Monthly Archives: March 2019

The Photography Show

 

 

SPECIAL OFFERS for The Photography Show 16 – 19 March

We hope to see you at the Photography Show this weekend.  It’s at the NEC, and we are on Stand K131.  We have some very special offers for people visiting us at the Show.

Then we thought, that’s great for all the new people we expect to meet at the Show.  But what about our loyal customers who can’t get there.  Shouldn’t you get the same great Offers?  Of course you should!

So, even if you are not able to attend The Photography Show we are offering the following discounts to everyone between 16th – 19th March 2019.

FREE Workshop worth £150 when you book a drone flying holiday!

Reserve your place on one of our drone flying & photography holidays and choose to attend one of our many workshops for free. For more information on our 2019 holiday programme click here.  We’ll send you a Code to claim your free Workshop as soon as you reserve a place on one of our holidays.  £300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.

FREE 2 hour lesson worth £200 when you book your PfCO course!

Get your PfCO with the UKs longest established and most popular Practical Drone Training Organisation. 3 day Course, every month in Chester and Maidstone for more information click here.  We’ll send you a Code to claim your free Lesson worth £200 as soon as you reserve a place on one of our PfCO Courses.  £300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.

20% discount on all one-to-one drone flying lessons, flying lesson vouchers and one-day Workshops

DISCOUNT CODE: Photoshow20

Protect Your Investment, Learn to Fly with the Experts. Get More Out of Your Flying. For more information or to book a Lesson click here.

 

DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Simon says…

Whenever DJI launch a new product we can be sure that we will be told that this is the pinnacle of technology and it is such an improvement on what already exists that we must absolutely buy one!

As I get older, I know that it’s hard to believe(!) but I become more and more cynical… I’ve already got a Mavic Pro for portability and convenience and a Phantom 4 Pro for the best camera that you could expect to find on a “Prosumer” drone… So why on earth would I consider that I need to spend my money on this, simply to combine the best features of the two aforementioned drones?

Indeed, I resisted the temptation for several months while DJI struggled to satisfy the initial demand… I have to admit that I was even feeling a little smug that I didn’t need to join the queue of clamouring customers!

But then I was giving lessons to new Mavic 2 Pro owners and I started to see what all the fuss was about… Barely any larger and heavier than my trusty Mavic Pro but with a camera that wasn’t just as good as the P4Pro’s… It was significantly better! I believe that the relevant terms are “Colour Saturation” and “Dynamic Range”…

                     

Phantom 4 Pro                                                                                                               Mavic 2 Pro

In layman’s terms it, suddenly became possible to get really good results straight from the camera without the need to resort to LightRoom or PhotoShop in order to compensate for a wide range of exposure values… Dark foreground with fluffy white clouds in the distance and everything correctly exposed and pin-sharp… Absolutely awesome! And although DJI haven’t seen fit to publicise the function, one can even pan the camera without the need to rotate the drone…

Oh, and it’s nice to fly too! This must be the quietest drone that I have ever flown, and the landing leg configuration gives peace of mind to anybody who has been used to dealing with the Phantom’s need to avoid wind gusts when touching-down! Being able to select “Tripod” mode directly from the slide switch on the side of the controller is a nice touch too.

Lest this post be seen as an unduly biased positive review, there are a few things that have disappointed me with the Mavic 2 Pro:

  • I am not a fan of the shoulder bag that comes with the Fly More Kit… It’s awkward to get the drone in and out of and doesn’t afford as much protection as a hard case
  • The gimbal lock is a bit of a faff to fit
  • I am not 100% comfortable with the new “Waypoint” mode where waypoints are plotted on the map rather than by actually flying to them
  • I mourn the loss of the Phantom’s “Course Lock” intelligent flight mode

Other than these relatively minor gripes, am I happy with my purchase? The answer has to be a resounding “Yes”, but now I just have to come to terms with the fact that I should really advertise my original Mavic Pro for sale… Any offers? (Just one very careful owner!)

