What are our qualifications?
S2A Media Ltd have BNUCs certified pilots and PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) granted by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). Both of which you need legally in order to carry out any type of commercial work using drones. We also have permission from the IAA (Irish Aviation Authority) to operate drones in Southern Ireland.
Do we have insurance?
We are fully insured and have £5 million public liability cover. *Note: Only certified BNUCs or RPQ-s drone pilots can actually get liability insurance to carry out commercial work using drones.
Does the weather affect the flights?
For safety reasons we don’t fly in the following weather conditions: Wind speeds of over 20 knots (for our smaller drones) and 15 knots (for our larger drones). We also don’t fly in heavy rain. This is because it can damage the onboard electronics and the moisture in the atmosphere can also affect the video downlink between the aircraft and payload operator.
Can we fly indoors?
We can fly indoors. Although this may take a little more time to risk assess and we would also need to have a discussion with the client regarding insurance beforehand.
How close can we fly to/over people?
We adhere to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) rules and regulations. Usually, this would mean not flying any closer than 50 metres from people (unless they are in “our control”). Or if the crowd is over 1,000 people it would have to be no closer than 150 metres. However, as we are in the 5% of U.K. drone operators to have been granted an OSC (Operating Safety Case) from the CAA, these distances have been significantly reduced in our case.
How do the aircrafts work?
Flying our aircrafts is predominantly a two man operation. This is made up of a BNUCs certified pilot and experienced payload operator. We fly by VLOS (Visual Line Of Sight) rules. This means the drone pilot has visual contact with the aircraft at all times, whilst the payload operator works the camera. We also often use ground spotters as extra eyes and ears at ground level to help operations run safely.
What are the flight durations?
This depends on which aircraft and what payload is being lifted. We can be airborne from anywhere between 8 to 22 minutes, although the desired shots are generally captured within the first 5 minutes of a flight. *NOTE: It is necessary to have time in between each flight to check equipment and let the drone pilot rest.
How high/far can we fly?
We are governed by CAA rules and regulations which means we can fly up to 400ft (120m) above or below our take off point and 500 metres line of sight/distance from the pilot. These distances are more than enough to capture any desired shot.
Can we fly at night?
Yes, we have CAA permission to do so.
Can we fly in towns and cities?
Yes, we can fly in towns and cities (congested areas). We are in the 5% of U.K. drone operators to have been granted an OSC (Operating Safety Case) from the CAA. This unique permission allows us to operate drones at significantly reduced distances to crowds, roads and buildings. However, there may be other factors to be taken into consideration depending on the exact location.
Can we work outside the U.K?
We currently have permissions to work in the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland. We have also operated in Thailand, France, Monaco, Portugal, Croatia, Africa, Sweden and Norway. However, obtaining permission to operate outside the U.K. may take a little time to organise, so advance notice should be given to help make this request possible.