Drone Airplane or Helicopter?

Which Aircraft is Best for Your Aerial Photography Shoot?



Helicopters are the most versatile platform because they are very maneuverable and have no legal altitude restriction making it ideal for shooting multiple urban area shoots in one flight.


Helicopters are the most expensive of these aircraft to operate.



The airplane is the most cost-effective aircraft and is ideal for a large number of sites in one flight.


Airplanes are restricted to 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle in densely populated areas and 500 feet above the highest obstacle in rural areas.



Drones are the least expensive of these aircraft to own and operate. 

They are very maneuverable and are ideal for close up low level photography.


Drones are the most time consuming aircraft because you have to drive to and set up for each site.  The distance between sites and traffic conditions can severely restrict productivity.

They are restricted to a maximum altitude of 400 feet above the ground and even lower or prohibited near airports.

Drones are prohibited from flying over traffic and people* even further restricting their use.

* The flying over people has been eased but I do not agree with it.  It is just not safe.

Crawford Aerial Photography, Inc. has the flexibility to provide low-level aerial photography using a helicopter, airplane, or drone to get mid and high-level aerial photography.

Which platform is the best for your photoshoot?  An airplane, helicopter, or drone.

An airplane is the most cost-effective platform because of its speed and relatively low cost of operation.  Multiple sits can be flown per flight over a very large geographic area allowing for very attractive pricing. The airplane can operate down to 1000 feet above the highest obstacle in populated areas and down to 500 feet above the highest obstacle in rural areas.  It can operate up to 10,000 AGL (Above Sea Level).

A helicopter does not have any low altitude restrictions.  Its most effective use is between ground level and 2000 feet where it can fly without the many restrictions of a drone.  The helicopter does not have all of the airport delays of an airplane and many sites can be flown in a local area very efficiently.

Drones are the rage now but they have many flight restrictions.  They are limited to 400 feet above the ground, are not allowed to fly over people, traffic or anything that can be injured or damaged if the drone crashes.  Drones may appear cheaper to use until the operator has to drive in traffic to each site while the aerial photographers in the airplanes and helicopters are flying between the sites at 100 miles per hour.

Call Jim Now to Discuss Your Aerial Photography Project.

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