Advise on how to respond to this enquiry

I’ve had the following comms from the organisers of this ‘event’ in regards these pics.

  • Do you hold a GVC or PFCO from the CAA or an A2 C of C if flying an aircraft under 250g.
  • Can you please supply a copy of the filming permit from Birmingham City Council along with any take off and landing permissions from a private landlord as this will have demonstrated that a risk assessment and site survey had been conducted. Certainly when there are groups of people about.
  • Can you confirm that you had permission from the buildings that they are flying within 50m of.

Before I respond telling them that, that’s a load of bollocks a specially the a 2 c of c for under 250 (although happy to be told otherwise.) any advice on wording.

I suspect they want to use the pictures so want to respond politely, and that the main reason they probably wouldn’t be able to use them is because recognisable buildings wouldn’t have had a property release and at the time I was flying under recreational insurance. Although that wouldn’t stop them using them for editorial?

You’ve answered your own question ;o)

Unless you’re looking to sell them I’d just delete the email and give it no more thought.

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I’d imagine they probably wanted their own drone images but were either unfamiliar with the somewhat confusing rules for non-drone pilots or were given lots of sales talk by a “drone pilot” who may have quoted rules and regulations in an effort to make the job sound more expensive.

Obviously "most’ Professional drone pilots wouldn’t do this.

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If you can be bothered to reply then tell them that you were flying within the provisions of the Drone Code and all relevant legislation as a recreational pilot taking pictures for your own purposes. Ask them why they are interested.

If they then say that they would like to use the images my understanding is that you can charge for them. You were not taking the pictures with the intent to sell or to use commercially. They have approached you after the event, no approach was made by either party to the other prior to the event. That absolves you for the need for any commercial insurance or having to comply with any relevant legislation for a commercial operator.

And, if they do want the pictures, ask a substantial but sensible price for their usage :slight_smile:

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£1000 a day plus expenses has nice even ring to it

The Jobsworth writing the email probably nets a grand a week.

The person sending the email has the job title of digital development manager so as @Howard78 points out their regular commercial go to pilot has probably got his arse in his hands or they’ve basing it off outdated legal advise.

Thanks for replies so far. I’ll probably type something up later and then sleep on it and reword it in case I come across too angry in my initial response. Especially as the suggestion the flight was illegal which I didn’t copy and paste into my original post is what really pissed me off.

“If not I would be very wary as the flight would have been conducted illegally.” :rage:

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Any update to this? One thing that really gets on my thruppennies is no knowledge jobsworths. I live for bringing them down a peg or two :smiley:

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I’ve got my response and I intend to send it close to the end of the day, hoping they read it before they go home and send them home in a bad mood! :slight_smile:

I’ve also toned it down a bit as if I do want to get into selling footage or becoming a commercial pilot I don’t want my name in bad books already, so not looking to burn bridges.

On further looking it the company that contacte dme is also a registered charity, so I’ll cut them some slack.

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Definitely this :point_up:

In fact this is what I’m thinking of sending if anyone wants to proof read or make suggestions. It’s already pretty long and I’ve used some wording from this thread already to aid me. I don’t want to make it any longer than is necessary!! :thinking:

Hi xxxx,

Thanks for your email.

You’ve made a number of incorrect assumptions which I’d like to clarify when answering your questions.

The suggestion the flight was taken illegally without all of the required qualifications/permits and permissions is incorrect and I take such a statement unfondly. Hopefully it was just poorly worded. I appreciate drone laws are complicated and I don’t assume myself to be an expert in them either. They were updated on 31 December 2020 to be more simplified, but there are still a number of variables depending on drone/qualifications and operational authorisations, so it’s not always black and white.

Do you hold a GVC or PFCO from the CAA or an A2 C of C if flying an aircraft under 250g

No, in fact none of those are required for a drone that weighs under 250g which qualifies for the ‘open A1 category’. The bare minimum is that the drone owner has an operator ID and has read the manual.

Can you please supply a copy of the filming permit from Birmingham City Council along with any take off and landing permissions from a private landlord as this will have demonstrated that a risk assessment and site survey had been conducted. Certainly when there are groups of people about.

