Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you want to learn more about the drone services? Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions.

How can SPECTAIR assist me with my requirements?

SPECTAIR is the ideal partner when it comes to the provision of professional drone services. We offer a wide range of operational areas.

 

We assist you with the creation of photographs and film recordings from unusual perspectives, and with demanding mapping and surveying work. We perform complex inspection tasks on industrial facilities, photovoltaic systems, wind energy installations and bridges. The monitoring of projects or the environment is in good hands with us. We also assist the police, fire brigade and rescue workers during the search for missing persons, with the preparation of location documentation and with all other safety-related fields of application.

 

Please contact us if you require a professional view from the air. We provide you with advice independent of a manufacturer, plan and realise your flight project and ensure that you get the perfect aerial photograph.

How does SPECTAIR use the drone technology?

SPECTAIR offers the possibility to make a wide range of equipment airborne with its drones, for example, for film productions, surveys or inspection tasks. First and foremost, our intelligent robot technology enables drones to fly very close to objects located in outer areas and indoors in a safe and uncomplicated manner. Due to the design, we allow you to tap into possible applications for countless areas of applications.

How can I save costs through the use of SPECTAIR?

The potential savings through the use of drones are manifold:

 

Drones are extremely cheap and flexible compared to many conventional methods with helicopters, cranes, lifts and scaffolding. They are quickly ready for use, small in size and help to avoid unnecessary risks.

 

The expense and the risk associated with the use of industrial climbers can often be reduced through the use of flying robots. In addition, the inspection period can be significantly reduced in many cases and closures of buildings and terrain can be circumvented.

Do I, as a customer, have to obtain a flying authorisation?

No. SPECTAIR is a full service provider and takes care of all the necessary authorisations and formalities. We arrange both the take-off authorisation and any necessary approvals from other authorities for you such as from the public order agency, office for traffic management, parks and open spaces department, etc.

How do you control a drone?

Usually, a traditional remote control system is used to control the drone, as it is known from flights with model aircraft. A very precise control is thus possible. Many manufacturers also offer tablet personal computers. Here, the operation is intuitive and much easier to learn. The altitude, for example, is controlled by the movement of a finger on the touchpad, which is controlled by tilting the pad in a certain direction. The drone adopts the movement and changes position and direction. This method is rarely used by professional service providers, however.

Do I need an authorisation for flights as a pilot?

The private or commercial use of airspace with drones requires the permission of the local government agency according to section 20 para. 1 no. 7 Air Traffic Licensing Order (Luftverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung “LuftVZO”) in the country and the local government administrations in the respective federal state. The application form must usually be accompanied by further information/proof: Proof of insurance concerning liability insurance, details on the pilot’s training courses or experience (practical and theoretical) and technical information about the drone to be used.

 

For example, only individual licenses are provided in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) for unmanned aviation systems with internal combustion engines or a total mass exceeding 5 kg. The application for a single take-off permit according to section 20 LuftVO consists of the following documentation:

 

  • Proof of insurance concerning liability
  • Maps or aerial images, onto which the scheduled flight sector and the launching and landing area are marked
  • Written agreement of the property owner or other person authorised to dispose
  • Written agreement of the competent public order agency at the location of the planned take-off (for an inner city take-off)
  • Possibly the necessary approval of the DFS (in controlled airspace)
  • Details on planned safety measures
  • Details on the pilot’s training courses and experience
  • Technical details on the aircraft used
How long, how high and how far can drones fly?

The flight time is largely determined by the design principle of the drone, the inserted battery technology and the payload. Furthermore, environmental conditions such as wind and rain and the flight dynamics (speed, route) play a significant role. Depending on the situation, the flight time can be only 8 minutes or even an hour. SPECTAIR carefully plans each flight project in advance and can thus include the decisive factors in due time.

What should I consider when performing repair and maintenance work on a drone?

Drones are subject to wear and tear according to use and must be maintained and repaired accordingly. Manufacturers confer the statutory manufacturer warranty. If damage occurs during the warranty period, the manufacturer will rectify this under warranty. Repairs that are needed as a result of self-inflicted injuries are not covered by the warranty. All work should always be executed solely by the manufacturer’s expert staff.

What kind of insurance do I need as a customer?

You do not require your own insurance for a flight carried out by SPECTAIR. All flights are under the protection of a liability insurance stipulated by law.

What kind of quality do the aerial photographs taken by drones have?

