Veuwr Aerials flew a Phantom 4 Pro drone around the construction happening for the Whole Foods in Gainesville, FL in the Butler Plaza area, before it opened in 2018.
Here’s some of the pictures that we took on this flight. We hope you enjoy them:
Commercial Real Estate and Drones
There’s no denying that aerial video and aerial photos are absolutely stunning to look at! Studies show that high quality images can make or break a real estate sale or leasing decision!
We were hired by a prominent Florida based property management company to make a promotional video for two strip malls that they run on the outer ring of Jacksonville, FL. They asked us to fly in a safe manner so as to not endanger any customers, and to fly on a weekend to capture the large number of people that visit the area. We were given very specific instructions as to the shots that they desired and asked to do the flights and edit the video within 2 days. Not a problem for Veuwr Aerials!
The Day Of The Flight
It was a crisp Florida morning with temperatures staying under 60 degrees. Our home page is located around 2 hours away from the location of the shoot and therefore we got an early start to our morning and left our office at 8 in the morning after grabbing our DJI Phantom 4 Pro and 12 batteries. Typically a battery lasts us somewhere around 26 minutes and we knew we had a lot of ground to cover. We jumped in my Camaro and sped away on backroads and the I10E.
After a quick stop at Sweet Theory Baking Company in Jacksonville (Their Vegan donuts are absolutely perfect. Must have on every trip to Jacksonville) we were all sugared up and ready to fly.
We started off with the Western side of the mall as the shadows were just perfect and used up 7 batteries on just the first part of the shoot.
Worry started to roll in with limited battery runtime remaining, what else could go wrong? Since this was the perfect time for things to go wrong, our Phantom 4 Pro decided that our MicroSD cards were simply too slow to write 4K video to (hint = they’re not).
Luckily there was a Best Buy next door and 15 minutes later we were back in the air! It was a little tricky to get all the shots that we wanted to get without flying over any people or cars (“little tricky”) but by 4pm we had captured all the footage that we needed.
Aerial Video Editing
With the shoot wrapped up it’s time to rest up, right? Nope… With the easy part done it was finally time to load up the video clips in Final Cut Pro X on our video editing computer and start editing.
How’s it going? Hard at work rendering 4K video as I type this up 🙂
Drones Are Used In The Construction Industry:
Not just in tier 1 cities, but in Gainesville as well! We were recently contacted by a consortium of companies that are building a project in Butler Plaza in Gainesville. We were contacted with a simple question.
What can drones do for construction projects? How can drones save them money?
The answer is that drones can save a lot of money on construction costs!
What We Proposed:
We were contacted right construction had begun and therefore were just in time to do a proper aerial survey of the land that was to be built on. We spent a thorough day with 3 drones in the sky and created a 3 point cloud, orthomosaic map, and captured general pictures to perfectly showcase the elevation, terrain, and foliage that was present on the land that was about to be built upon. The client agreed to do weekly drone flights to capture progress shots of the construction that was taking place, as well as regular stockpile inspections with our smart software calculating the stockpiled building materials.
Our Second Flight:
Monday, April 3rd, 2017. It was a sunny brisk morning and we were on location in Butler Plaza in Gainesville at 10:30 in the morning. The sun was at a perfect angle and shadows weren’t particularly bad. We had 3 drones on site with 3 remote pilots and two spotters, and 19 batteries for the different aircraft.
For this job we flew the DJI Phantom 4 Pro for detailed 20mp images and orthomosaic mapping to supplement the first inspection we did before groundbreaking. We had our DJI Inspire 1 capturing imagery, and our brand new DJI Inspire 2 flying low and taking low level imagery to supplement the low level details that couldn’t be captured from the high-flying drones. The Inspire 2 is also very new for us and we didn’t feel like risking our $9,500 baby, especially considering the few random bugs that we’ve been experiencing with it’s software. We also had to plan our frequencies smartly to avoid interference.
By 1pm we had spoken with all the managers on site who were captivated by what we were doing, and captured all the imagery and data that we needed to get the first shoot done. At this point we went back to our office and started running the images through our software.
Aerial Data Collection and Imagery is here to stay. It’s where every industry is going to keep up with the times, and we’re no stranger to the new. At Veuwr we strive to learn with everything we do. Every day is a learning experience where we learn how to serve our clients better.
