Frequently asked questions
Pricing and booking
We do our best to be competitive for the high level of equipment and experience we offer. Call or email for a rate card and feel free to talk to us about the budget you’re working with.
We’ll give you second pencil on your dates until you’re ready to confirm. We’ll need details of your location so we can check whether there are any airspace restrictions – you can do this by sending us a post code and google earth link and we will do the rest. To confirm we ask for a deposit and acceptance of our standard T&Cs.
Do we need a technical Recce?
We generally recommend a tech recce so we can guarantee flight. We look for safe areas for take off and landing, sight lines, obstacles, type of ground surface for low flying, frequency interference, vehicle access so that we can keep batteries on charge etc. Much can be assessed from photographs and conversations with the production team but a tech recce where we will often deploy a Mavic scout aircraft is the only way to really establish that the desired shots can be achieved.
What weather conditions can we fly in?
Our drones have been designed to cope with a small amount of damp in the air but as a general rule rain and drones don’t mix well. We can fly in winds up to 25mph, less in a congested area, but for optimum results we look for 15mph and below. We use wind meters on location to determine whether it’s safe to fly.
How long can we fly for?
We get around 8 to 10 minutes of flight with a standard heavy lift setup. Flight times depend on the payload, conditions and speed so they will vary. We carry enough batteries and charging equipment to allow us to go all day without running out of power. It takes a few minutes to change flight packs between flights and we ask you to allow time for us to keep on top of our battery system and post flight checks to keep everything running smoothly.
What are the flight restrictions?
Our CAA PFCO allows us to fly up to 400 feet and 500 metres away in line of sight from where we’re operating. Depending on the aircraft we’re operating we can fly as close as 15m to people, buildings, roads etc outside our control.
What camera and lens payloads can we fly?
Our heavy lift Alta 8 aircraft carries the MoVI Pro gimbal and can lift compatible camera / lens combinations of around 6 kilos. That would give you our Alexa Mini or Red with cine prime lenses and two axis lens control. The lighter the payload the longer the flight time but if you want to fly an Angenieux short zoom or a Hawk V Lite anamorphic we can do it.
Can we fly outside the UK?
Yes we can. Our systems are easily travelled in flight cases and we have operated in Greece, Greenland, Morocco and Sierra Leone. Most countries have their own set of Drone Regs and we are usually able to attain local permission ourselves or through the Production.
Lipo batteries are packed as Dangerous Goods and can generally not travel in the hold as cabin baggage. We have worked with several specialist shipping agents.
From February 2018 The Helicopter Girls will have a satellite office in Morocco, making heavy lift drone flying with a UK crew quick and easy to arrange.