What would be the agenda of a typical appointment?

DroneMyEvent would be at your specified location at your specified time to briefly discuss your vision for the video. We typically like to get a feel for what the customer wants so that expectations are set and we aren’t intrusive. There will be a certain degree of creativity from the pilot, but general guidelines and shots that should definitely be taken will need to be discussed beforehand. Means of media transfer will also be established before the day of the event (flash drive, importing straight to a computer, etc.).

Is the drone loud?

This depends. Most compare the sound of the drone to a swarm of bees. If it’s filming a silent event, then it will most likely be heard the entire time, regardless of its altitude. If there is any constant noise (laughter, cheering, yelling, etc.), then it is significantly harder to hear the drone. It also depends on how close the customer wants the shots to be. Obviously, the closer the shots, the louder the drone. If you’re expecting a drone to be filming your event, then it typically isn’t a nuisance.

Can the drone film in inclement weather?

Unfortunately, the drone isn’t waterproof at all. Strong winds shouldn’t be a problem, as it has self-stabilizing features, but it is worth noting that strong winds may result in propellers and/or landing gears being in the shot as the drone itself will be at an angle when fighting the wind. If there is a decent chance of rain, the drone probably wouldn’t be put in the sky. Additionally, if any rain is felt when flying, the drone would be landed immediately.

How much footage can the drone take at once?

The battery lasts about 20-25 minutes on a single charge. I carry two batteries with me, so the total time it lasts is 40-50 minutes. I could be recording the entire time if the customer would like me to do so, so the total footage time would be 40-50 minutes. It is important to note that there would be a several-minute buffer between the first segment of footage and the second as the drone needs to be landed, have its battery replaced, then warm up before takeoff.

How do I receive the footage after my event?

This is important. The easiest way is to put it on a flash drive. I carry my laptop with me to all events, so if the customer can provide a flash drive on site, he/she will walk away from the end of the event with the footage in-hand. Another way is to provide a computer for me to put the footage on directly. The footage is recorded onto a MicroSD card. I carry a MicroSD to standard SD card adapter, as well as a MicroSD to USB adapter. Essentially, if your computer has either an SD card slot or a USB input (which most, if not all, do), then this footage can be uploaded directly to your computer. If neither option is available, I will ask that you send a flash drive to my home after the event (I will notify you of the required capacity), then I will put the footage on the flash drive and send it back.

What can I do with the footage once I receive it?

That’s up to you! Videos are recorded in .MOV files and photographs are saved as .JPG, both of which are two of the most editable video and photograph formats of their kind. They can be played/viewed as they are on a computer, or they can be edited into an epic home movie. Personally, I find that iMovie works wonderfully in editing this raw footage.

Is the drone a safety hazard?

The Phantom 3 Advanced is really an incredible machine. It’s very hard to crash for an experienced pilot. That being said, it is still operated by a human. It has yet to be crashed after many, many flights. If it were to crash into something, it would most likely be a tree or telephone wire. I would never fly close enough to the ground where someone could jump up and grab it as the high-powered propellers could cut skin. Ultimately, I don’t believe it provides a safety hazard as long as it’s requested to be flown in an open enough area.

Can the drone be flown indoors?

Technically, it can. It has indoor visual positioning capabilities. Personally, however, I have yet to fly it indoors. It would certainly be loud and a bit harder to operate. I’m only comfortable flying it outdoors as that’s where I believe it is meant to be.

Does footage turn out well in the dark?

Past sunset, the footage becomes hard to see. Anytime before sunset, however, the photographs and video turn out well.

Are services available all the time?

Unfortunately, I am a college student and work during the day in the summer. Availability is most often found on the weekends or on weekdays after 5:30pm. During the academic year, availability is extremely limited.

Don’t drones have to be registered now?

They do. UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) above .55 lbs. and below 55 lbs. must be registered with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). My drone has a label on one of its motor arms and I am aware of FAA laws governing the use of drones. Going along with that, drones are not allowed to be flown within 5 miles of airports.