What’re you waiting for? If you have a project in Gainesville, Florida, or Beyond, contact us today to get a free quote to see how we can revolutionize what you do and save you money with aerial services!
Are Drones Legal In Florida?
Are you looking for a Gainesville based drone operator but don’t know where to start? Have you been getting aerials from a drone operator who only accepts cash and gives you terrible quality imagery? Are you looking for a legitimate company that is actually based out of Florida that gives you safe, legal, and
professional quality footage?
We’re here to help clear up some of the misinformation that is out there regarding the red tape of the open skies.
The applications for aerial videography, videography, and data gathering is growing tremendously and will be a multi-billion dollar industry by the end of 2017. UASs can get to heights that were seemingly unreachable in the past.
The Risk of Illegitimate Operators
Many of the aerial service providers you may find online are running illegitimately, and without care for the law or safety. We did a survey of the aerial footage market in Gainesville, FL and found that 12/16 providers that were listed at the time of writing this article were operating under the radar. With this day and age kids are getting a Phantom 3 Standard for Christmas and instantly try to make some spending cash on the side by doing real estate aerial photography or a quick video here and there. What they don’t understand is that they’re severely jeopardizing the image of the industry in the eyes of the public by flying recklessly and without any precautions or insurance.
The air is a busy place and is carved up into different partitions which are used for different purposes.
To ensure that you’re getting quality work please ask this of your drone service provider:
- Are they licensed by the FAA to fly UASs commercially?
- Can they show you proof of insurance?
- Do they carry a logbook of flights for their aerial drone?
- Do they do a preflight check before every flight?
- Do they flout FAA rules such as the heigh rules or visual line of sight rules?
- Do they only accept cash?
- How long have they been in business?
If you are looking for a Safe, Legal, and Professional Gainesville, FL based drone operator that works anywhere in the contiguous United States, Call us today!.
We are insured for over $1million for each flight, fly under a part 107 certificate form the FAA, and have all the necessary waivers to fly in areas where they are required.
The FAA is Overworked, Underpaid, and Seriously Slacking. Yes, the FAA is America.
On March 7, the FAA released a document which tasked its Drone Advisory Committee (DAC), a long-term advisory board comprised of drone and tech industry leaders, with providing recommendations on how to fund the integration of drones into the National Airspace System (NAS).
Harmless, right? ― but the FAA then said that if additional funding isn’t found the progress of the drone industry will be greatly impacted. We all know this will detrimentally effect everyone who flies drones.
How the FAA gets money
The FAA primarily receives funding from the Aviation Trust Fund (for now). These taxes come from minuscule taxes that are put on international arrivals and departures from major ports, airline tickets, and fuel that is pumped into airplanes. In 2016, these taxes made up a whopping 87.8% of the FAA’s funding.
Note here that the FAA does a lot more than drones – so at the end of the day the drone program get’s only a minuscule percentage of this funding.
“The requirement to meet UAS needs is outpacing the Agency’s resources. Without additional funds, the FAA will not be able to keep pace with the dramatic growth in public, industry, and business demands for UAS operations,” the FAA said in the document.
Can’t keep up with demand
Due to this lack of funding and personally we’re seeing very slow trickle of progress on waivers, new regulation, and general industry progress. When Part 107 went into effect in August 2016, the aerial industry celebrated the FAA’s progress. Obviously, the FAA was struggling to keep up with the increased workload without an increase in personnel or resources.
Within a month after Part 107 certifications and waivers , waiver requests “had already overwhelmed our traditional systems and manual processes”
Did we really expect this problem to solve itself? The FAA has again and again talked about the large number of pilots who have passed the Part 107 Knowledge Test, but as we now know the time it takes to get a waiver approved after getting a 107 certificate is very high. This is proven by the most recent waiver issuance on the FAA’s public database: January 23.
Obviously more personnel is required — but this isn’t going to happen, considering the fact that Trump has issued an executive order that indefinitely freezes all federal hiring.
The FAA’s public admittance of its current struggle reveals what many have suspected for a long time. It’s apparent that the Administration simply can’t keep up with the aerial industry.
Making YOU pay?
The FAA has talked about multiple different ways that they can cover their costs that are associated with regulating an entire drone industry, but as we’ve seen customers and pilots have been apprehensive about paying a $5 drone registration fee, so is higher fees to the end user really the answer?.
