Kiplin Hall opens to drone pilots

When looking for beautiful places to fly your drone, this sprawling estate in North Yorkshire featuring a 400-year-old Jacobean house, lake and stunning gardens should be top of your list.

Kiplin Hall

Kiplin Hall and Gardens in Richmond, North Yorkshire, has recently signed up to a Drone Access Policy providing hobbyist pilots with new places to take off and land. The policy allows day visitors to the estate to fly recreationally from their designated Drone Zones.

The policy, being a first of its kind for recreational flight, requires visiting pilots to register with reception on arrival, have third party liability insurance for their drone and to fly in accordance with the UK Drone Code at all times.

Their policy offers a sensible approach to drones to the benefit of both hobbyist pilots and other visitors to the estate. Kiplin Hall and Gardens recognises the benefit of responsible drone use, encouraging visitors to share flight footage on social media.

“Kiplin Hall and Gardens is a large estate offering 90 acres of land and the lake. The estate has a long tradition of recreation. Built as a hunting lodge in the 1620s and throughout its life as a family home Kiplin has hosted various pursuits including boating, fishing, orienteering, walking and trail running, even curling on the frozen lake in winter. As technology advances so do our hobbies. As a venue we must keep up with trends in how people want to enjoy our outdoor spaces. As an independent charity tasked with preserving the Hall and estate we rely on ticket income to continue our work. Appealing to a new audience of drone pilots will help us to do that. Kiplin’s grounds have a lot to offer with ample space for pilots and regular visitors to enjoy. Kiplin provides the ideal backdrop for drone pilots.”

 

– James Etherington, Director of Kiplin Hall and Gardens

The policy was designed with the help of DronePrep and can be viewed on the DronePrep map – click here to register for free. The DronePrep team are working with pilots and landowners to open up safe spaces for pilots to take off and land.

“We’re really excited to share this policy with the hobbyist community. It’s fantastic to see a beautiful estate with a drone-friendly policy and an understanding of the benefits that welcoming drone pilots can bring. We hope this leads to other historic houses following suit.”

 

– Keith Osborne, Land Partnership Manager, DronePrep

While the policy is aimed at recreational flyers, Kiplin Hall and Gardens are also open to applications for commercial flight – for more information contact support@droneprep.uk

Keith Osborne joins DronePrep

The DronePrep team are excited to announce that Keith Osborne has joined as Land Partnership Manager.

Keith Osborne

Fitness fanatic Keith Osborne has just joined the DronePrep team. Keith boasts an extensive career in business development and is excited to turn his hand to a new industry.

From his early days as a professional squash player, Keith climbed the ranks of commercial health and fitness, finding his feet in B2B contract management and learning the ropes of a competitive market.

Keith has worked with large organisations on the provision of corporate leisure facilities, covering everything from operations to marketing to sales over his 35-year career so far.

He decided to go solo in 1998, founding a successful business which was then sold to a well-known healthcare charity, where he worked as Operations Director for several years.

His entrepreneurial exploits also include the creation of a fitness app to cater to the growing home exercise market during UK lockdowns.

Outside of the office, Keith is still a big fitness fan and is passionate about his involvement in triathlons. As Race Director of a Triathlon club, he has relied on drones to capture the best footage during their events.

Despite his health addiction, he is still partial to a slice of cake – a self-prescribed foodie hailing Italian cuisine as his “food heaven”.

“I’m really looking forward to learning about this whole industry, being at the front of a start-up and living the “cutting edge” rather than the mundane. My experience with drones has always been very positive and being a part of an industry in its infancy is exciting. I’m keen to see how the DronePrep platform grows and how we can find new opportunities to help everybody across the sector.”

 

– Keith Osborne, Land Partnership Manager, DronePrep

Drone Insurance: The Basics

Research

With any big decision – moving house, buying a car, booking a holiday – comes the fuss of scouting providers, calculating liabilities and tweaking premiums. Not to mention the added pain of talking meerkats. Fortunately, when it comes to drones, the process is much easier than you would expect.

Insurance is a legal requirement for some pilots and a great-to-have for others. Today, I’m looking at the rules around drone insurance, what should be included in a policy and why it might be worth having, regardless of the legalities. 

The legal stuff: Do I need insurance?

Drone legislation is always a heated topic, so instead of getting lost in the legalities, let’s just see what the CAA’s Drone Code has to say about insurance for pilots.

