Heathrow Airport London closed after Drone sighted

By | Drone Detection | No Comments

Here we go again. Another possible false drone sighting at Heathrow, and the UK’s busiest Airport is closed. The first response from the Police was to send their drones & helicopter in to look for the drone and guess what – yes, the public then phone in more drone sightings. These subsequent drone sightings are now the Police drones & helicopters, which perpetuates the problem – you couldn’t make it up. What will follow next is the Government putting the Police under pressure for an arrest and conviction, so they will arrest anyone and then be forced to release them. The Police will then realise that it was probably a false report (probably made with goood intention) but because of the upheaval cause by the overreaction, the Government will then insist it was a drone (despite no evidence) and use it to implement emergency regulations.

npas police helicopter gatwick drone

Drones detected at Gatwick Airport causing closure and cancelled flights

By | Drone Detection, UK Drone Legalities, Uncategorised | No Comments

Update 21/12/2018 – allegedly more drones detected , despite the UK military deploying cutting edge drone detection technology. Either this is down to copy cat drone operators or there was never a done there in the first place.

Drones detected at Gatwick Airport causing closure and cancelled flights.

Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw is in charge of policing at Gatwick, he said: “I’ve got resources from Surrey and Sussex right the way across the outside of Gatwick trying to identify who’s operating this drone and I’m absolutely certain this is a deliberate act to disrupt the airfield.”

drone gatwick airport

Two drones have been reported to have been operating over the runway at Gatwick Airport, causing the operators to close the airport, cancelling all flights and thus causing major disruption.

These drones appear to have been operating for sustained periods overnight on Wednesday 19th December through to Thursday 20th December 2018. We at Hovershotz find this very curious, as most drones have a battery life of around 20 minutes, which means that these rogue drone operators must have multiple batteries and the ability to constantly charge their batteries from where they are being operated from or they could be tethered drones where the drone has a wire running to the ground (an umbilical cord) providing constant power to the drone. Whatever the case, either constantly landing or taking off & landing or a tethered drone would make detection of these perpetrators relatively easy.

The question is why are drones allowed to fly over restricted areas and is there no technology to prevent this? Well, the simple answer is airports are no fly zones and the majority of drones have geo fencing built into them preventing operations at these locations. Permission must be requested and approved to unlock the geo fencing. This would suggest that these are probably self built drones that would not have this technology fitted.

Hovershotz understand that Gatwick airport use various methods of geofencing including DJI’s Aeroscope to detect illegal drone flights. Whether Gatwick Airport employ some form of drone shield or drone dome technology to prevent illegal drone activity is unclear. The drones could be operating on transmitter frequencies that could evade any drone jamming technology. Also, if the drone is flying autonomously (automatically on a pre-planned route) then jamming the signal is unlikely to work.

In conclusion. We feel it is highly unlikely that two drones could fly undetected for the sustained time claimed over a no fly zone such as Gatwick Airport. If these were indeed drones, then it is likely that they were only flying for a short period last night and the further sightings were most probably wrongly identified as drones. However is is feasible that a highly determined drone operator could, with a home built drone or hacked commercial drone, operating on non standard drone frequencies with multiple batteries and onsite battery charging could operate at length undetected.

Who would want to target Gatwick Airport? The counter terrorist police say there is no terror threat related to this. Could it be someone trying to commercially cripple Gatwick Airport, perhaps Gatwick are being blackmailed by the drone perpetrators. Could it even be someone trying to bring drones into disrepute and get them banned? It could even be some sort of State sponsored attack, this would fit in with the description of it being a large sophisticated drone and would answer possibly why it has been able to evade detection.

npas police helicopter gatwick drone

The above picture of the NPAS (police) helicopter flying over Gatwick Airport last night searching for the illegal drone operators, has been wrongly identified several times last night as a drone. It is even possible that the flashing lights that have been identified as drones could may well be Christmas decorations.

Police are hunting these illegal drone operators.
Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw is in charge of policing at Gatwick, he said: “I’ve got resources from Surrey and Sussex right the way across the outside of Gatwick trying to identify who’s operating this drone and I’m absolutely certain this is a deliberate act to disrupt the airfield.”

The Police are now reporting that they believe that the drone being used is a DJI Matrice 600. This is a large hexacopter drone that carries 6 batteries onboard. Interestingly these are the choice of drone for many governments around the world for many security purposes.

Why don’t the police just shoot down the drone – read our blog here https://www.hovershotz.co.uk/can-you-shoot-down-a-drone-over-your-property-in-the-uk/

The airport’s chief operating officer, Chris Woodroofe, says a drone is still on the airfield and 10,000 people were disrupted yesterday alone.

The UK tabloid newspapers are having a field day, with headlines such as ‘Attack of the Drones’ and DREXIT

Hovershotz are a CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) approved drone operator based in Cumbria, we have permissions for commercial operiations with drones in the UK.


