As one of the leading drone inspection companies in Scotland, we are frequently asked a wide variety of questions revolving around how we offer our inspection services along with the capabilities of the drones that we use for inspection work.

To help answer some of your questions, we have put together a list of some of the most commonly asked questions we receive as part of our day to day services.

Are inspection drones insured?

All of our drone surveys are fully insured for both aerial flights and underwater inspection.  As a leading inspection company in Scotland, the type of inspection work that we regularly carry out means that our drones are having to navigate in close proximity to buildings, wind turbines, flare stacks and high population areas.  It is why we invest in top of the line aerial drones from leading manufacturers such as DJI. And equip these drones (when needed) with emergency parachutes to protect pedestrians below, if, in the unlikely scenario that one of our drones loses flight abilities.

Can aerial drones fly in the wind and rain?

Like ‘At Height’ inspection teams, we do not operate in high winds and heavy rain because of the safety implications.  Our drones can fly in the air against wind speeds or just over 30mph but for inspection services that require steady HD photography work, we only advise flights in winds below 21 mph.

While our aerial drones are water resistant and can fly in the rain, rainwater can get on the camera lenses and spoil any visual photography shots – much like a traditional inspection team would experience.

underwater drone inspection team working late at night

Can inspection drones fly in cold weather?

Our inspection drones can fly in temperatures ranging from 40°c (an uncommon sight in Scotland) to -10°c.  Thermal imaging of building structures is a commonly requested service for us during the winter months and our drone surveys can be conducted in low temperatures.  We simply ensure that the batteries of our inspection drones are warmed up to increase their flight time.  Very cold temperatures can reduce the battery capacity of a drone by up to half which restricts flight times.

How long can your aerial drones fly for?

While battery technology is constantly improving, our drones run to a maximum of 55 minutes. The average time that a single flight inspection takes (depending on the specific service requested) is around 30 minutes.  We always bring extra battery packs with us for our drones and it only takes a few minutes to swap out batteries on our drones before we can begin another inspection run.  This means that we can fly our drones almost continually through the day with only brief ‘pit stops’.

aerial drone inspection of communication tower on remote island

How far can your drones fly?

While our drones can fly incredibly quickly (up to 50mph), the maximum range that we can conduct a drone survey is 500m from the controlling pilot.  This must also include a visible line of sight at all times.

How high can an aerial drone fly?

Under current CAA regulations in Scotland, our drones are allowed to conduct aerial inspections from ground level up to a maximum flying altitude of 400ft. This is more than enough aerial space for us to conduct inspections of high rise tower blocks and bridges without having to worry about overflying aircraft which fly at over 500ft. With special permissions, for certain drone inspection work, we can increase our operational altitude to 1000ft. Please call our drone team to discuss this further.

Can your drones fly complicated flight paths?

Our drones are equipped with award winning software that includes auto pilot controls which can be used to create precise flight paths using GPS co-ordinates for specific commercial drone inspection requirements.  This flight path can be saved and reused to conduct exact overlapping inspections that can be carried out over a long time period.  This ability is ideal for aerial inspections that need to monitor ‘points of interest’ on building structures, bridges, powerlines and similar infrastructure.

one of our drones conducting a building inspection including thermal imaging

Can you fly drones indoors?

At Balmore Inspection Services, we operate a fleet of commercial grade drones for inspection surveys.  And that includes dedicated indoor drones that we can use for confined spaces inspections.  Equipped with powerful signal boosters to operate with little worry for building material interference, our indoor drones are fitted with a protective cage that shields them from obstacles while they conduct visual inspections of difficult access locations.

Find out more about our indoor drone inspection services

Can you conduct drone surveys at night?

Yes we can.  In fact, for certain inspection services, flying at night is actually preferred.  Building inspections that focus on heat loss for example are best conducted in the low light levels of evening/night time to ensure best results using thermal imaging.  The same can be said for aerial roof inspections.

How many personnel does a standard drone inspection job require?

A standard drone inspection can be conducted by a single drone pilot.  For more delicate inspection jobs and more complicated survey sites, we will send additional personnel to operate the camera and video recording equipment.  For the likes of powerline inspection, we will send additional personnel to act as spotters for the drones to ensure that we do not hit anything during the drone survey.

conducting powerline inspection using aerial drone

Can we see the drone survey footage during the inspection?

Yes you can.  The drone conducting the aerial survey sends video footage back to the main pilots control station in real time. This can allow you to see what footage is being captured.  Our drones cameras can adjust the pan, tilt, framing and zoom of recording to ensure that you get exactly the right visual survey information that you require.

Can I request a visual demonstration of the drone in action?

Yes you can.  When you contact our team to discuss your inspection needs, we can explain the full process and arrange a visual demonstration of our drone survey capabilities either with an arranged demonstration while we conduct an initial site survey or by sending you video case study examples of our previous work in a similar field.  Simply contact our friendly team at our Glasgow head office to discuss your unique requirements.

What are the benefits of using a drone survey over traditional inspection teams or other methods?

Drone surveys are fast becoming the preferred method of visual inspection in the energy, infrastructure, utilities and transportation sectors.  The below video can help explain the direct benefits of using Balmore for your complete inspection, repair and maintenance needs.

Balmore Aerial Building Inspection

Find out more

If you have a question about our drone inspection services that is not included above, we would be happy to answer your question directly. You can contact our Glasgow head office by calling 0141 370 4037 or by emailing info@balmore-ltd.co.uk