01934 844978

11/12/17
This time of year is normally a bit slow, regardless of what business you're in, unless of course it's retail! However, we have been fairly busy the past few weeks. In October we had several jobs in the diary which included capturing aerial material for a company in The Forest of Dean, who wanted material for marketing purposes, filming in Nottingham for a large demolition company and also an aerial property inspection job found it's way into our diary last week. With some jobs already being discussed for the new year, it's fingers crossed that the weather behaves itself. Here's to a merry Christmas to all.
26/11/17
C/o BBC Website:-
Drone users in the UK will be required to do safety awareness tests as part of planned new legislation on their usage. Police will also be given new powers to crack down on illegal use of the unmanned aerial vehicles. The government hopes to harness new drone technology which could see them used on oil rigs, in construction, for organ transport and parcel deliveries. The bill has been welcomed by the pilots' union, which has warned of near misses involving drones and aircraft. Balpa said there had been 81 incidents so far this year - up from 71 in 2016 and 29 in 2015. The union's general secretary, Brian Strutton, said: "These proposals are a step towards the safe integration of drones, but until the new rules are in place the threat of a serious collision remains."In July a drone flew directly over the wing of a large passenger jet as it came into land at London's Gatwick Airport, which a report said had put 130 lives at risk.
Drones scatter mosquitoes to fight diseases, The flying drones that can scan packages night and day, Drone detects heartbeat and breathing rates. The proposed bill - to be published in spring 2018 - would ensure that owners of drones weighing more than 250g would need to register and sit a test. Owners would be banned from flying them near airports or at heights above 400ft. Police could also get new powers to ground and seize drones if they suspect they had been used in criminal activity.

Christian Struwe, head of European public policy at drone maker DJI, warned that some of the proposals may be "difficult to police" - for example the height restriction. But he told BBC Breakfast: "The good thing is that as an industry we are already working on it. We can limit how high they can fly.

Mr Struwe pointed out that currently there is no "hard limit" on how close drones can fly to airports. "The current wording is that you should stay well clear," he said. He welcomed the proposals to limit the "bad use" of drones, adding that it was important people are aware there is regulation they need to follow. Aside from the Civil Aviation Authority's Drone Code, he said drone users should respect their neighbours' right to privacy and steer clear of sensitive areas, such as government buildings. The transport minster, Lady Sugg, said the government wanted to strike the right balance between harnessing drone potential and ensuring they are not misused. "We're bringing forward this legislation in order to ensure that drones can be used safely, whilst also addressing some of the safety and privacy concerns that people have," she said.The government is also working with drone manufacturers on technology which produces virtual barriers, to stop the machines operating in restricted areas.
06/11/17
50M CLARIFICATION STATEMENT FROM THE CAA
‘’The absolute legal distance requirements are set out in article 167 of the Air Navigation Order, and they state that you must not fly ‘within 50m of a person, vehicle, vessel or structure that is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft’ – This is how it is written in law. It doesn’t mention anything about horizontal distance I’m afraid, so in absolute legal terms, you would need to think of it as a bubble.

Note also however, that this article only applies to ‘small unmanned surveillance aircraft’, so for a drone that does not have a camera fitted to it, or for R/C model aircraft (fixed wing or helicopters), there are no specific ‘avoidance distances’ set down.

So, the 50m ‘rule’ only applies to surveillance (by this we basically mean ‘camera’) equipped ‘drones’, and it can only legally be taken as being a ‘bubble’ – perhaps with hindsight, this regulation should have been written slightly differently, but it was thought to be acceptable at the time it was written – we know that articles 166 and 167 need a revision, partly to make the wording more understandable for the general public, but also to make the requirements more easily enforceable for the Police (how do you really ‘measure’ what 50m is?), and this is what we are starting to do at present However, that is not necessarily the complete story – it doesn’t mean that someone flying a non -camera fitted drone can do what he/she likes without any fear of arrest/prosecution.

– ANO article 138 (Endangerment – “A person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property”) is the overriding article that can be used at any time if it is considered that a person is operating a drone (which is still defined as an aircraft) inappropriately.
– You can also refer to ANO article 166(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” as well in that he/she is responsible and must take reasonable steps to ensure the flight is conducted safely.

So, in the case of someone hovering a drone ‘51m’ directly above/almost above someone, yes – it is ok with regard to art 167, but this could easily fall under endangerment, especially if the person flying it has not taken any reasonable steps to satisfy him/herself that the flight can be conducted safely. At the end of the day, we must consider what the ‘intent’ of the regulations is – in simple terms, the intent of the regulations is to protect third parties (ie. people and properties that are not involved in the operation), and so this is the primary consideration that should be made when making an assessment of whether or not an offence has been committed, or when considering a prosecution.

