Roof Survey within built up area

Mavic Air 2

The Job
A friend who owns a roofing has asked me to put my skills to use to survey a roof so he can use the images to generate a report.

Am I correct in thinking that by proxy of the client paying for a drone survey that I can fly closer than separation distances dictate in the drone code? Please correct where I’m wrong, it’s been a year since I’ve done my A2 COFC so I’m a bit rusty. I will be using Coverdrone for my insurance and I’ve got a good 50 flying hours under my belt. I would also put my prop guards on as well.

The Concern
The property at it’s closest point is 35m from the boundary of a college. My first Concern being the actual separation distances to other “uninvolved buildings” within the guidance of the drone code. My second concern being it’s highlighted as a yellow zone in drone assist for privacy.

The drone code is so minimal, unless I’m not looking hard enough or flying a Mavic mini. Please can someone guide me with this proverbial threading a needle. If I was representing my self I would more than likely use common sense and caution, however because I’m working on behalf of someone else I want to be watertight with my knowledge if I get questioned, I don’t want any potential failings on my part to make my friends company look bad.

Also due to the proximity of the college I was considering calling 101 to advise them that I am carrying out a commercial drone survey in case they get any calls or concern from members of the public.

Is the flight (defacto) a commercial activity? Need insurance covering commercial use.

Air 2 and A2cofc >50m horizontal uninvolved people. Ask neighbours if closer than 50m is it ok if etc. Sorted. NO INTENTIONAL overflight allowed.

The college privacy wise. Risk assess at the time. Doesn’t have to be a problem. Except closer than 50m and would they give you the ok to become “involved”. I doubt it.

Sell the Air 2 and buys a sub 250g it you want to do regular roof surveys.

Personally, if it’s not going to upset anyone and it’s a one off for a mate and you’re getting no renumeration. Just do it. Won’t take more than 5 mins.

Edit: Actually reread. This is a commercial activity with photos going into a commercial report. I wouldn’t fly it illegally.

Thanks for the input @pky

So to flip this on its head, if I use a sub 250 do all my problems such as notifying the college etc just go away?

Also have you got any experience with hiring a drone? I’ve found a site called which seems a lot more freelance than the likes of Heliguy and I think the prices will reflect that (once I’ve had chance to speak to them tomorrow)

Sub 250g drone … as long as it’s not in an airfield NFZ, you are good to go. The yellow “privacy” thing is for info only as far as I am aware.

I was asked to do a roof survey locally to me.

I turned it down for the following reasons.

I’m purely a recreational flyer, my insurance is for recreational use only.

The property is situated in the centre of my town. It’s a four story Victorian building without any private land associated with it. This would mean I would have to launch and land on a busy public footpath. My local authority does not permit the use of recreational drone activities in this area, it will permit commercial operations but only by those whom hold the prerequisite authorisations from the CAA, full commercial insurance, and wherever possible can conduct the operation outside of peak footfall in that area.

All commercial drone flights require insurance cover.

You need a commercial drone qualification and commercial insurance for any commercial work over people and/or in a built-up area regardless of any agreement from people involved. I speak from experience as I have a CfPO.

Not sub 250g you don’t (insurance expected)

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Nor over these days.

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Our very own Good2Go is ideal for this very question

For this scenario the results are …(but you will need commercial insurance if you being paid for the work)