Here's a few answers to the most common questions we get asked, if you can't find your answer here, please contact us for an answer....
IS SOUTH COAST AIR LICENSED & QUALIFIED TO OPERATE COMMERCIALLY?
Yes. Southcoastair has “permissions for aerial work” granted by the C.A.A. for both unmanned camera equipped multi-rotors (drones) and helicopters. All of our pilots are in posession of the required nationally recognised qualifications and are passed 'fit to fly'. At all times we will adhere to the Civil Aviation Authority's guidelines as specified in the Air Navigation Order 2016
IS SOUTH COAST AIR FULLY INSURED?
Yes. As long as we are oprating within and adhering to the operating guidelines and rules laid out by the Civil Aviation Authority. South Coast Air are fully insured against accidents and injury and have public liability insurance (policy available for inspection upon request)
DO I NEED TO USE CAA REGISTERED DRONE OPERATORS?
Very definitley Yes! You are responsible for checking that the drone operator you hire has full permission from the CAA to operate drones commercially (PFCO) and has insurance which complies with (EC) 785/2004. Naturally, we will be happy to provide you with all of the required documentation prior to any operations.
CAN YOU FLY IN ALL WEATHERS?
Unfortunately, we are sometimes affected by the weather. We cannot fly if rain is falling, heavy fog! or if the temperature is below -10 Celcius. Strong winds can also be a problem (especially if we are flying near to trees or other objects). We will always do our best to fly but, safety is paramount and if we feel it is unsafe to take off we will discuss the available options and if neccessary arrange an alternative date to complete the flight. As the date of your booking approaches we will be in contact to discuss the weather forecast.
HOW MUCH NOTICE DO YOU NORMALLY REQUIRE?
The longer the better really and it's always best to discuss alternative dates should any complications arise. If we are applying for extended permissions, land owner's permissions etc the process can be quite drawn out woth some national institutions requiring a minimum of 90 days notice. We will advise you (as best we can) of any potential hold-ups when you contact us to discuss your project
WHERE AND WHEN CAN YOU FLY?
As long as we have the landowner's permission, not in a heavily congested area or near to an airport (or other restricted airspace) we can usually fly without issues. All 'missions' are subject to a site inspection during which we'll be able to
highlight any potential problems. Most public parks in the UK are not suitable for flying as many councils will have by-laws in place prohibiting the flight of powered 'model' aircraft. Certain areas such as the National Trust and English Heritage require us to obtain permission prior to any flight. Without applying to the Civil Aviation Authority for extended permission we cannot fly at night. All our operations must be carried out during daylight hours (30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset)
CAN YOU FLY OVER OUTDOOR EVENTS LIKE CONCERTS OR SPORTS EVENTS?
Without acquiring extended permissions from the CAA we are unable to fly above open air gatherings where more than 1000 people are attending. Each event will be considered on a 'case by case' basis but our overriding concern will always be the safety of the general public
DO YOU OFFER A WEDDING SERVICE?
Whilst we don't offer any specific wedding packages we are happy to work with and be guided by your existing wedding photographer/videographer to provide additional images and video footage for them to include in your final wedding albums. We find this is the best way to work as it ensures all the memories of your big day are properly co-ordinated and any disruption to proceedings kept to a bare minimum. No we can't fly in the church!
CAN YOU FLY INDOORS?
Yes we can though naturally we require a fairly spacious room with a decent high ceiling to fly in. When we operate indoors we are not subject to the rules and regulations placed upon us by the C.A.A. However, we will need to discuss the project in detail before agreeing to anything. As well as requiring plenty of space, it's worth remembering that drones can be quite noisy so will probably be quite intrusive. As in other 'specialist' scenarios people's safety is vitally important to us. Additional insurance cover will also (normally) be required
HOW FAR, HIGH, FAST CAN YOU FLY?
Due to the conditions placed on unmanned aerial systems by the CAA, we are only permitted to fly up to 400ft high, however we can apply for extended heights on a job-by-job basis if flying higher is required. We can also fly out to 500m giving us a 1km radius and can if required fly at up to approximately 50mph/80kph and need line of sight with the UAV at all times.
HOW LONG CAN YOU FLY FOR?
Dependent on weather conditions, we can fly for up to around 30 minutes on a fully charged single battery, however, we normally try to restrict flights to around 20 -25 minutes to avoid the risk of over extending the battery life. During most days of filming we find that two hours of flight time is usually adequate. we will come equipped with enough batteries to complete the task and have the ability to re-charge on site if a longer flying time is unexpectedly required
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?
This is a bit like asking 'how long is a piece of string?' Every job is different and we price each job on an individual basis. Factors including the location, risk, amount of pre-shoot work required (such as site visits or obtaining special flying permissions, if required) will play a part - Our prices start from as little as £150 for a simple photographic package and you can check our price guidelines here and our terms and conditions here but please contact us to discuss your requirements.
DO YOU SELL PRINTS OF YOUR AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY?
Yes, it's, something we are currently setting up. People love pictures of landmarks and sites they recognise. We'll have a gallery of shots (mostly of East Sussex and the surrounding areas) which will be available, printed professionally on high quality papers in a range of sizes from postcard up to 2m wide panoramic canvasses. At the moment we haven't finalised our price list but we are working on it. Contact us to register your interest.
DO YOU HIRE OUT YOUR EQUIPMENT TO THIRD PARTIES?
No. Any job where our equipment is required is flown by us!
ARE UAV’s BETTER THAN HELICOPTERS?
They are certainly much cheaper and more versatile at lower altitudes! Helicopters are loud and intrusive and cannot fly below 500ft. Our battery powered drones are relatively quiet and can fly much closer to the action giving a far more intimate view point. We can also get our aircraft up in the air quickly when action may be sporadic. Therefore you have access to aerial filming throughout the day rather than a specified small window of time with a helicopter.