These regulation apply to all small unmanned aircraft (20kg or less) – there are no differences for above 7kg or 7kg or less. With regard to Permission holders, the bottom line is that it depends on what is written on their permission. We normally issue permissions to the 50m ‘limitation’ (so no difference) but if an operator has been able to demonstrate to us that his/her operation can be flown safely to within a lesser distance (and we are satisfied with this), then the text in the permission will reflect the shorter distance.”
27/10/17
Drones, or remotely piloted aircraft, have been around for quite some time now, and have within the past couple of years, not only started to make an impact in TV and cinema but also in many areas of industry. From spectacular cinematic shots and real estate photography through to topographical data capture and thermal imaging, there are becoming fewer and fewer applications that cannot be successfully utilised by most businesses and industries.
So, what response should you expect from a drone operator when you make that initial enquiry. More importantly, what should you expect after having commissioned the operator to undertake work for you.

I believe at Vistaworx we operate in a concise and professional manner. Most of our enquiries are via emails, if that is the case we would follow up the enquiry with a phone call, as we always prefer to discuss a project directly with the client. While on the phone we can usually ascertain whether the job can be flown legally and within the relevent CAA regulations by referring to the task site with Google Earth and cross referencing it with our topographical air chart. By doing this we can usually get a pretty good idea as to the viability of the proposed task.

Once we have established the job as a 'goer' and following any further project details, we then submit a formal quotation. We always suggest a contingency date, as UAV operation is generally weather dependent, to a degree, and so having an alternative is extremely important. We conduct a pre-deployment survey from the office, where we research the task area and ensure any relevent permissions for flying are obtained, check any obstacles with the aid of an OS map and any local activity that may prove a concern. We cross reference the task area with our topographical air chart, ensuring we are not infringing into any airspace. This is normally not an issue, as we have found if we contact the relevent air traffic control, the response has always been very positive and helpful. Even in areas of high intensity military activity permissions have been granted.

Once basic research has been completed, we then cross reference the weather forecasts in preparation for the selected task date. Once we're happy with the weather, we usually arrive at the task area 30 minutes to an hour prior to flying and undertake a site safety survey. Once satisfied that safety to property and individuals in the immediate area is secure, we would then and only then undertake the set task.

It's important to remember that the operator in control, the UAV pilot, not only takes into consideration the safety of everyone in the area, but also the integrity of the aircraft and so the final decision on any flying rests with the pilot in charge. Except for the smallest of jobs, we always fly as a two man crew, either as a pilot + camera operator or as a pilot/cameraman + flight observer.

Vistaworx is proud of it's pedigree and believes strongly in safety at all times. With competition continuing to rise in this fascinating and exciting industry, it's important for those hiring a drone operator to consider only those who display a professional approach to flying. A commercial drone operator should be qualified with the relevent qualification, have Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval with Permissions for Commercial Operation (PfCO) and be fully insured to a minimum of £5000,000 public liability.

As in most industries, it's always tempting for those doing the hiring to cut costs, but when dealing with aviation, cutting costs should be an option which is given careful consideration.
26/10/17
I am very happy to share this glowing review from a client of our's, David Hayward at Odd Man Out Productions:

We were commissioned to produce several films for a major building project at one of the UK’s leading universities. Being a large campus, it was very clear that an aerial shoot was going to be a must to get across the scale of the works. Deciding to use a UAV rather than a helicopter, we spent a lot of time contacting various drone companies trying to find someone suitable. What became apparent very quickly was the same conversation happening over and again, they had all the latest kit, had the licences and could fly the drone but couldn’t envisage or frame a shot.

On contacting Vistaworx I was pleasantly surprised to start the conversation with what and how we were filming, the mood of the film and how we saw the aerial shots fitting into the final films. Howard, having a successful career as a professional TV cameraman, was able to talk our language and explain exactly how the shots would look on film. We were able to discuss in detail how a shot would, or in some cases wouldn’t, work when put together with the ground based footage. On the shoot day Howard and his colleague worked very quickly and competently, at some points in very difficult areas and situations. Having to work around a fully operational university, where some flight paths and shots were not possible on safety grounds, the Vistaworx team very quickly came up with alternatives and solutions that still fitted the brief.

