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  • What is your remote sensing experience?
    When you partner with a company to acquire intel from your site, it's critical that they have experience working within the construction vertical. This means they are knowledgeable and experienced with precise positioning systems and how to integrate the necessary technologies to deliver sub-centimeter accuracy. They also understand how to operate on an active construction site - getting their work done safely and efficiently without interfering with the progress of the site. At Flying Fox UAV, delivering valuable data to our clients is critical to your success and ours. That means we strive to provide the highest accuracy possible and have spent years developing our process and integrating the right technologies, tools and gaining field experience to bring you actionable, reliable data of your site.
  • How many orthomosaics have they successfully delivered?
    There isn't a magic number to answer this question, but it's important for your provider to understand the difference between progress visual orthomosaics and precision orthomosaics. The two are very different and accuracy has a varied range; at Flying Fox, our precision orthomosaics deliver sub-centimeter relative accuracy of vertical as well as horizontal plains; while progress orthomosaics can also provide accuracy the main goal is to provide an accurate visual representation of the site in real-time. Therefore, the processes to acquire the datapoints is very different. Both are useful and provide valuable data but understanding your needs and the complexity of photogrammetry and precise positioning systems is critical to delivering you (the client) the appropriate, repeatable data to support improved decision making on your site.
  • What is your construction experience?
    Knowing that your provider has direct experience on construction sites with companies like yours is a decent indicator of their experience and aptitude. In addition, clarify that the pilot who is operating the mission has this experience and aptitude not just the “company” in general. Troubleshooting issues onsite is critical to a successful and accurate mission. Pilot knowledge is the key here. At Flying Fox UAV our teams have over 4 years and hundreds of hours of construction site experience delivering quality data.
  • What equipment do you use?
    The drone industry has a wide client base ranging from children and hobbyist to top secret government missions. You want to be sure they are using professional level drones that have safety redundancies, an important topic on construction sites. There are a myriad of features on professional drones that impact the efficiency, safety and quality of the deliverable. Aside from the drone itself, find out how the data is processed, shared, and stored. If you are looking for orthomosaics with high accuracy, ask what the process is to obtain accuracy – they should reference other technologies for achieving sub-centimeter accuracy, not just GCP’s. Flying Fox uses professional grade drones, with ancillary equipment and positioning systems, and we are self-sustainable onsite for up to 12hrs and typically provide data within 48hrs of the mission.
  • How will you assure accuracy?
    The operator will need to combine several positioning methodologies to achieve sub-centimeter accuracy in the orthomosaics. The drone is one tool used in this complex process to achieve accuracy. They will also require benchmark data from you prior to starting their process. At Flying Fox, like all construction, we match our data to the existing data on the site. This includes several GPS/GNSS processes.
  • What files will you send and how will I receive them?
    Understanding clearly how you (the client) will use the data is critical to delivering actionable data. To integrate with earthworks or siteworks platforms, specific file types are required as well, if you are using the data to share with others and view from your device, you’ll need to be sure you are receiving file types that you can easily view and share. A knowledgeable and responsible provider will confirm the specific deliverables you’ll receive. How you receive the files is another question that is dependent on you (the client). What format do you want to receive the data in and how will you access it are important details to assuring the data is used to its fullest potential. Our clients receive 24/7 access to data via 3rd party platforms to download or view. They can easily share it as well.
  • Will you fly from the site?
    This sounds like a simple question but is loaded with details and will raise other questions! Beginning with the drone, Pilots and Visual Observers are required to have a clear line of site to the drone throughout the operation. That means, the likelihood that they will need to fly directly from your site is high. You should feel confident that the pilot and the company are knowledgeable about and implement FAA and local drone laws. Their insurance should cover the staff as well as the vehicle and of course aggregates to cover major incidents, just like any other sub. Additionally, spending time on the site means the pilot and VO have a more intimate understanding of the workflow as well as the current phase, where obtaining additional data would be beneficial to the client. Flying Fox UAV always flies from your site unless safety, efficiency or accuracy require otherwise. As your site progresses and changes, we move around to achieve the best positioning for the greatest results.
  • Are you OSHA certified?
    Of course, if they are on your site, the pilot and VO should be OSHA certified and wear appropriate PPE. All our pilot teams are either OSHA 10 or 30 certified and are equipped with their own PPE. They are also prepared to participate in any safety orientations required.
  • What about insurance?
    Some companies and pilots who operate as freelancers have hourly insurance that is paid for by the hour. At Flying Fox UAV, we take our investment in this business and your business very seriously. We have business insurance with construction level aggregates as well as airframe insurance on our equipment. When required, we provide COI’s naming you as additionally insured. We cover all the bases!
  • Can you fly near airports?
    The DMV constitutes the most restricted airspace in the nation. To date, there has not been airspace that Flying Fox has been denied access to. In fact, no other company has been granted access to fly as close to the Capitol Complex as we have. Flying in restricted airspace requires anything from a simple COA form submission to intense review of company policies and procedures, equipment logs, and background checks. These procedures require a lot of time as well as costs for other agency approvals.
  • What is Remote Sensing?
    Remote sensing is one of methods commonly used for collecting physical data from objects on the earth, to be integrated into GIS, without direct contact. At Flying Fox UAV, we believe the deliverable to the client is the most important factor in our service offering. We happen to use UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or Drone's to obtain aerial data. However, the drone is one tool we use in the complex process we facilitate to deliver actionable data to our clients.
  • What is an orthomosaic?
