March 12, 2018
How long does it really take to complete an aerial “mission”?
By: Joannah Tomblin, FAA UAV Pilot
I’m often asked how long it takes to complete aerial photography of an office building, and for most projects, the actual “mission” time is about an hour, but then I had to consider how much time it really takes to get to that one hour “mission” window. Here’s a brief explanation of how long it takes to complete aerial missions. Hope this is helpful.
There’s about two hours of flight prep time and filing flight plans the day before, as well as valuable time talking with the client about any specific needs that need to be met prior to driving to the property. Of course, I must also check all the equipment and occasionally must perform light maintenance. I also watch weather forecasts like a hawk. Winds over 11 mph with gusts kills a photo shoot fast, and typically requires rescheduling. Also, because aerial photography is a relatively “new thing”, people will occasionally walk up to me while I’m flying wanting to look over my shoulder and ask questions. I try to be polite and explain to wait until I’ve landed, but sometimes I must land and start that part of mission a second time. Then there’s the onsite prep time. Typically, about 30-45 minutes to walk the property, set-up the drones and flight controllers, identify obstacles, obtain final flight clearance and then complete any last-minute software updates. So, all in all, the actual amount of time needed to prepare for and complete a mission is about 4-5 hours.
To learn more, or to schedule a meeting to review an upcoming photo shoot or aerial videography project you may be considering, contact our office at 623-845-2747.
7558 West Thunderbird Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85381