FAQ’s

Do you rent out drones?

No, we only offer the full service, it comes with a pilot and usually also a camera operator.

Can you fly in rain or windy conditions?

We currently cannot fly in rain with the UAV’s we operate. If it is necessary to fly in rain then we have patners we work with that can provide UAV’s that are able to fly in light rain conditions, but it is not encouraged! Strong winds can also be a problem (especially if we are flying near to trees or other objects) however, we use the world’s leading technology camera gimbal which provides very stable shots, but as ever safety of flying the rig is paramount. Please see our TERMS page for details on WEATHER AND CANCELLATIONS.

What cameras do you use?

We mostly film with Panasonic GH4 Vlog, with a variety of high quality prime lenses, but use various other cameras dependent on each productions requirements, including Sony FS7, Red and Alexa Mini . These provide  4K / HD images and still pictures at 16.1 Megapixels RAW. Our smaller UAV uses an X5 Camera, very similar to the GH4 and can use the same Micro 4/3 lenses.

Can I monitor what you are shooting?

Yes, on every shoot we provide a ground station, with wireless HD video transmission from the UAV and camera control, suitable for monitoring and feeding directly into a PPU for live broadcast.

Can you control the camera from the ground?

Yes, we have full control of the camera, and can remote control the pan and tilt.

Can the wireless video from the UAV be used for live broadcast?

Yes, we can provide full HD video downlink with almost 0 latency. HDMI and SDI output.

How long can you fly for?

Each battery provides approximately 15 minutes flight time depending on the weather. We use multiple batteries on projects so as long as battery change time is scheduled (approximately 3 minutes) there is no limit on flight time for your day’s shoot. Live streaming projects we fly multiple aircraft at the same time so there is always a continuous live aerial feed.

Is it safe and what are the risks?

Professional UAV operation in line with our Operations Manual is safe. Gravity Filming  follows strict safety procedures to ensure maximum safety on location. There is always a small chance of mechanical or electric failure, but every time we fly we have a rigid pre-flight check list that is always observed. If all criteria for safe flying is not met then we will not fly.

Do you have insurance?

Yes. Gravity Filming  carries a specialist £5m Public Liability policy for all operations.

Can you fly on top of people?

Safety is always paramount in all operations. You cannot fly directly overhead and it is against CAA regulations, unless the subject is under the control of the flight team and PIC (Pilot in Command). To capture large crowd shots we fly to the outside of the area and in line with CAA regulations, this still provides for excellent shots, and our cameras can carry zoom lenses if a tighter shot is needed.

Can you fly inside?

Yes we fly inside. When flying indoors we are not subject to the same restrictions imposed by the CAA, however safety to people, property and the UAV rig is always paramount.

How close can you fly to subjects?

We can operate safely about 10 feet of an actor or a subject in an optimal location and wind conditions. Any person not under our control the closest we can fly legally is 50m.

What is the maximum operating distance for the UAV?

The pilot has to be able to see the UAV at all times. The maximum radius is about 500m from the pilot. We can also pilot from a moving vehicle to extend its range. The radio range for the controls is more than 2km.

Are UAV’s better than helicopters?

UAV’s provide filming opportunities that Helicopters cannot, which can be a of huge benefit to the production, and is certainly cheaper! Helicopters are noisy and intrusive and cannot fly below 500ft, whereas our UAV’s are relatively quiet and we can fly much closer to the action giving a far more intimate view point. Once all site surveys and permissions are in place we can also get our UAV’s up in the air quickly throughout the day rather than a specified small window of time with a helicopter – useful for live streaming sports projects when we are live for 6-8hrs each day.

Can you fly in London?

Yes we can fly in London but there are two main points to be aware of and consider when planning your shoot. Most of the City of London is a restricted area (EGR 160) and there are also two additional restricted areas (EGR 157 and EGR 158) in the City and another two nearby. Any aircraft, no matter how small has to submit a non-standard flight application to fly in these areas. This can take up to 21 days and permission is not always guaranteed. London is also a congested area which can limit the size of aircraft that can fly. With this on mind it is good practice to allow around a month to organise these permissions.

Can you fly outside the UK?

Yes, we fly outside the UK. Each country now has specific laws associated with drones so we plan each project accordingly and inline with regional conditions.