Is it legal to fly drones?

Yes, all our pilots hold an FAA sUaS Pilot License and are legally allowed to fly drones and small unmanned aerial systems legally.

Are drones safe?

At RI Drone Services, we are committed to using only the safest, technologically advanced and well-maintained civilian class drones available today. Our high-performance drones are safe, stable, and agile. Flight controls display altitude, flight speed, and distance and “dynamic home point” technology can make the drone return to its home-point on command. We are diligent about operating in a safe environment and, just like pilots of manned airplanes, we follow strict procedures leading up to every flight. We will not operate if we feel that it is unsafe to do so. We brief every individual involved in the flight in advance on specific details of the flight and safety procedures.

The media is always reporting on crashes involving drones…are crashes really that common? 

No, they are not. As with anything, reckless use leads to accidents. The near-misses or other drone incidents that are widely publicized typically involve drones that are used in a reckless manner – like flying above the recommended ceiling of 500 feet, or beyond the operator’s line of sight. We take the operation of these drones very seriously, so we stay current on training and safety protocols, and we diligently abide by the AMA’s guidelines for drone operation. We do not take chances, and we avoid flying in poor weather conditions.

Do you have insurance?

Yes, to protect all of our clients, we carry commercial liability insurance that covers our operations.

Where are you based?

We are based in Rhode Island, but our work takes us to all over the country, from Oregon and California, to Louisiana and New England. We’re always eager to explore new locations, so don’t hesitate to ask!

How high can you fly?

Remote equipment can fly up to 400 feet according to current AMA guidelines. We operate our drones by line of sight, so 400 feet is more than enough altitude for most of our projects.

Does weather affect your ability to fly?

Yes, it does. We avoid precipitation and windy conditions, since they affect operation of the drone. Also, lighting conditions are important to optimal footage – overcast skies can be great for some scenes, whereas bright sunshine is best for others.

What kind of image quality do you get?

The digital camera is a special lightweight unit that is capable of taking 16 megapixels. The shots can be seen real-time via our ground station screens, or, upon landing, the photographs can be reviewed by removing the SDHC card and loading it into a computer. The same camera used for photographs can also take Full HD videos or 4K and 1080 pixels (1920 x 1080), 23, 30, and 60 frames per second NTSC standard. As with still images, the video can be reviewed in real-time at our ground station, or with FPV goggles, a portable computer, or HD TV equipped with digital input plugs.

Is is safe to fly over people?

We really don’t need to fly directly over people – our cameras can take crowd footage from a variety of angles without endangering the individuals below.

Can you fly inside?

At this time, we can fly our drones inside of large spaces such as gymnasiums or convention halls. We plan to fly in smaller spaces in the near future … stay tuned!

What is the maximum operating distance for the drone?

Regulations require that we limit our drone’s flight path to a 2-mile radius. However, regulations and best practices for safe operations also dictate that we maintain a visual line of sight with the drone. Therefore, it’s unlikely that our drone would ever approach a distance of 2 miles from the operator. With that said, the high resolution cameras mounted on our drones provide a very wide view.

Can we use our own camera on your drone?

Most of our drones are equipped with built-in high resolution cameras, although a few can be equipped with separate cameras. We can fly with almost any equipment as long as it fits our payload space and weight restrictions.

Can you control the camera from the ground?

Yes, we can remote control tilt, pan and roll.

Can you see what you are shooting?

Yes, we see the images and video via wireless video feed from our drones.

Can the wireless video from the drone be used for live broadcast?

Yes, the video transmitter can transmit 1080P HD video from over 2 miles away.

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