workflow method 

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ABOUT
Me

As you might expect, given the controlled nature of commercial SUA operations, 330airial has a 'safety first' structured approach to the flying aspect of any client work. I have to operate within the scope set out in my Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority, and it's important to remember that flying is a weather-dependent activity, for the most part.

 

Setting the flying aspect to one side for a moment, I'm pretty flexible and approachable when it comes to client interactions. You can be as involved as much or as little in the SUA work as you wish. For some clients, that will mean being present when the flying operations take place; for others, it will mean simply setting out their requirements, and waiting for the initial results. The choice, as they say, is yours!

It's of fundamental importance to me to make sure the end result fully meets your requirements. An open dialogue from the presentation of the initial results should ensure you end up with exactly what you want.

 

It's entirely up to you how you choose to make initial contact with me - you can call me, email me or fill in the 'Contact' form on the website and I'll get back to you, connect to me on LinkedIn, message 330airial on Facebook or Instagram...

Once you've made initial contact, I'll get back to you to take things further. If you'd like to meet for a coffee and a chat (or rather a tea and a chat, and hopefully a piece of cake too), that's absolutely fine, and on me.

As part of the initial contact process, I'll be able to assess the suitability of your site location for SUA work. The rules put in place by the CAA for commercial drone operation are tough, but fair - and have safety for all at their centre. I'll be able to advise whether your location is deemed a 'congested area' or not, which will determine the fundamental nature of the SUA services I'll be able to provide for your specific requirements.

 

Once the basic suitability of your site for SUA operations has been established, I can then move on to the next stage in my modus operandi - the remote site survey.

This exercise clarifies your requirements, and fits them in to a remote survey, as the name suggests. Using a variety of online sources, I'll prepare a short plan that sets out:

  • the proposed location for the SUA activities

  • an agreed initial date for operations (weather dependent)

  • factors that I need to consider with specific reference to my CAA Permission for Commercial Operations (e.g. operational airspace, different hazards)

  • site access

  • weather forecasts

  • items to be checked on arrival for the on-site survey

At this point I'll also discuss with you an expected timeframe for completion of your project, and the associated costs. Written authority for access to the site will be sought at this time.

 

on-site preparations

If you're happy with the initial proposal incorporated in the remote site survey, we can then move to the next phase - the on-site operations survey and operations preparations. It is possible to conduct an on-site survey prior to the day that operations take place if you prefer. Alternatively, the on-site survey can be conducted on the day prior to flight operations.

Once this survey has been successfully completed, and approptiate weather, risk and site preparation checks have been passed, I can then move to the active part of the process - the flight operations.

Before I begin flying the SUA, there's more checks to be completed (I did say the CAA rules for SUA operations had safety at their core). The aircraft will undergo a series of on-site checks to ensure that it's ready to fly, working properly, and that the batteries in both the aircraft and the ground station have sufficient charge for the duration of the operations.

I may also take this time to check the height of any potential obstacles on site, using the SUA to accurately measure the height of trees, walls, chimney stacks and any other potential hazards.

 

Now it's time to fly!

Depending on the work being undertaken, the SUA will either be operated entirely by myself, or may fly in a semi-autonomous manner, using a piece of software to capture images of a pre-defined area. If the latter option is being used, I retain the ability to immediately take over manual control of the aircraft at any time, and can also have it Return To Home (RTH) immediately if necessary.

As per my CAA PfCO, the SUA must remain within my Visual Line of Sight (VLoS), and cannot be operated more than 400ft above ground level. If, for example, the SUA has the potential to disappear from my sight whilst undertaking its survey/filming/photographing, a spotter can be used, and will be in contact with me via walkie talkie.

A clear take off/landing area will be identified for use by the SUA, and will be located clear of potential hazards. It is possible to section off a work area if you prefer.

 

post-flight operations

Once the aircraft has completed its aerial tasks, returned to home and landed, the work doesn't stop there. There's another checklist to go through at this point - for post-flight operations.

The SUA will be turned off, and a number of checks will be performed on it. Flight times and battery usage and charge status will also be recorded.

An initial review of footage/pictures taken can be carried out at this time, if a client wishes. This allows the opportunity to make sure that appropriate material has been collected on the SUAs internal microSD memory card. If additional footage is required, then it's a relatively straightforward matter to return the SUA to the air. 

If all aerial operations have been completed, then the aircraft can be dismantled and put away. Any location restrictions put in place for the flight operations can be removed at this time, and the site can return to normal!

 

As part of the initial contact and subsequent remote survey, we will have agreed what the initial results of the operation will look like. It might be a first cut film, a 360 degree panoramic image, a plan of an aerial survey, or a 3d model. It might be an orthomosaic map, or heat-map of crop or thermal imaging information.

Whatever it is, it'll be delivered in a format that you can access, and with sufficient instructions and guidance so that you can make sense of it. If you prefer, we can have a call to go over the initial results over the phone, or indeed we can even have an online meeting where we can share a computer screen and I can show you precisely how any 3d model or orthophotographic map should be interpreted.

 

Initial results are just that - initial!

During the initial results call/meeting, follow up filming/surveying may be required or agreed. If so, I'll create another remote site survey and on-site operations survey, and return on an agreed date (I hate to say it again, but this is Scotland - weather permitting!) to undertake any additional work, following the process outlined above.

Any such additional work will be added to the project deliverable, and we'll go back to the results deliver phase. From my perspective, there's no real limit on the to-ing and fro-ing - ideally I'd like to nail your project brief first time, but at the end of the day you have to be happy that you've received what you expected, and that it is in a format that is of the most use to you.

 

​At this point you should be in possession of a finished piece of work, be it a film, survey map or 3D model that is exactly what you want. At this point, I'll submit my agreed invoice, and thank you for your custom, hopefully over another cup of tea and slice of cake.

Feedback is incredibly important, in terms of ensuring that 330airial is operating as well as it can, and that it is meeting your expectations - and hopefully exceeding them. A chat about how things have gone over that tea and cake would be very helpful, but I understand not all clients will have the time. A very brief client survey is an alternative way of asking for feedback - I know no-one really likes filling in feedback forms, but I promise to keep it short and to the point!

Hopefully we end the project with you having a warm, happy feeling towards 330airial, SUAs and what we can both do. And hopefully we'll work together again.

330airial is a trading name of 330 Consulting Limited SC420925

(C) 330 Consulting Limited 2019

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