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What is a drone?

The word 'Drone' is commonly used to describe Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) - the name gives it away, no humans on-board!

Modern drones have technology not too disimilar to what is in your phone, some accelerometers to tell which way is up, GPS modules, software to control flights plans and all sorts of other tech.

We build our own drones so won't get too geeky right now as we could go on forever!

We use the term Drones as it's what the public now understand, other names include Multirotor, Quadcopter, Octocopter, UFO's...

Do you need a license to fly a drone?

There is not a 'license' to fly a drone.

As of 30/11/2019 anyone wanting to pilot a drone in the UK weighing above 250g must pass an online 'education package'.

To conduct commercial operations i.e. get paid for flying a drone, you have to obtain a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) Find out how to in a seperate question below.

Both the Drone Registration and PfCO are controlled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - they control all the airspace above your head in the UK and deal with everything from hot air balloons to 747's to drones!

To register as a pilot and to find out more information, check out the CAA's website here

How high can you fly?

400ft - that's 120 metres!

All drones are limited to this height in order to keep a safe distance from General Aviation like planes and helicopters which can fly as low as 500ft.

Some aircraft fly even lower than this so we always keep our eyes out! Birds, Paragliders, Air Ambulances, Military aircraft are just some examples of things to keep an eye out for.

How long can you fly for?

Our state of the art drones can fly for up to 30 minutes.

We have the facilities to charge batteries on-site without the need to access a plug.

We also carry multiple spare batteries, rest assured we will have plenty of charged batteries to fly all day.

How far away can you fly?

500 metres - we must always maintain Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) i.e. not behind buildings, trees or anything that would obstruct a direct view of the drone.

Imagine driving a car only seeing out of the front window... now try to reverse around a corner... sound like guesswork?

Maintaining VLOS allows us to always be aware of the drones' surroundings.

Are drones insured?

We MUST have insurance to operate commercially.

We are fully insured with Public Liability of £5million as standard. We also hold Professional Indemnity too.

We highly recommend hobby fliers getting basic Public Liability insurance too.

Where can drones fly?

As we hold a valid PfCO, we are able to fly in places not many others can.

For example, without a PfCO you are unable to operate within 150 metres of a congested area, that's any built up area like a housing estate, high street or industrial estate.

We have flown at many airports, literally along the runways sometimes. We communicate with Air Traffic Control (ATC) to work seamlessly with their operations.

A great free interactive map to see the restrictions on drone flying is No Fly Drones

Can you fly in the rain?


The main issue even with drones which we have specially coated for operations in the rain is that we simply can not get water droplets off of the lens of the camera once it is up in the sky.

Due to this, we rarely fly in the rain unless it is absolutely necessary.

Are there any laws about flying drones?

Yes! Did you know people have been arrested for operating drones illegaly?

A great resource for seeing the ins and outs of the regulations can be found at Drone Safe UK.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) govern the skies above the UK, a wealth of information on the laws can be found here too.

How much do drones cost?

They trully range depend on their capabilities.

We have drones in our fleet that have cost £400 and others that we have spent £15,000 on.

Drone technology is becoming more efficient every day - similar to phone technology, it's becoming smaller and more capable.

You can bag yourself a great small drone for around £350, we're not affiliated with - but can recommend the DJI Mavic Mini.

How do you set up a drone business?

First things first, a drone is just a tool.

Buying a drone and getting a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) will not bring you in work.

At CineCover we solve problems for our clients and specialise in drones.

Drone business specifically, you would need to get a PfCO and be fully insured.

Can you travel abroad with drones?

Absolutely! We have travelled with drones to: USA, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.

We highly recommend checking with each airline or travel agent the rules on travelling with batteries.

In the majority of cases, you need to take all of the batteries as 'carry on' luggage with you. This is to ensure that the batteries are 1) kept at the right pressure 2) kept at the right temperature) 3) albe to be dealt with should the battery malfunction.

How difficult is it to control a drone?

It may seem easy to fly a drone but there is more to it than you may think!

To be fully in control you have to constantly monitor Battery status, Battery level, GPS status, all the airspce around you, as well as line up the camera to show what you are capturing, making sure that you have exposed the camera properly...

This doesn't include what it is like if the weather conditions are not in your favour, what other risks may be about in the area or being prepared for anything unexpected!

There are lots of things to think about but modern drones do a lot of the heavy lifting themselves.

Our homebuilt drones fly manually and take a lot of practice to master. Jason spent 40 hours in a simulator before flying one for real.

Are there any privacy laws around drones?

Simple answer, Yes!

We highly recommend reading the Information Commisioner's Office guidance on drones here.

We must follow all GDPR and privacy guidlines like any other photographer or videographer, especially when operating in public spaces.

Can you fly indoors?

Yes and we do regularly!

Ever tried to open up a map on your phone whilst in a building? It's a bit off sometimes right?

Exactly the same thing happens with drones that use GPS.

Therefore to operate safely indoors we tend to fly in a manual mode which takes a lot more skill and practice to master as there is no GPS position hold like when you are outside!

How many drone operators are there in the UK?

As of 27/03/2020 there were 5870 valid PfCO's (commercial drone operators) in the UK.

Some 11237 have initially obtained the PfCO, meaning a drop out rate of 48% (not renewing at the end of a year)

About 150,000 operators (both hobbist and commercial) have registered with the CAA's Drone Registration scheme.

Got a question that was not covered? Drop us a message here.

Why use drones?

Risk Managament

Huge reduction of risk as no people will be working at height.

Fast Deployment

Can be onsite and flying the same day as a call!

Quick Capture

We are able to inspect multiple sites in one day.

Fast Turnaround

We guarentee a 24 hour turnaround - or it's on us!

Full Site Coverage

Drones can access and capture areas like never before.

Minimal/No Disruption

No scaffolding, ladders or teams of people on-site.

Social Distancing Friendly

No need for all stakeholders to be onsite, send images and reports online.

Up to date imagery

Insurers LOVE having regular and up to date aerial images of your site, it adds credibility and professionalism.

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Turnaround within 24 hours or it's on us

Not just that, your money back if you are not 100% satisfied with the results we produce for you.

From capture to delivery, 24 hours.

100% satisfaction guarantee.