Funding the FAA’s complex drone division to the extent needed while keeping the industry alive and well is going to be very difficult to get right. Charging a 10% tax ontop of your new DJI Phantom 4 Pro isn’t really going to break the bank for you — but if every new drone buyer pays that 10% tax, will that be enough to solve their financial issues? If the tax is raised to 20%, would the industry suffer because of it?
These are the issues that the DAC will have to tackle in the coming months. The FAA Task Group will consider the DAC’s recommendations and make it’s decisions no later than March 2018. We’ll be here waiting.
As an aerial photographer I’m used to looking at the world from above, and getting the views that used to be so seldom seen. I used to fly RC aircraft long before the days when you could buy an off-the-shelf DJI quadcopter and take “aerial photography”. My work in the aerial field has got me thinking about drones in construction and architecture, which is also something I have a passion for. Something that I’ve perfected over the last few years and that ties in perfectly with my work has been the art of 3D Orthomosaic mapping, which allows us to see the building or subject from any angle in its context, and generate fly-bys and visualize that which doesn’t exist yet.. I have spent countless hours building 3D maps, zooming around, not restrained by gravity or objects, and then using the same model to plug into clients systems to drop in 3D designs that they were planning, to visualize how it would look..
Since the first moment that I took the sky I’ve been amazed, excited and overwhelmed by the possibilities that a high vantage point created, especially for the construction and architectural professions. I realized what I have been missing out on; the freedom and ability to view the clients projects from any angle with beautiful sweeping views. This is finally possible and does not require manned aircraft to spend countless (expensive) hours flying.
My research for Veuwr and Veuwr Aerials whilst writing this piece has revealed that there are many more possible applications for drones in construction and architecture than I first realized. I discovered that every stage of a construction or architectural project could benefit from UAS drone technology.
The drones that I fly go by many names; drone, quad copter, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), UAS (unpiloted air system), and even multirotor aircraft. Experienced UAS pilots often have debates about what their drones should be called. I prefer to call my flying tools a UAS, although I often use “drone” because most people understand this term best. Sadly I believe that the term drone has a negative connotation to it in the minds of most people as they seem to connect the word with military drone such as the Predator and not the remote controlled harmless device that it is.
Let’s say for example that your firm is building a high-rise with amazing views of the city. Aerial photography for the construction industry can capture those exact views from any height and in any direction, while capturing the surrounding views from a high vantage point. Aerial high-resolution photos taken from an unmanned aircraft can be used for an extremely detailed site plan. At Veuwr Aerials we use photo-mapping software like Pix4D or Dronedeploy, which can create accurate 3D models of your construction site with the adjacent buildings and surroundings in the image. This aerial 3D model to extract contour maps, survey-grade orthomosaics site plans or an accurate 3D model which can then be imported into your preferred modeling software. This aerial 3D model can then be used as a base for your concept models, renderings, 3D printing along with countless other uses.
As the construction of your construction project begins capturing aerial progress photos and videos is easy, quick and inexpensive. The days have long passed for cameras mounted on manned aircraft – now unmanned UAS or drone such as the DJI Phantom 4 Pro or DJI Inspire 2 (both of which Veuwr Aerials flies) can be used to take off from a safe location, capture the images need to complete a 3D map, along with any other imagery that is required for the project, and come back and land within a matter of minutes. Our aircraft are also relatively quite and are extremely reliable and are therefore qualified to fly in an active construction site without interrupting any work. Unlike manned aircraft, UASs can capture videos along with photos from any height, angle, in much greater detail without spending the time and money that a manned aircraft would cost to fly. Our aerial systems are also easy to deploy and do not need a large team of people to fly.
COMPLETION + MARKETING
Once your project is finished, the imagery that you get from Veuwr Aerials can be used to highlight the features of the building or area that is being built up. Aerial photos of the site can explain how your design fits within the larger context. Aerial images from different elevated angles can help explain the form and design and show progress that takes place with every day and month that comes along. Aerial photos can also highlight sustainable features such as skylights, PV arrays and green roofs.
Aerial videos of construction can showcase the constructions size, shape, material, circulation and give a view of the building that simply couldn’t be gotten from the ground
It is clear that drones in construction and the supporting industries will only assist and not hinder progress. What remains to be seen however is how long it takes for the industries to catch up with the technologies and implement them in their workflow.
