Aerial Property and Land Surveying

Why a Qualified Drone Pilot is Best for Land Surveying

Aerial Property and Land Surveying Dorset

Aerial Land and Property surveying by drone or UAV could save you thousands. In the past, light aircraft or helicopters were used for land surveying but the advance of drone technology has reduced the costs involved significantly. The great thing is that you still get exceptional quality but a shorter flight time.

I had a superb start to the day today with an early flight in deepest Dorset. However, as it is February and last night was clear, there was a heavy frost on the ground. The air temp was -2 degrees at take off.

Not only that, I was to be flying a mere 3-400 metres from a local airfield which is a potential and serious hazard. To do the job correctly, professionally and safely, a number of:

  • Precautions
  • Safety Checks
  • Risk Assessments
  • Briefings
  • Flight Permissions

...were required to get the job done which, all in all, only required about an hour or less of flying.

First and most importantly was to liaise with the airfield. Without their cooperation, flying in the vicinity would be a non-starter. All it took was a few polite emails and the kind folk at the ATC (air traffic control) gave me permission to fly before 9am. This is when their own aircraft start taking off and landing for the day.

Flying Drones in Cold Weather

The trouble was, the air temperature at that time was well below the recommended 5ºc. It eventually set at around -2ºc and stayed there for the duration of the flight.

Forethought and planning meant that I took along a bag for the batteries. This included a hot water bottle keeping the batteries warm prior to take off. In flight, as soon as I received the alert that the battery was “powering down” slightly, to prevent a fail, I landed and replaced the battery with a warm one.

I also had two detailed maps with me. One was a basic layout and the other taken from Google Earth/Maps to show the areas I needed to photograph.

Aerial Property and Land Surveying Dorset

Eventually, I landed just before the first plane took off. The client ended up with around 50 crisp, clear, high resolution images for his architectural needs. A great way to start the day with a ton of fresh country air and fun-flying.

Aerial Property and Land Surveying Dorset

I have since flown aerial surveys for a few local Dorset farms, the largest being over 3,000+ acres. If you need your property surveyed from the air, no matter how large or small, please check out my aerial page and then contact me

The sooner we sit down and go through the procedures and briefings, the easier it is to organise the flight.


Nick Stubbs

CEO and main pilot

Aerial Property and Land Surveying Dorset
About the author

Nick Stubbs is a professional photographer, filmmaker and drone pilot with over 35 years experience in the imaging business. Still as passionate about his work as he was aged 13. Married with two kids and living in the beautiful town of Weymouth in Dorset.

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