Frequently asked questions
WHERE WE CAN FLY AND WHERE WE CANNOT
Importantly we do need permission from the landowner to take-off and land the aircraft on their property before we are able to proceed. At the time of take-off and for the duration of the flight we do need to maintain a 30 metre radius from the landing pad to people and property outside of the control of the pilot.
After take off and for the duration of the flight a safe distance of 50 metres must be maintained between the drone and people, structures and vehicles, outside the control of the pilot. In addition to the 50 metre rule the drone is not permitted to fly directly over people, structures and vehicles at any height. The maximum height permitted is generally 120metres.
The CAA imposes strict rules to ensure public safety, we are bound by these rules under our license conditions. This Permission is granted subject to the following conditions, namely, that the said aircraft shall not be flown:
Above or below height of 400 feet from the operator.
Over or within 50 metres of persons, structure or vessel not under our control. (30 meters during take-off and landing)
Over or within 150 metres of an open air assembly of more than 1000 persons.
Key point in the approvals is the statement is “Under our Control”. Although these rules may seem restrictive we can operate closer to people, property and vessels if they are under our control in accordance with our operating procedures.
We require approval from the landowner for the take-off and landing site(s). These are our standard permissions but these can be negotiated with CAA with the appropriate risk assessments. For large events we can apply to the CAA for extra permission or exemption, based on a thorough risk assessment and site survey. This can be a lengthy process
HOW FAR AWAY CAN WE FLY?
At Icebox Aerial Media we only operate within the regulations defined by the Civil Aviation Authority. The restrictions for operation are to fly within 400 feet in height and 500 metres horizontal distance and we must always be within the pilot’s line of sight (VLOS).
In reality we rarely need to go anywhere near those distances to get you the shots required and we find safe practice is to assess the conditions and risks of individual scenarios.
If you want to work outside these distances, we can apply for an individual safety case to the CAA.
*Insured with £5 million cover.
HOW LONG CAN WE FLY FOR?
18 to 20 minutes depending upon the drone and climatic conditions
The flight times vary depending on the drone being used, the weight of the camera, air temperature and altitude. Normally our drones will fly for up to 22 minutes on each set of batteries. following safety checks we can be airborne a matter of minutes.
With our portable charging station we can constantly charge batteries on the go maximising production.
Depending on weather conditions cooler temperatures reduce flight duration and this can vary from anything 18 to 22 minutes per battery.
Battery replacement is a simple procedure that takes seconds. following safety checks we can be airborne a matter of minutes.
DO YOU NEED A LICENCE TO OPERATE A DRONE?
We are CAA qualified authorised and permitted to operate during day and night hours. Required by law we are fully insured with 5M public liability.
The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) assesses every commercial drone operator through their NQE license scheme, before issuing a license to conduct commercial aerial work. The NQE training course provides the drone operator with the necessary skills to be able to conduct this type of work in a safe and controlled manner. The drone is not a toy and has to integrate with manned aviation. Part of the license requirement is to produce an Operations Manual, which details how you will conduct your work. The Operations Manual has to be approved by the CAA before a license is issued. The operations manual details our risk assessments and how we will plan our flights to ensure safe operations.
CAN YOU FLY IN THE RAIN?
We can’t normally fly in rain, as rain does not mix well with our equipment especially the camera; any water on the camera lens will spoil any imagery rendering un-usuable images.
The maximum wind speed we can fly in is approx. 22kts, anything more is beyond the drones safe operational limits. For precision operations lower wind speeds of 12kts is advised.
Should the weather be unsuitable on the day we will operate on another day at a reduced cost. We will reserve the day for you and only charge you a full day rate if the drone is set up and flown.