - the deposit will be carried forward if a flight is re-booked. If no re-booking is made, £100 will be kept to cover the cost of the mission assessment and paperwork; any additional amount deposited will be refunded to the client.

Cancellation by client with 7 clear days’ notice - deposit will be refunded or transfered to the new date if re-booked.

Cancellation by client without 7 clear days’ notice - the deposit will not be refunded and any additional costs or expenses already incurred must be met by the customer. This particularly applies on the day of operation, as flight crew may already be on the way to the required location.

We will look at each case individually and always look to find a solution that is fair for both parties.

See the Terms & Conditions for our full cancellation policy.