UPDATE - As of February 2007 the Federal Gov't has banned the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial purpose. Thus, we now operate full sized, manned helicopters and airplanes. The information below was posted prior to the banning unmanned aircraft.

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We often receive questions about our unmanned aircraft. The FAQ's below should clarifiy some of the commonly requested information.

Are your unmanned helicopters regulated by the FAA?
Up to what altitude can the helicopter be flown?
What cameras do you use with the your helicopters?

What camera mount do you use on your helicopters?
Can what the camera is shooting be seen in real time?
Can the helicopter operate during night time?
How long can the helicopter remain aloft?
What is the maximum wind speed for stable and safe flying?
Can the camera zoom be operated remotely?
Can the helicopter fly over crowded areas?
Any special permits required for flying the helicopter?
Do you offer infrared thermal imaging?

Your question is not in this list? Don't hesitate to contact us.

Answers:

Q: Are your unmanned helicopters regulated by the FAA?
A: As of this time the FAA does NOT allow commercial use of unmanned aircraft.


Q: Up to what altitude can the helicopter be flown?
A: The helicopter range is nearly 5,000' above the ground (AGL) but for safety reasons we average altitudes of about 100-400' AGL

 

Q: What caera mount do you use on your helicopters?
A: We use products by PhotoShip One. We find thier products to be the best in the industry for remote helicopter and airplane aerial photography and video.

 

Q: What cameras do you use  with the helicopter?
A: For video we use DSLR cameras weighing approx 3lb.

 

Q: Can what the camera is shooting be seen in real time?
A: Our helicopter is equipped with a 2.4ghz wireless video microwave system with an operational range of up to 2000' line of sight. This signal is monitored in real time by a camera operator and director with our 10" LCD display ground station.

 

Q: Can the helicopter fly during night time?
A: Yes, we now offer this option for video. For stills we can only operate up until sunset.

 

Q: How long can the helicopter remain aloft?
A: Average flying time is about 5-10 minutes.

 

Q: What is the maximum wind speed for stable and safe flying?
A: Flying is possible up to 15mph. Gusty winds reduce stability of the shot and compromise safety.

 

Q: Can the camera zoom be operated remotely?
A: For the type of shots typically had by a remote helicopter we find fixed focal distances are better, we normally use a wide angle lense. For closer shots we fly closer tothe subject.

 

Q: Can the helicopter fly over crowded areas?
A: Flying over crowded areas is very dangerous, we WILL NOT do that type of shot for safety reasons.

 

Q: Any permits required for flying the helicopter?
A: No permits are required specifically for the helicopter's operation. However, as with any commercial production, any permit requirements for commercial TV/Film shooting in general do apply.

 

Q: Do you offer infrared thermal imaging?
A: Currently we do not, but we can offer references for companies that do.

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