FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How high can you fly?

The CAA stipulates a UAV flight ceiling of 400 feet (120 metres). This is to keep a safe separation zone from the airspace of manned aircraft, which must keep to a minimum in-flight altitude of 500 feet.

However in rural or remote spaces, flight over 400 feet could be achieved if certain safety precautions are taken. In special circumstances, applications can be made to the CAA to fly above the flight ceiling, even in built-up areas.

How close can you fly to people or buildings?

Flights cannot be made over members of the public without their prior knowledge and agreement.

Between the UAV and people or property not under our control, a separation zone must be maintained of 30m while taking off and landing, and 50m during flight. This separation zone does not apply to anyone involved in the shoot – they will be briefed on precautions to take when near the aircraft.

The same applies for buildings and other property – as long as we have consent from the owner, we can fly close.

Within the UK, if flying within 150 metres of built-up areas or near large crowds, Redkite must make an application to the Civil Aviation Authority for clearance. The application can take up to 14 days, so shoot locations and dates must be given to Redkite with enough time for this process to be carried out.

Can you fly in the rain/wind?

We can fly at wind speeds of up to 25mph gust, in a temperature range of -10°C to 40°C.

Steadiness is largely related to weather conditions so we recommend a maximum wind speed of 15mph for the smoothest shot.

Flying in light snow is possible, but due to the open nature of the aircraft’s components and not wanting any water on the lens, we cannot fly in any rain.

What if the weather is too bad on shoot day?

When you book a date with us, we automatically include 1 day either side for weather contingency.

As the date approaches, we use advanced forecasting services to monitor the weather on that date.

Up to 48 hours before the shoot, we can make the call that the weather will be unsuitable, and the shoot can be rebooked at no extra charge.

How long can you be airborne per flight?

This depends on factors including the specific aircraft, the weight of the payload and weather conditions, but it is usually 10-30 minutes per battery.

We can land, replace batteries and take off again within a couple of minutes.

Can I see what’s being filmed?

Yes – we have an on-screen display which gives live details of altitude, velocity, distance from home point etc. – so we can fly to precise positions and respond to your direction in real-time.

What cameras can you lift?

Our Matrice 600 aircraft is configured to lift cameras weighing up to 5kg, allowing us to fly RED Epic/Dragon, and Sony A7Sii.

The heavier cameras actually make the aircraft more stable during flight. However, flight time is to a degree proportional to payload weight, so we strip cameras down as much as possible to allow for maximum time in the air.