Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of weather conditions can you fly in?

The two main limiting factors for the SkyMotion Video drones are wind and precipitation. At the time of this writing, we follow these guidelines.

First, for safety reasons involved when operating near actors, we do not fly our larger systems in winds exceeding 26km/h, and our smaller systems in winds exceeding 32km/h.

The Freefly ALTA 8 system can be flown in light precipitation, but do keep in mind that precipitation may affect the camera, and droplets will likely form on the lens unless a spinning b-glass is used.

Drones in winter

How long can you fly?

Our systems are electric with typical flight times of 10 to 18 minutes, depending upon payload and weather conditions. When the battery pack is almost exhausted, we simply land the drone and replace the exhausted battery packs with a fully charged set. We have several battery packs and a portable charging station on-site to allow continual flights throughout the day. For remote locations which we can drive to, we are able to provide a generator at a cost of $40.00/day.

How high, and how fast can you fly?

Altitude is typically limited to 400′. This is a standard condition set by Transport Canada and many national regulators worldwide. For shoots requiring altitudes beyond 400′, special permission can be obtained, but additional prep time will be required for the application process. As for speeds, wind conditions play a role, but it is not uncommon to obtain maximum speeds of about 80km/h while flying cameras such as the ARRI Alexa Mini, or RED Weapon.

Can you fly indoors?

Yes. Our system is completely electric and very stable. All we need is a location with a large open unobstructed area, such as a sound stage, warehouse, sports facility, auditorium, etc.

Indoor Drone Flying

Can you provide still photography?

Yes, we are able to offer high-resolution still photography using our Canon 5D MarkIII kit.

How does a typical shoot work?

Our team travels to your location with all the necessary equipment. Once at location, we unload, set-up, and do all safety checks. If all systems are good to go, then we can be ready for our first flights in approximately 30 minutes.

Our team consists of three key members: a primary pilot, a remote camera operator/secondary pilot, and a safety supervisor. While the camera is airborne, a live video feed is sent to our ground-station. From here, the camera operator, as well our client(s), can see everything from the camera’s perspective. Together, along-side the pilot, the group can easily communicate to one another in order to ensure the desired images are captured.

Are there any regulations or permitting?

Yes. Regulation and permit requirements are determined by the airspace in which the drone aircraft (or UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is to be used. For example, while in Canada we hold SFOC (Special Flight Operations Certificates) to operate in both controlled and uncontrolled airspace, there are still restricted areas which need further permissions. An example of this is Niagara Falls which is jointly controlled by both Transport Canada and the FAA. Meanwhile, in many other parts of the planet, no regulations are in place yet. Even though regulations are maybe not established in some parts of the planet, we still follow a safety template. For full details regarding regulations and permitting, please check out our Regulations Page.

What should I consider for international projects?

Our systems are very mobile and can be easily packed up for flying. We have traveled with, and operated our aerial systems all over the world.

However, there are a few key points and costs to consider when planning an international shoot. These include:

  1. Regulations: Are there regulations in place in the country or territory you wish to film in? If so, we need to determine their protocols and permit requirements.
  2. Carnets: To travel in and out of Canada, and in and out of many other countries, import/export carnet documents need to be in place. The acquisition of these documents and the handling of them is handled by SkyMotion Video. Please keep in mind though, that the processing of these documents at borders can take extra time. Please consult SkyMotion Video regarding travel itineraries.
  3. Batteries: High-capacity lithium polymer batteries like the ones used on our drone systems are classified as dangerous goods. As such, these need to be handled, packaged and shipped according to very specific guidelines. Many airlines such as Air Canada, will accept some batteries on passenger planes if it is brought on the plane in our carry-on bags. However, larger batteries need to be shipped on ‘cargo only’ aircraft. The shipping fees for the batteries must be determined on a case by case basis with the airlines or courier. To save our clients time and money, SkyMotion Video is trained to package, label, and prepare dangerous good declaration documents.

Do you sell the systems?

We currently do not sell drone packages.