Have a project that requires an aerial touch? Contact Veuwr Aerials today to get a custom quote for your project. We’re inexpensive, reliable, professional, and most importantly 100% legal.
One of our premier partners contacted us a few days ago regarding a new job that had come up in Lake Park, Georgia – right on the border with Florida. The job was for a paving contractor that was about to put in new pavement for a large distribution center for a popular home department store. Typically in a situation like this they’d send out a surveyor to survey the entire asphalt pavement by taking pictures at designated spots throughout the parking lot, but in this case it would have taken days to survey all of the area! The paving contractor needed to submit their quote within a matter of days and couldn’t wait to get a team out there.
The paved area for this location was massive – the parking lot itself had parking for 2000 cars and the warehouse stretched over half a mile from end to the other. The paving contractor originally calculated the survey costs to be extremely high and immediately started looking for other options. Not long after this they found our aerial service partner who then referred the job to us.
The day of the scheduled flight I woke up early and double checked to ensure that no TFRs (Temporary Flight Restrictions) had been placed on the area as Trump was visiting the area. Once we had the legal all-clear to fly we double checked all of the batteries for our 3D Mapping Drone, the new DJI Phantom 4 Pro. All 6 batteries were fully charged and it was time to fly!
A short drive later we were on location and had met the on-site contact and obtained their go-ahead to fly in the area. They radioed their staff managers on site and informed them to expect a flying object and to have their truck drivers drive slowly and carefully to avoid a crash. After this we logged into our insurance partner, Verifly and obtained $1 million in liability insurance to cover our client and us in the unlikely scenario where there was a malfunction and our aerial drone crashed into any of the clients property.
The weather was a gusty 6 miles an hour from the North East, but that didn’t stop us. We were good to fly from every aspect and had just completed a safety inspection of our Phantom 4 Pro. Once our safety checklist was complete we completed the flight plan in our 3D mapping software, Drone Deploy and pressed fly. After this the Phantom 4 Pro took off on it’s own, flew through it’s waypoints and took the pictures that the software that was required to make a 3D orthomosaic map.
While the drone flew itself I monitored the drone from a high vantage point to make sure it didn’t come close to any objects or birds in the air, while my spotter kept an eye on the software to ensure nothing glitched and made sure all the images were being correctly captured.
Once the orthomosaic map imagery was all captured we swapped batteries and had the site manager take us around the entire warehouse pavement in a go-kart. We were following the drone and manually capturing 360 degree panoramas from 17 feet in the sky which would be used by the client to simulate a man inspecting and taking pictures of the asphalt pavement of the area. At the end of the day we had captured point-of-view 360 degree panoramas from 163 locations where the pavement had been cracked and damaged and needed to be resurfaced, as well as 70 acres of 3D orthomosaic mapping.
All in all we spent around 3 hours taking footage on location and created 38 gb of pictures. This is a LOT of imagery which then had to be compiled and sent to the client so that they could then create their quote for new pavement to be put in to replace the cracked and damaged areas. We estimate that we saved the paving contractor over $5,000 in pre-contract costs and gave them the aerial photographs and orthomosaic map which they then used to qoute the client in a manner that was more accurate, safe, and cheaper than it would have been without this technology.
Isn’t this amazing?
2017 is shaping up to be an interesting year for aerial law.
2016 brought us part 107.
Part 107 revolutionized the way commercial flights were done. Gone were the days where you needed to apply for 333 exemption and wait for months for it to be approved.
We’re certainly going through turbulent times, both in the normal world and the aerial services industry. We still have 11 months to go before we can look back in hindsight and see what we did wrong, and where we can do better – but why not try to get it right for once?
Some troubling situations:
A member on the popular DJI Phantom 4 Forums (phantom pilots.com) posted on January 28th, 2017 saying that he was contacted by Nevada Law Enforcement regarding an aerial flight that he did over the Upcoming Tesla Gigafactory in Storey County, near the Community of Clark, Nevada. He uploaded his video on Youtube and was contacted by Law Enforcement to discuss “trespassing over private property”
He [Law Enforcement] said that the business/property owner forwarded my footage to him and he came to the conclusion that I flew under 250ft directly over private property which is considered trespassing under Nevada law.
Upon further digging Nevada has enacted a law – NRS 493.103 “Tresspass by Drone” which clearly states.
This falls under part 107 but still applies.
