Frequently Asked Questions regarding RPA/drone capabilities, safety and legalities.
What is a UAV or RPA?
A.UAV is an abbreviation for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and RPA is an abbreviation for Remotely Piloted Aircraft…both refer to an aircraft (drone) piloted by remote control or onboard computer.
What are drones used for?
A.The potential use for drones is being recognised and utilised in numerous industries. Drones are currently being used for aerial video, photography, surveillance, search and rescue, surveying, 3D mapping, industrial inspection, construction, real estate, conservation, crop management, RC hobby and many more applications.
Where can you fly a drone?
A.The best place to fly a drone is an open area where you do not endanger other people, animals or property. A growing number of councils and local government departments are introducing by-laws to restrict where drones can be flown.
What powers a drone?
A.Drones use Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery packs. Battery packs have different storage capacities measured in mAh. The higher the capacity of the battery, the bigger/heavier the battery will be.
What is the maximum payload of a drone?
A.This depends on many factors such as the design of the drone, motors, propellers, electronic speed controllers, and batteries. See the specifications for individual models.
How high, far and long can the drone fly?
A.The flight times vary depending on air temperature, altitude and speed. Dependent on the flying conditions and the equipment, you will normally be able to fly up to a range between one to three kilometres away. Power consumption will be higher when travelling at speed thus decreasing your flight time. Generally, each battery will allow between 15 to 30 minutes of flight time. The legal operation range in Australia is line of sight and below one hundred and twenty metres above ground level.
What happens if the drone loses connection with the controller?
A.If you lose control of the drone due to the signal between the controller and the drone being lost the drone will go into RTL (Return to Land) mode and return to where you took off from with the drone if you had GPS lock on when you took off.
What format is used for image capture on the drone?
A.Video is captured in MP4 formats in ultra-high 4K or 1080P high definition footage. We shoot RAW and JPEG photographs that can capture 34mb images.
What types of weather impact on flying a drone?
A.We cannot fly when it is raining as it is dangerous for water to come into contact with our equipment, and any water on the camera lens will spoil any imagery that is recorded.
The maximum wind strength we can fly in is 25 knots, and anything more is beyond the drone’s safe working limits. We do however require less than 20 knots for guaranteed smooth and stable footage.
Is Freestyle Aerials insured?
A.Freestyle Aerials is insured for… (public liability etc)
Is Freestyle Aerials certified?
A.Freestyle Aerials is certified to operate a commercial drone business in Australia and we can provide copies of our Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) and our RPA Operator’s certificate (ReOC) on demand.
Why is it important to get a certified operator to do your commercial drone work?
A.We always recommend you use an operator who holds an RPA ReOC (Remote Operators Certificate) for these reasons:
• Without a ReOc you will be unlikely to get insurance, leaving you solely liable for any incident or accident arising from flying an RPA.
• For commercial operations you’re not limited to flying a very small RPA. Generally, you need a ReOC if you want to fly anything heavier than two kilograms.
• You are not restricted to operating under the standing operating instructions, that greatly limits where and how you can fly.
ReOC holders are also given significant additional privileges including:
• permission to operate closer than 30 metres, but no less than 15 metres, from a person
• night time flying (with night approval)
• the ability to apply for a range of different additional approvals e.g. beyond-visual-line-of-sight, or permits to fly through national parks.
What safety regulations are in place to fly a drone?
A.Safety is the primary factor that determines when and where we fly at Freestyle Aerials.
We are bound to comply with the rules set out by CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) standard operating conditions:
• You must only fly during the day and keep your RPA within visual line-of sight (VLOS) - close enough to see, maintain orientation and achieve accurate flight and tracking. This means being able to see the aircraft with your own eyes at all times.
• You must not fly your RPA higher than 120 metres (400ft) above ground level.
• You must only fly your RPA during the daytime ie. 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.
• You must keep your RPA at least 30 metres away from other people i.e. any person who is not charged with duties essential to the safe operation of a remotely piloted aircraft.
• You must keep your RPA away from prohibited/restricted areas.
• You must not fly over populous areas such as roads, beaches, heavily populated parks, or sports ovals while they are in use.
• You must have the landowner’s permission for drone take-off and landing.
• You must not fly your RPA over any area where, in the event of a loss of control or failure, you create an unreasonable hazard to the safety of people and property on the ground (populous area).
• You must keep your RPA at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes - one with an operating control tower.
• You must not fly your RPA over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway (without prior approval). This could include situations such as a traffic accident, police operations, a fire and associated firefighting efforts, and search and rescue.
• You can only fly one RPA at a time.
How do I make a booking with Freestyle Aerials?
A.Click on the ‘Contact Us’ link on our website and Freestyle Aerials will contact your shortly to discuss your requirements.