How high and how far away can you operate the UAV or Multirotors?
The Multirotors are operated in a flight envelope called (line of sight). In good wether conditions our max operating range is around 1200 yards horizontal and 400' vertical (FAA limited). Typically aerial video work with UAVs will be done in much closer rather than near the limits I just listed as the real drama is created when operating close to subjects and moving talent of vehicles.
How does weather affect the UAV?
We have shot video all day long from a moving boat traveling down the East river in NYC in 27 degree temps. A personal friend in the business has flown the same type of equipment in -15 degree temps in the Artic with great results. The electric machines are also capable of operating in temperatures in excess of 110 degrees. The gyro stabilized camera mounts are capable of recording very good video in winds up to about 25 mph. We do not fly if it is raining as there is too much risk to the UAVs electric systems.
What is your policy regarding flying over crowds?
We do not fly over crowds of people. If you have an event that you would like covered we will look at the possibility of using a long lens so that we can operate from a safe distance. If we are on a closed set and need an overhead shot of a few people it is doable as long as they have been briefed on what to do in the event the pilot declares any type of emergency and needs to land. The UAV must be kept at a reasonable altitude above the shot to increase safety margins. Obviously all parties involved must agree on this and the pilot reserves the right to refuse any request of this kind if he or she feels the conditions are not safe enough. We will never knowingly put anyone in harm's way.
What are the advantages of using Remote Control Aircraft versus Full Scale Aircraft?
This is a simple question to answer. Full Scale ( real Airplanes and Helicopters) cannot operate at the low altitudes we do (FAA restrictions). AND even if they could it would pose a much greater risk to persons and property for them to try and operate in the tight, close in places we often have to operate in to get the perfect shot. We do NOT try and replace full scale aircraft that do aerial photography and video, we simply operate in an environmental envelope that is typically off limits and unpractical for them.
What are your primary video cameras?
Our primary video camera these days is the Panasonic Gh4 which records 4K video in a wide variety of formats and frame rates up to 96 frames per second. With the GH4 we also have in flight focus and iris control that I explain in more detail on our "Services" page. However we shoot alot with Epics and Dragons along with the Canon 5D Mark iii, Canon C100, C300, C500 and their 1DC. We also fly Blackmagic Cinema camera as well when requested.
What type and how much insurance do you carry?
We carry one million dollars in liability coverage.
Can you operate from a boat or a moving vehicle?
Yes. We have flown from several different types of vehicles. Boats, unless they are very large often require a piece of plywood to be secured to the front or rear of the boat to serve as a landing pad.
Are you able to travel out of the US with your equipment?
Yes. I have been traveling all around the world competing with helicopters for over twenty years. Another nice thing about electric powered aircraft, shipping companies sometimes won't take combustion engines that have had gasoline run through them. Airlines accept batteries for electric powered aircraft fine, but will not accept internal combustion engine powered aircraft if gas has been run through the engine.
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