FREE Aerial Photography
FREE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY (limited availability & only in Hampshire, UK)
Good images and photos can help make a website and for outside shots, aerial photography can bring an interesting perspective not achievable at ground level.
As keen amateur photographers (& videographers) we also fly for recreational purposes a Mikrokopter Hexa (pictured below) fitted with a Panasonic Lumix G3 DSLR camera.
We do most of our test aerial photography flying, to a maximum above ground altitude of about 200 ft (60m) at an old abandoned airstrip near Beaulieu in the New Forest in Hampshire which is a very popular site for R/C model aeroplane & helicopter flyers.
The maximum permissible above ground altitude as regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority - CAA is 400ft (120m) which in our opinion is far higher than we need for low level aerial photography.
Other operational parameters as regulated by the CAA can be seen at the bottom of this page.
In order to expand our experience in different locations, we are now offering, subject to availability & site suitability, a COMPLETELY FREE aerial photography service (we are not even claiming any copyright on the photographs we take) at suitable locations close to us in Hampshire, UK.
As such we still need to ascertain the viability of this project.
Therefore for the time being we are staying strictly recreational - hence our FREE offer in Hampshire in order we can gain more low aerial photography experience before deciding about going commercial or not in the future. In the meantime as recreational flyers we have our third party insurance cover from the BMFA (British Model Flying Association)
So if you have a large house or building or large landscaped garden in its own large open grounds in the countryside in Hampshire, well clear of people, animals, vehicles, trees, power pylons, transmitter masts etc. that you would like photographed COMPLETELY FREE, then do contact us to find out more.
However, do be aware that our offer is of very limited availability and is subject to numerous safety & regulation considerations.
Technical Details about our current Mikrokopter Hexa
* As electronic engineers, we built our Mikrokopter Hexa ourselves in 2010, from parts supplied by the designers Mikrokopter - so we sort of know our Hexa inside out.
* It's powered by a 3300mA Lithium Polymer battery and has a fly time of just under 10 minutes (per fully charged battery set).
* Downlink Jeti-Box telemetry at 2.4Ghz provides information about flying height and numerous other technical data including battery voltage - that provides us with valuable flying information, when to start the descent and when to land.
* A built-in GPS system and barometric pressure sensor allows us to fly in a fixed vertical position and fixed height directly above the launch site - ideal for taking photographs. This vertical only flying provides for greater safety inasmuch we can ensure we do not launch unless our ground position is completely clear and is going to remain clear of people, animals, vehicles, property, trees etc for a ground radius of at least 50m (165ft) (as regulated by the CAA) .
Furthermore one is not allowed to fly within 150m (492ft) (as regulated by the CAA) of a congested area hence why our recreational flying is restricted to large open clear grounds in the countryside.
* There's a built in fail-safe link between our ground transmitter and the Mikrokopter's air bourne receiver inasmuch in the unlikely event of a loss of signal the Mikrokopters 6 motors slow and allow for a return to ground level.
This is the reason why we only do vertical flying so that any emergency landing can be within the "take off and land" clear ground radius of 50m. If photographs are required from different positions then we simply move the position of the "take off and land" place and likewise the position of the 50m clear ground radius.
* Photographs are taken with a Panasonic Lumix G3 DSLR camera and we take these at the rate of one every 6-secs using an on board trigger with images captured at 4592x3448 pixels from a 16 Megapixels CMOS sensor. This means each flight will yield at least 80 hi-res images.
A CCTV camera and 5.8Ghz 25mW transmitter is also carried on-board with video down linked to a ground receiver. This is not in full use yet as we are still experimenting with different aerials but we are hoping to eventually use this system to help best position the Lumix G3 when in flight.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Reference Documents -
Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance CAP 722
Model Aircraft: A Guide to Safe Flying CAP 658
Small unmanned aircraft - extract from CAP 393 - Section 166 (click on CAP 393 link to ensure latest rules are viewed)
(1) A person must not cause or permit any article or animal (whether or not attached to a parachute) to be dropped from a small unmanned aircraft so as to endanger persons or property.
(2) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.
(3) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.
(4) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly the aircraft:
(a) in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained;
(b) within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic control unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained; or
(c) at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.
(5) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly the aircraft for the purposes of aerial work except in accordance with a permission granted by the CAA.
Small unmanned surveillance aircraft - extract from CAP 393 - Section 167 (click on CAP 393 link to ensure latest rules are viewed)
(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph (2) except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.
(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are:
(a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area;
(b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons;
(c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or
(d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.
(3) Subject to paragraph (4), during take-off or landing, a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person.
(4) Paragraphs (2)(d) and (3) do not apply to the person in charge of the small unmanned surveillance aircraft or a person under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.
(5) In this article 'a small unmanned surveillance aircraft' means a small unmanned aircraft which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition
Aerial Work - Chapter 14 - extract from CAP 658 - (click on CAP 658 link to ensure latest rules are viewed)
1 Aerial Work Defined
A model aircraft flight is considered to be aerial work if it is undertaken for ‘valuable consideration’.
2 Valuable Consideration Explained
Valuable consideration is defined as any gain you may make from the work undertaken.
In even simpler terms: if, because of model flying, you are better off at the end of the day than when you started, you have probably been doing aerial work.
You may ignore any gain of nominal value – a pint of beer for instance, but a crate of the same is probably valuable consideration.
Above no longer valid - all models < 7 kg are now covered by the same rules as < 20 kg. See CAP 722
3 CAA Permissions
3.1 CAA permission must be obtained before undertaking any aerial work . . .
+++ above updated at 22-Sep-2011 ++++