    The simplest expiation is that an orthomosaic is a large, map-quality image with high detail and resolution made by combining many smaller images called orthophotos.
  • What is orthomosaic mapping?
    One of the most useful deliverables supplied by drone mapping professionals. Drone Mapping is the aerial representation of the features of a part of the surface of the Earth. Aerial maps feature a multitude of data points that can be used not only for documentation and progress reporting but can also provide critical measurements, volume, area and cut/fill. With the use of Ground Control Points you can expect precision within centimeters. Maps can also be used to identify crop loss, stand counts, plant health, field health, irrigation and pest issues and other agriculture based requirements.
  • What are Ground Control Points?
    GCP's are large marked points on the ground to identify a known geographic location. They help to ensure the accuracy of coordinates.
  • Does Flying Fox UAV have any waivers?
    Different airspace requires different waivers. Depending on the project location we have obtained many waivers for prolonged duration. We are most proud to say that no other company has been granted access to fly as close to the Capitol Complex as we have! To date, all of our waivers and authorizations have been approved. In addition, as of November 2019, we have 2 standing waivers with the FAA: 1) Flying at night. This means we have passed the FAA requirements to safely fly our drones 30min after sunset and 30min prior to sunrise. 2) Flying in Dulles and BWI Airspace and any other LANNC certified airport. This means we have passed the FAA requirements to safely fly our drones in the immediate airspace around those active airports. The DC Metro area is the most restricted airspace in the nation and we take great pride in the fact that we've been granted this privilege by the FAA.
  • What's the big deal about getting a FAA Waiver?
    Applying for a waiver takes significant investment in time and money. Some waivers require additional safety equipment that must be purchased to fulfill the waiver requirements. There are no guarantees that a waiver submission will be approved.
  • Does Flying Fox UAV have SOP's?
    It's important that any drone service provider have SOP's (standard operating procedures). We are basically running a small airline! SOP's include information like; the privacy policy, which is crucial is today's landscape of buying and selling privacy. In addition they detail the company's procedures, many of which are required by the FAA. Our SOP's include: Equipment maintenance Pilot training Emergency procedures Mission parameters and more!
  • What is Flying Fox UAV's pricing?
    Our pricing is dependant on our clients needs and is per project. No remote sensing project is the same!
  • What is your deployable asset?
    In times of disaster, we can mobilize and deploy numerous UAV platforms to fulfill your missions needs. Our Pilots and UAV Systems are equipt to maintain levels of high operational tempo and are experienced USAR and First Responders. We are deployable for upto 14 days with an extension to 21 days.
  • Who can be a drone pilot in command?
    The answer is anyone can be a PIC. The real question is about doing it legally! The FAA requires all drone content that is used for any business promotion, gain, exchange - any benefit to the business or drone pilot, must be acquired by a FAA Part 107 certified pilot. It is important to understand that "gain" doesn't just mean being paid for an image, it also refers to marketing and promotion. For example, posting a drone image of your winery on FB, and the drone image was taken by someone not 107 certified the business owner and the pilot can be fined by the FAA.
  • What are the FAA laws governing professional drone services?
    While laws are added and modified frequently, there are a few laws that remain pretty standard. 1) A professional drone pilot in command must be Part 107 certified. 2) Flying over people requires a waiver from the FAA. 3) Flying at night requires a waiver from the FAA. 4) Beyond Visible Line of Sight requiers a waiver from the FAA. 5) Flying in restricted airspace requires authorizations and waivers from the TSA and FAA.
  • What regulations does the FAA place on drone equipment?
    All UAS/UAV (unmanned aerial systems/vehicles) operating under 14 C.F.R. part 107, or as a public aircraft operation, must be registered. Failure to register a UAS in accordance with these rules may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $32,666. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years. In addition, the operator of the UAS/UAV must carry a Certificate of Aircraft Registration in either paper or electronic format and that unique registration number must be visible on the exterior of the drone.
  • Why use a Professionally Certified Drone Pilot?
    The easy answer is because it is illegal not to. The FAA requires that all drone pilots over the age of 16, flying for educational or commercial enterprise or gain must be 14 CFR Part 107 certified. Unlicensed flying will result in fines and possible jail time. Both the pilot and the hiring party are subject to fines and possible jail time. There are many restrictions and your drone service provider must stay informed of all the regulations. All of our Pilots hold current FAA issued UAV Remote Pilot In Command certifications. They have undergone an extensive education in the use of Airspace, Flight Dynamics and how to operate with the highest levels of safety.
  • My neighbor has a drone, can't I just use it?
    Federal law requires that the commercial application of a drone requires a FAA Part 107 certified pilot. So, if you use your neighbors drone to benefit your business for example promote an event, list a home for sale etc., anything that you gain from - requires FAA Part 107 certification. The FAA also requires that drone operators keep detailed flight log books, maintenance records and other safety and quality documents that they can request to review at anytime.
  • What does it mean to be a certified Drone Pilot?
    Obtaining the 14 CFR Part 107 certification from the FAA means that you have passed the initial aeronautical knowledge test. The certificate demonstrates that you understand the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones. For more information and a list of the knowledge test topic areas, visit the FAA website at FAA site link. In addition to obtaining the 107 certification, it is important for Drone operators to become proficient in the hands-on operation of flying the drone. The FAA does not train or certify pilots in the hand-on operation of flying a drone or the education required for mapping and other types of drone operation.
Remote Sensing Partner
Drones and Remote Sensing
Drones and the FAA
Flying Fox UAV Facts
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