By | Aerial Photography Filming & Surveys in the Lake District. | No Comments

The recent Amendment to Air Navigation Law (The Air Navigation Order ANO 2016 as amended) made several very important changes to the drone legislation, not least of which was the introduction of a single weight class for up to 20kg (rather than the previous 0 – 7kg, 7 – 20kg split).  However, there was one amendment with regard to indoor drone flight that seemed to go largely unreported – indoor flights with drones.

Prior to the amendment, it was stated by the CAA that the law applied equally to drone flights taking place indoors or outdoors i.e. there was no distinct difference between the two.  Now the CAA state on their website that this is now not the case. Indoor flights inside buildings now comes under the jurisdiction of the HSE (Health & Safety Executive).

Hovershotz are experienced in operating & filming with drones indoors and we have specially adapted drones that are able to operate safely indoors, whilst providing professional results – we are able to film in up to 4K video and photograph up to 20 megapixels.

If you have a project that requires any drone filming or photography, indoors or outdoors in the North West of England (Cumbria, the Lake District or Lancashire), then Hovershotz are the logical first choice.

Night filming at the Trafford Centre Manchester

By | Aerial Photography Filming & Surveys | No Comments

Hovershotz aerial photography, hold CAA permissions for night operations and we are one of the most experienced drone operators at night in the UK. For the past couple of months we have been conducting aerial indoor filming overnight, the £75 Million Barton Square redevelopment at the Trafford Centre in Manchester. It’s one of our largest projects to date, filming a couple of times a week for probably a year. We have used several different drones, including DJI Inspire 2 X5s, DJI Inspire 1 X5 & Parrot Anafi.


drone image at night of the Trafford Centre Manchester aerial photograph

Drone image at night of the Trafford Centre Manchester aerial photograph


Hovershotz now offer cinema grade CinemaDNG Raw & Apple ProRes raw video drone filming

By | Uncategorised | No Comments

Hovershotz Cumbria have upgraded our DJI Inspire 2 to offer Hollywood film grade 5.2K CinemaDNG Raw & Apple ProRes raw video drone filming. This allows us to offer aerial filming that up until now could only have been provided by £100K drones featuring RED or Arri Alexa cameras.

Our first assignment filming in Prores is in November, filming the drone sequences for a new documentary series for National Geographic Channel.


If you are a film professional requiring professional  aerial drone filming in either CinemaDNG or ProRes in the Lake District, or the North of England then Hovershotz aerial filming are your only choice.

Aerial filming of Kendal Gold Course Cumbria by drone

Playing a round of golf with a drone

By | Aerial Photography Filming & Surveys in the Lake District. | No Comments

Sometimes we really love our job, and a job this week of our popular golf course drone service was particularly enjoyable. We were commissioned to film all 18 holes by drone to give a golf balls perspective of Kendal Golf course in Cumbria. It’s more like playing a round of golf by drone, we drive around the course in a golf buggy, flying from the tee, over the fairway and then onto the green to film the pin.

Aerial filming of Kendal Gold Course Cumbria by drone

To spice things up we try to capture each hole in one flight – a drone hole in one. At Kendal golf club, we managed 12 drone hole in ones. Although a couple of tricky holes (13 Cunswick & 16  Auld Grey Town) we managed to bogey (each hole took 5 filming attempts to get right. The views of the Lake District from the golf course are breathtaking.

Aerial filming of Kendal Golf Course Cumbria by drone

Here is the unedited hole 13. Music or voiceovers can be added, as can text giving details of each hole.

Drone Safe Register Features on BBC 2 Dragons Den

By | Aerial Photography Filming & Surveys | No Comments

Drone Safe Register Features on BBC 2 Dragons Den

Update: Peter Jones invests in Drone Safe Register.

dronesafe drone safe register dragons den mark boyt peter jones

Dragons Den on Iplayer

Here at Hovershotz we are excited about tomorrow evening’s episode of Dragons Den (Series 16 Episode 5 Sunday 9th September 2018 @ 20:00), as one of the budding entrepreneurs is Mark Boyt of Dronesafe Register. This is of particular interest to Hovershotz as we were one of the first members of Drone Safe Register and have featured on Dronesafe’s site for nearly 3 years. Over this time, we have received a steady stream of jobs, plus being a vetted member gives our business some credibility in a marketplace full of cowboy & unlicensed drone operators. Hovershotz are the longest serving member of Drone Safe Register in Cumbria, and the only drone operator listed based in the Lake District.

Drone Safe Register is a directory for CAA approved drone pilots with a valid PFCO.

Exposure to 4 million viewers should hopefully drive more business via Drone Safe Registers site and also inform the public about only hiring quality qualified pilots and drone operators.

Judging by a sneak preview on the BBC website it seems like the Dragons love the DSR concept, it will be interesting to see tomorrow evening what the outcome is.



If you want to hire a CAA approved drone operator for any aerial photography or drone filming in Cumbria or the Lake District, check out Hovershotz Drone Safe Register listing https://dronesaferegister.org.uk/company/hovershotz-aerial-drone-photography-video-inspections-cumbria

Hovershotz can also recommend any other drone operator listed on https://dronesaferegister.org.uk as all operators are vefified as having a current CAA PFCO & Insurance.

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