NRS 493.103 Unmanned aerial vehicles: Action for trespass against owner or operator; exceptions; award of treble damages for injury to person or property; award of attorney’s fees and costs and injunctive relief.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, a person who owns or lawfully occupies real property in this State may bring an action for trespass against the owner or operator of an unmanned aerial vehicle that is flown at a height of less than 250 feet over the property if:
(a) The owner or operator of the unmanned aerial vehicle has flown the unmanned aerial vehicle over the property at a height of less than 250 feet on at least one previous occasion; and
(b) The person who owns or occupies the real property notified the owner or operator of the unmanned aerial vehicle that the person did not authorize the flight of the unmanned aerial vehicle over the property at a height of less than 250 feet. For the purposes of this paragraph, a person may place the owner or operator of an unmanned aerial vehicle on notice in the manner prescribed in subsection 2 of NRS 207.200.
2. A person may not bring an action pursuant to subsection 1 if:
(a) The unmanned aerial vehicle is lawfully in the flight path for landing at an airport, airfield or runway.
(b) The unmanned aerial vehicle is in the process of taking off or landing.
(c) The unmanned aerial vehicle was under the lawful operation of:
(1) A law enforcement agency in accordance with NRS 493.112.
(2) A public agency in accordance with NRS 493.115.
(d) The unmanned aerial vehicle was under the lawful operation of a business registered in this State or a land surveyor if:
(1) The operator is licensed or otherwise approved to operate the unmanned aerial vehicle by the Federal Aviation Administration;
(2) The unmanned aerial vehicle is being operated within the scope of the lawful activities of the business or surveyor; and
(3) The operation of the unmanned aerial vehicle does not unreasonably interfere with the existing use of the real property.
3. A plaintiff who prevails in an action for trespass brought pursuant to subsection 1 is entitled to recover treble damages for any injury to the person or the real property as the result of the trespass. In addition to the recovery of damages pursuant to this subsection, a plaintiff may be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs and injunctive relief.
I personally believe that other states will follow in Nevada’s footsteps and enact similar laws to curtail flights over private property.
Is this a good idea? Do we want to be controlling who can and cannot fly over our land at altitudes higher than the tree lines? Please note that we at Veuwr do not personally agree with this statement – Invasion of privacy is very very real, and the sooner people realize that aerial drones are not toys and are tools that can be misused in the wrong hands, the sooner the public will drop the negative idea that they have of the industry.
We must remember that the air above us is owned by no-one. If a professional is flying in a safe manner with no intention of spying on a person or property, or harming anyone in any way, is that a bad thing?
What’s going to happen, moving forward?
As of now professional aerial service providers fly under FAA Part 107.
- Operations must take place during daylight hours, or within the hours of civil twilight (immediately before sunrise and after sunset).
- Flight is permitted near non-participating structures.
- Flight is not permitted directly over non-participating people.
- The aerial drone must be kept under Visual line of sight at all times.
These regulations provide us with a safe framework upon which professional and safe pilots such as us can operate under legally.
As an example all of our pilots for Veuwr have had to complete the Part 107 test with the FAA to get certified for commercial operations. We also carry commercial liability insurance through our insurance partner Verifly, and have waivers for and are in the process of getting many regulations for some of the rules applying to Part 107 pilots. These factors in sum total show you how seriously we at Veuwr Aerials take our jobs. We don’t mess around.
It’s still early in the year, and on the positive side it looks like there’s some great legislation on it’s way.
Instant airspace authorizations, flights beyond Visual line of sight, and flight over crowds all in the coming months.
This is going to be BIG for the industry. As of now we have to wait weeks to be approved for some waivers and it would be nice for the FAA to treat the people in the industry like the professionals that they are, and give them the trust and responsibility that they deserve.
How do you want Part 107 to change and grow?
On November 18th, 2016 Veuwr bought Iris Aerials, an established aerial imaging and videography company that is also based out of Gainesville.
With this acquisition Iris Aerials will be merged with Veuwr brand and their services shall be offered under Veuwr’s umbrella. In addition to the branding change Iris Aerials will now be operated by our team who are also experienced pilots and camera operators.
Veuwr will also take ownership of all of Iris Aerials drones and from now on the company shall be referred to and known as Veuwr Aerials.
We want to assure all of Iris Aerial’s customers that the level of service and quality of footage shall only increase with this acquisition. Veuwr exists to serve.