None of that was required. My flight was originally conducted as recreational, not commercial. The flight was conducted from public footpaths. Victoria Square and the adjacent streets are all pedestrianised public spaces. No requirement for take off and land permissions from landowners was necessary. A copy of my risk assessment for city centre flying in Birmingham which I review periodically, the pre-flight report for the early morning flight via Altitude Angel/Drone Assist and a copy of my public liability insurance document for recreational flying can be provided should you wish to continue discussion. No people were on site other than security on the early morning flight of 2nd September as the site had not opened to the public, therefore my judgement call was “not crowded.” The direct overflight of the site on the late evening of the 15th of September for the top down shot was again a judgement call that the site was not crowded at that point. I’ll leave that to your discretion upon reviewing the direct overhead top-down shots. They are the only pictures taken directly above the site. All other flying was done outside the perimeter of the site. Visual line of sight was kept at all times. No additional risk assessment or flight plan was done for the evening flight as no additional risks were identified in the 13 days since the original flight.

Can you confirm that you had permission from the buildings that they are flying within 50m of.

I’m not sure if you mean 50m above or sideways but no permissions from building owners is required and there is no minimum distance for unmanned aircraft. A drone weighing below 250g can be near residential, recreational, commercial or industrial areas. A pilot with additional qualifications can also fly bigger drones without the need for permissions from nearby buildings. People/businesses own land not airspace. This 50m requirement is myth and has been clarified by the CAA previously. Many solicitors quote it’s in section 76 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 but no such exact measurement requirement exists except for stating the height has to be reasonable.

Whilst I respect people should be able to expect privacy in private areas, no filming or photography of anyone in private or business premises was taken at the time and generally speaking I do try to ensure I am 50m above nearest object where possible.

Furthermore there were no flight restrictions issued in the area by NATS AIS at the time of flying on either occasion.

I was flying within the provisions of the Drone Code and all relevant legislation as a recreational pilot taking pictures for my own purposes. I have an operator ID and a flyer ID issued by the CAA which is more than the bear minimum required.

I try to go above and beyond this by having public liability insurance in place. I do risk assessments beforehand when flying in a busy public location and submit flight reports via Altitude Angel. I wear a hi-vis as well as identification so anyone objecting to my presence can easily identify me.

Apologies if the tone of this email sounds off, but it’s important hobbyist photographers who just happen to have a flying camera in their kitbag are not given a bad name or accused of doing things illegally when they are well within their right to do so. Knowing the make, model and weight of the drone, clarifying Flyer/Operator ID and seeing evidence of public liability insurance has more than satisfied the BBC & ITV amongst other print based media that I’m not an irresponsible drone pilot when prior footage was captured by myself for editorial purposes.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

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bare (sp)

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All operating as a business that pay massive wages

Personally, I think you are giving them far too much info for an initial response. I would just enquire as to why they require such information. It may be to purchase the photos or it may be a “drone police” type issue. I’d be inclined to find out which it is - you can then adjust the tone of your reply accordingly :man_shrugging:

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agree - keep this as a 2nd email, but a brief reply enquiring why they are asking etc.

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Hello

What the fuck has it got to do with you

Love

Ade.

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How did they contact you? Where did they get your details from?

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The person that came up with this mastermind saw my pictures on Instagram and asked if he could repost them. Didn’t have a problem with that. The company that then put it all together then contacted me on Instagram asking for a contact email address, to which the rather unfriendly opening engagement from the digital development manager is:

XXX has passed your details onto us about your drone footage and we wanted to follow up.

can you clarify:
Do you hold a GVC or PFCO from the CAA or an A2 C of C if flying an aircraft under 250g.

Can you please supply a copy of the filming permit from Birmingham City Council along with any take off and landing permissions from a private landlord as this will have demonstrated that a risk assessment and site survey had been conducted. Certainly when there are groups of people about.

Can you confirm that you had permission from the buildings that they are flying within 50m of.

If you’re able provide us with evidence of this, If not I would be very wary as the flight would have been conducted illegally.

So pretty sure the approach is we want your stuff, rather than drone police, but in my opinion they haven’t exactly opened the conversation in a friendly way and their wording is quite aggressive.

I note you did tag the whole of Brum and his dog in your insta post :hushed:

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and kisses?

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