The Drone Code states the following:

…If you fly a drone or model aircraft that weighs less than 20kg for fun, recreation, sport, or as a hobby, you can choose whether or not to have insurance.

 

If you fly for any other reason, you must have third party liability insurance…

 

…If your drone or model aircraft is 20kg or more, you must always have third party insurance, no matter what you use your aircraft for.

Without picking apart the legal definition of the word fun, we can make some guesses as to what this means for pilots.

For drones that weigh over 20kg, you need insurance. It doesn’t matter what you use the drone for – just get insured.

For drones that weigh under 20kg, you might need insurance, but it depends on why you are flying.

To keep it really simple: If you are a recreational drone pilot, or hobbyist, you probably don’t need insurance. If you are a commercial pilot, you probably need insurance.

Although the latest drone regulations do little to explicitly distinguish between these two groups, insurance appears to be the one area where hobbyists and working pilots are set apart. So if you’re flying for work, you probably need to get insured.

For more information about UK regulations, check out the links at the end of this article.

The non-legal stuff: Should I get insurance?

Legal stuff out the way (phew!) and there are some other pretty good reasons to get insured.

Price

It’s pretty cheap. We’re talking 10s, not 100s, for most hobbyists and small-time commercial users. I’ve personally bought hourly policies at just over £1 per hour, and found a rolling policy for around £20 per month. When the drone is worth hundreds (or more), it seems like a no-brainer to invest in a safety net, if only for peace of mind.

Money

Coverage

The policies themselves cover a lot. My experience with car insurance in the past has been a miserable one, with sky-high premiums and thousands of optional extras that don’t amount to much when it comes to claim time. Drone insurance is a lot more straightfoward, while covering most types of damage and usually offering hassle-free payouts, as long as the pilot has been flying safely and legally.

Cover

Local restrictions

There are a number of sites, clubs and events where insurance is a requirement for entry. Those of you familiar with the world of model aircraft will know that BMFA insurance is required at many flying fields in the UK. A similar scheme exists with FPV UK for model aircraft and drones. We’re starting to see these rules popping up at take-off spots more and more, so consider the added benefit of insurance opening up new locations.

Local restrictions

Drone insurance: What are my options?

Wait, what exactly is drone insurance?

I’ll caveat this part by saying I’m not an insurance expert. My limited experience of insurance is drawn from previous purchases of car, contents and travel insurance policies. A bit of research helped me put the pieces together with this next part.

Drone insurance usually consists of two distinct parts – “liability” and “equipment”.

Liability

Public liability or third party liability insurance covers damage and legal fees for property damage or bodily injury to a third party. So, if you crash into your neighbour’s fence, or hit a pedestrian – please try not to do this – and cause any damage, this is the insurance that you would be claiming from. Liability insurance is designed to offer protection against third-party claims, so it pays for the legal fees and repairs, but it won’t necessarily cover damage to your own kit.

Equipment

Equipment cover is for the drone itself, or any associated equipment. So, if your drone is damaged in a fall, or the camera lens cracks, or if the return to home malfunctions and your precious drone ends up diving propeller-first into a lake, this is how you would cover the cost of repair – or replacement.

Drone insurance policies may include one or both of the above, plus extra benefits like international cover, cover for theft, or the promise of a replacement drone while yours is being fixed. Each provider offers different terms and conditions for claims, so check the rules carefully before you buy.

Who can I buy drone insurance from?

Some of the big household names in car and home insurance do offer drone policies, but I think the best option is to choose a specialist drone insurance provider. They know the industry, they understand the kit and many of them fly in their spare time, so they are well-placed to help you answer any questions.

Check out the insurance page on our website by clicking here for more information on three of the popular specialists – Coverdrone, Flock and Moonrock

The future of drone insurance

With drone use increasing and the technology becoming more and more advanced, I was keen to find out how the industry has changed and what we might see in the future.

I spoke to each of the three specialist insurers mentioned above, asked about their experiences in a rapidly changing industry and tried to understand the current trends in drone insurance. Here are some of their thoughts:

Coverdrone

“We have been perfecting the Coverdrone product over the past 14 years, during that time we have always put customer service at the forefront of everything we do. Our product is essentially our claims service, and we are very proud to say we have settled 99.25% of claims reported.

