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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.
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.

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.

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.
A recent project we were involved with for a BBC documentary series, involved a series of general views of Bristol city centre. Here is one taken from above St MaryRedcliffe church...

Yesterday found us returning to Hinkley Point C, shooting material for EDF. Whenever we visit the area, I am always amazed at the amount of organisation that goes into the daily running of such a massive project. It truly is a jaw dropping experience just to visit and experience this mammoth project. Needless to say, security plays a paramount role in the running of things. Yesterday's weather was far better than we had originally expected, although by 3pm the wet weather had put a stop to or activities. It was one of a few projects where we operated as a two man flight crew. It consisted of David Hart, who was piloting the drone and Howard Rockliffe who operated the camera. We captured the material in 4K, pointing out to the client the many benefits this has in post production. The client was also more than happy with the material we shot. I hope we can return again soon.
Out and about in Cirencester today, at the Gwynne Rally School, shooting material with Dot to Dot productions for CBBC. Over at Hinkley point C on Thursday and then the week after shooting aerial material for a promotional video at Westonbirt Arboretum. All of a sudden we seem to have become extremely busy!