The university’s site staff were extremely impressed with Vistaworx' planning, health & safety, ability to work around a very busy campus and for us getting amazing shots. Our client was very happy with the final films and especially the aerial filming. Thanks guys, we will definitely be in contact again!

David Hayward
Production Coordinator.

20/10/17
We're pleased to announce that David Hart has joined the team at Vistaworx.
David's career spans more than 25 years as a TV cameraman, filming a vast array
of programmes for the BBC. He has a wealth of knowledge in post production and
is well versed in shooting with the Inspire X5Raw camera. David has a great sense
of humour and is a highly competent pilot.
13/10/17
A new breed of camera has just been released by DJI, the world's biggest and finest producer of consumer and professional drone aircraft and cameras. This new camera captures up to 6K resolution with a super 35mm sensor and a dynamic range of 14 stops! This is the perfect drone for TV commercials,
hi-end documentaries and feature films.

03/10/17
C/O: dronesxyz.com
Foxtech’s GAIA 160 Hybrid is a next generation UAV which can fly up to 6 hours and lift payloads up to 17.6 lbs. The secret behind this hexacopter’s long flight time is a mixture of lipo batteries and a built-in 2000w generator which sustains the batteries. This is called a hybrid drone because the generator is fueled by gasoline for cars! With a wheelbase that measures about 62 inches and a standing height of 2.62 feet, this multicopter is more like a mini helicopter. Foxtech is making a name for themselves with this new hybrid drone. The GAIA 160 was first released as an agriculture drone, but the flight time and high payload capacity soon gave the hexacopter a new purpose and model. The hybrid drone can carry a professional RED camera and fly over 1 hour with no problem! If needed, a parachute can also be mounted onto this hexacopter. Long range mapping, property inspections, logistics, photography, and videography are only some of this drone’s capabilities. With the ability to carry a heavy payload for an unprecedented time, this drone can be used for multiple applications.
27/09/17

Drones, or remotely piloted aircraft, have been around for quite some time now, and have within the past couple of years, not only started to make an impact in TV and cinema but also in many areas of industry. From spectacular cinematic shots and real estate photography through to topographical data capture and thermal imaging, there are becoming fewer and fewer applications that cannot be successfully utilised by most businesses and industries.
So, what response should you expect from a drone operator when you make that initial enquiry. More importantly, what should you expect after having commissioned the operator to undertake work for you.

I believe at Vistaworx we operate in a concise and professional manner. Most of our enquiries are via emails, if that is the case we would follow up the enquiry with a phone call, as we always prefer to discuss a project directly with the client. While on the phone we can usually ascertain whether the job can be flown legally and within the relevent CAA regulations by referring to the task site with Google Earth and cross referencing it with our topographical air chart. By doing this we can usually get a pretty good idea as to the viability of the proposed task.

Once we have established the job as a 'goer' and following any further project details, we then submit a formal quotation. We always suggest a contingency date, as UAV operation is generally weather dependent, to a degree, and so having an alternative is extremely important. We conduct a pre-deployment survey from the office, where we research the task area and ensure any relevent permissions for flying are obtained, check any obstacles with the aid of an OS map and any local activity that may prove a concern. We cross reference the task area with our topographical air chart, ensuring we are not infringing into any airspace. This is normally not an issue, as we have found if we contact the relevent air traffic control, the response has always been very positive and helpful. Even in areas of high intensity military activity permissions have been granted.

Once basic research has been completed, we then cross reference the weather forecasts in preparation for the selected task date. Once we're happy with the weather, we usually arrive at the task area 30 minutes to an hour prior to flying and undertake a site safety survey. Once satisfied that safety to property and individuals in the immediate area is secure, we would then and only then undertake the set task.

It's important to remember that the operator in control, the UAV pilot, not only takes into consideration the safety of everyone in the area, but also the integrity of the aircraft and so the final decision on any flying rests with the pilot in charge. Except for the smallest of jobs, we always fly as a two man crew, either as a pilot + camera operator or as a pilot/cameraman + flight observer.

Vistaworx is proud of it's pedigree and believes strongly in safety at all times. With competition continuing to rise in this fascinating and exciting industry, it's important for those hiring a drone operator to consider only those who display a professional approach to flying. A commercial drone operator should be qualified with the relevent qualification, have Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval with Permissions for Commercial Operation (PfCO) and be fully insured to a minimum of £5000,000 public liability.

As in most industries, it's always tempting for those doing the hiring to cut costs, but when dealing with aviation, cutting costs should be an option which is given careful consideration.