BVLOS is a big up-and-coming area, as is drone shows and drone swarms, especially in Europe. Our policies always react to the changes in the drone market, and we can now provide that cover.”

– Daniel Dodd, Coverdrone

Flock

“When Flock started in 2016, it was mainly film and photography, with a bit of surveying. Now, we’re seeing everything from crop spraying in Ethiopia, to flying cars and monitoring sulphur emissions in shipping lanes.

We provide insurance to a company called Lorenz Technology in Denmark, which from our understanding, is the first case where an AI (Artificial Intelligence) is listed as a pilot on an insurance policy. There’s a lot of other companies using AIs for assisted flight, this is just the next level of that.”

– Sam Golden, Flock

Moonrock

“Moonrock insure pilots and organisations ranging from the independent operator all the way through to BVLOS operations, such as the recent NHS trials and large drone displays with over 300 drone in the air at any one time.

We are now starting to see a large shift towards in-house operations, whereby businesses are starting to bring pilots in house. This allows organisations to train pilots specifically in the needs and requirements of the organisation.

We have also launched a hobby drone insurance policy, as up until now its been nearly impossible for the general public to obtain cover for public liability and damage to the drone.”

– Simon Ritterband, Managing Director, Moonrock Drone Insurance

Want to learn more about drone legislation?

Check out the links below:

CAA Drone Code
https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code

CAA – Aircraft Insurance
https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-industry/Aircraft/Operations/Insurance/Aircraft-insurance/

CAP722 – Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance
https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP722%20Edition8(p).pdf

REGULATION (EC) No 785/2004 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 21 April 2004 on insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32004R0785

 

Karina Nasretdinova joins the DronePrep Innovation Team

The DronePrep team are excited to announce that Karina Nasretdinova has joined as Innovation Lead.

Karina

With a background in aviation and innovation, Karina brings a wealth of expertise in the international autonomous vehicle market and a deep understanding of the challenges facing the UAV sector.

Starting her career in commercial aviation, Karina found a passion for emerging technologies within the sector and, in 2016, became a co-founder of WATTS Future Technologies, a start-up aiming to revolutionise wireless charging in both consumer electronics and the autonomous vehicle sector. The goal of the project is to equip all infrastructure with wireless charging stations, from ground transportation to new types of aircraft, contributing significantly to the overall development of the electric transport ecosystem.

Karina has also worked with a leading British eVTOL company, carrying out an in-depth global analysis of the urban air mobility market in 2019.

Outside of the “day job”, Karina is an avid videographer and keen storyteller with a passion for documentary filmmaking. She hopes to document the progress of world-changing technologies in aviation and to tell the stories behind the projects.

Karina will support co-founder Gareth Whatmore in the Innovation team.

“I’m really excited to join DronePrep, a company which is not just focused on commercial gain, but rather on the growth of the entire sector. I’m looking forward to being part of the innovation team and providing great opportunities to drone companies and eVTOLs across the world.”

 

– Karina Nasretdinova, Innovation Lead, DronePrep

DronePrep attends DroneX Trade Show

After the lockdowns and limitations of the last two years, the DronePrep team were excited to finally see friends from across the industry – in person! – at the DroneX Trade Show and Conference, held last week at the ExCel centre in London.

DronePrep’s Gareth Whatmore joined Aerospace Cornwall to share the successes of the Future Flight Phase II drone delivery project in the Isles of Scilly, a major step forward for UK drone delivery and a great example of the region’s investment in technology and innovation.

The two-day show also saw DronePrep Co-founder and CTO Claire Owen serve on the judging panel for the DroneX Innovation Awards. The panel visited a number of innovative DroneX exhibitors and, after a 3-minute pitch from each candidate and a long deliberation, Airial Robotics was crowned the winner for their Gyrotrak.

The DroneX Trade Show was an excellent opportunity to find out about companies from all areas of drone use, from drone manufacturers, to software providers, to end-users looking to deploy drones in their day-to-day operations.

“It was great to finally meet the amazing people in drones who I’ve had the pleasure of zoom-ing and emailing these last few months! I joined DronePrep before the UK lockdown was over, so it’s really the first opportunity I’ve had to see people face to face. We were thrilled to see the industry come together and exhibit all the latest innovations in UAVs.

 

– Beth Mason, Marketing Manager, DronePrep