Our flying robots are equipped with cameras, such as Nikon, Canon, Panasonic or Sony. High resolution photos with a resolution of up to 45 megapixels can be created with the camera systems used by SPECTAIR as standard. Videos are recorded in full HD quality (1080p). Other cameras weighing up to 2.5 kg can be affixed to the SPECTAIR drones.

 

In addition, modern attached camera systems provide for sharp and stable aerial photographs.

Are there any restrictions or prohibitions when operating a drone?

In Germany, the Air Traffic Act (Luftverkehrsgesetz, “LuftVG”) applies. The use of drones is regulated by law in Germany and in other countries. We fly in Germany according to the so-called Visual Flight Rules (VFR). With this method, the pilot must have visual contact with the aircraft at all times. Automated, autonomous flights are prohibited once the pilot is no longer able to intervene in accordance with the visual flight rules. Flights without a statutory take-off permit are forbidden. Furthermore, personal rights and copyright must be protected within the scope of imaging techniques. It is a statutory obligation to take out liability insurance for the use of a drone. For SPECTAIR it is a matter of course to comply with all laws and directives during the provision of services.

 

Directives for the protection of privacy/Personal rights

The drone services provided by SPECTAIR ensure that all laws and directives to protect privacy are observed. For users of drones, irrespective of whether the use is for commercial or private purposes, compliance with the protection of individual rights applies. The freedom of panorama is a limitation of copyright. The freedom of panorama allows anyone to reproduce works protected by copyright such as buildings, which can be seen from public traffic routes and public open spaces, without having to obtain the required authorisation to do so. This applies to taking photographs as well as to their publication.

Can the drones utilised by SPECTAIR be used indoors?

Yes. The drones used are suitable for indoor as well as outdoor use. For the take-off and landing, you require an area of approximately 3m x 3m in areas which are not deserted.

 

Otherwise a surface which is slightly larger than the diameter of the flying robot will be sufficient.

How safe is a drone?

During the construction of the drones used by SPECTAIR, attention is paid to the highest level of safety possible. All devices used by SPECTAIR have passed the quality checks performed by the manufacturers and the SPECTAIR pilots and are suitable for commercial use.

What kind of insurance do I need as a pilot?

For the use of a drone, a so-called aircraft liability insurance is compulsory, which safeguards against damage to people and valuables. The existing public liability insurance does not suffice.

 

Contact us! We will be glad to help you find a suitable insurance.

What kind of training is required for the safe control of a drone?

The training required for controlling a drone is often underestimated. The flying basics can usually be taught during approx. 8 hours of training. Pilots who have to perform more demanding tasks need to complete more complex training courses. On the whole, the available prior experience and the skilfulness of the pilot are decisive for the training duration.

Which camera systems and sensors can be transported?

The drones used by SPECTAIR are equipped with high-quality sensors and cameras. Other payloads can be transported as needed.

Will I only receive the raw data?

No, SPECTAIR will naturally not leave you alone with the post-processing and evaluation of the created aerial photographs. We have experts in the areas of: Photo and film, thermography, inspection and measurement, geography and mechanical engineering, who can assist you with your projects.

Can SPECTAIR also implement special requests?

Drones are suitable for a variety of fields of application. If you have special requirements or wishes or face a particularly special challenge, we at SPECTAIR are the ideal partner for you. We provide you with individual advice and find the optimal solution for your project.

How expensive is a drone or the equipment?

The drone manufacturers on the market produce different models for the respective operational areas. Depending on the design and technical requirements, a flying robot can cost anywhere from € 500 to € 50,000. The equipment which is lifted by the drone into the air must also be added. Cameras and special sensors are estimated at approx. € 1,000 to € 25,000.

 

Naturally there are cheaper self-assembly kits and toys which can be assembled by skilful persons on their own. In this regard, however, it must be noted that comprehensive test series, testing routines, quality control measures and practical experience are not available from professional manufacturers and are therefore out of the question for commercial use.

What happens when the radio connection is lost?

If the radio connection is interrupted once, the so-called failsafe routine will take effect. Normally, the flying robot then returns back to its place of departure automatically.

Which payload can a drone lift?

The models belonging to the 5 kg class produced in Germany can withstand a payload of up to 2.5 kg depending on the weight of the drone.

Can a drone be taken on board when travelling by air?

Experience has shown that there may occasionally be problems during the security checks at airports. A drone packed in a transport box can usually be checked in as a normal piece of luggage. The batteries can be taken in hand luggage with a number of airlines. In principle, however, batteries should rather be sent separately as freight. Since the airlines have different rules with respect to safety regulations, it is best to inform yourself about the current hand luggage regulations for your airline in due time.