Drone Flying in France

Drone Flying in France for “Leisure Users”

The rules have now changed in France.

  1. The drone must be registered with “DGAC”, the French equivalent of the CAA
  2. The drone pilot must have appropriate Public Liability Insurance in place

For anything over 800g (any DJI drone heavier than a Mavic Pro Platinum!):

  1. The drone pilot must successfully complete an online course and test

The drone must be labelled so that its registration number can be read with the naked eye from 30cm.

Evidence of items “a” & “c” must be carried at all times when flying a drone

(This can be in hard copy or in an electronic format and must be produced if requested by “the authorities”)

In order to comply with these requirements proceed as follows:

Go to https://alphatango.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/login.jsp

Click the Union Jack to change the language to “English”

Click “CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT”

Select “individual / sole trader”, fill-in all the required details and follow all prompts

You will receive an email containing a link to click in order to validate your account

Once you have done this you will be able to register your drone(s):

You will receive an email confirmation for each drone registered, with a Certificate of Registration attached.

Affix a suitable (“Dymo” or similar) label to your drone showing its registration number.

Having registered your aircraft, in order to fly a drone >800g, you must now proceed as follows:Click “ACCESS TO DGAC TRAINING”

 

Complete the “I’m learning” module

Practice in the “I’m training” module

Complete the “I take my online test” module

(You are required to score 100% in order to pass, so be ready for a few retakes and be aware that the questions remain the same but the multi-choice answers move around!)

Once you achieve 100% you can download your certificate by clicking on “télécharger”

Finally, be sure that you have appropriate PL Insurance in place.

Membership of the British Model Flying Association (bmfa.org) @ £38 per annum gives you £25M worldwide PL cover, although you may already be covered by your existing insurance… You must check, as this is your legal responsibility.

2019 ANO Amendments – The new restrictions around airports explained

 

Image result for gatwick airport

On 20/02/19, the UK Government announced new amendments to The Air Navigation Order 2016. Here we explain the important changes that you need to know about.

2019 ANO Amendments:

1. It remains illegal to fly a drone of any mass within an aerodrome flight restriction zone without permission.

  • Aerodromes can take the form of airports, military airfields, or smaller aviation airfields. You can find a list of the UK’s aerodromes here.
  • Aerodromes have a ‘flight restriction zone’ around them to ensure the safety of aircraft. They are active at all times, and apply to drones of any mass.

2. With effect from 13/03/19, the flight restriction zone around airports and airfields will change.

The previous 1 km restriction from an airfield boundary will be replaced by the airfield’s existing Aerodrome Traffic Zone, and Runway Protection Zone. Together, these two zones make up the new flight restriction zone. You must not fly your drone within this zone unless you have permission.

a) Aerodrome Traffic Zone (ATZ): This is the red circle in the image below. Its epicentre is the midpoint of the longest runway, and has a radius of either 2 or 2.5 nautical miles depending on the length of the runway.

b) Runway Protection Zone: This zone starts from the end of each of the airfield’s runways, extending five kilometres by one kilometre zones*. It’s marked as the red rectangle in the image below.

Both zones extend upwards to a height of 2,000 feet above the airfield. To view a map which illustrates the flight restriction zones of individual airfield’s in the UK, visit the Drone Safe website.

An illustration of the new flight restriction zone around aerodromes, which will come into force on 13/03/19.

*At Heathrow airport, each runway protection zone is 1.5 km wide.

3. If you want to fly your drone within a flight restriction zone, you must have permission from either air traffic control, or the airport itself.

  • It’s up to air traffic control, or the airport itself, to give you permission to fly within an aerodrome flight restriction zone. You can find the contact details of air traffic control units in the UK here.
  • If you want to fly above 400 ft in a flight restriction zone, you need to get permission from the relevant air traffic control, as opposed to the CAA.

To find contact details for the different ATCs you can follow the links in the CAA’s official write-up of 2019 ANO amendments here