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Flying over nearby buildings in UK
1261 2 2018-6-12
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Steve M B

United Kingdom

Hi Guys,

Please forgive me if this is in the wrong place.
I currently work as an insurance claims validator which involves quite a lot of domestic roof inspections. I am usually able to do these with a camera pole but occasionally I can't get access with a pole.

I am considering getting the relavant CAA permissions etc to use a drone for these surveys. I would hopefully be able to utilise the drone in other ways to recoop some of the costs.

I've been doing quite a lot of research and there is one thing that isn't quite clear in my mind.

What qualifies a building to be within my control if it is within 50 mtrs of a property I am surveying. Is it sufficient to knock on the doors and advise what I am proposing to do and ask if they have any objections or is there more involved?

A lot of houses I visit are either terraced or semi detached properties so the 50mtr zone could include 20 or 30 houses!

Thanks in advance, Steve

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First Officer
Flight distance : 232306 ft
United Kingdom
"A permission from the CAA is required to be held if you wish to conduct a commercial operation with your aircraft (iaw ANO 2016 article 94[5]), or if you wish to fly your aircraft:
  • within 150m of either a congested area or an organised open air crowd or more than 1000 persons (iaw ANO2016 article 95),
  • within 50m of people or properties/objects that are not under your control (iaw ANO2016 article 95)"

Basically eitherway you need to get permission, you want to use the drone commercially at which point you need CAA permission; the fact the building you're surveying is under your control is neither here or there as it's commerical work.

Once you have the CAA permission then you're also covered for flying over / within 50m of the surrounding property.

There is a potential ambiguity in that you're working for your employer so if you're using your own equipment to aid in your job is it actually commercial work?
If the drone is required to do your job then really your employer should be paying for it and the CAA approval.
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Flight distance : 198655 ft
United Kingdom

A bit late but consider that the 50m is a radius from the drone, therefore flying at 50m above the property is also valid. The only issue is how you get there. You cannot overfly people, vehicles or structures that are not under your control. that said, you can overfly the gardens at 50m.

The biggest problem you may have is take-off and landing where you need a 30m radius.
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