Frequently Asked Questions

What is a UAV/UAS?

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle/Unmanned Aerial System. Multi-rotor drones which are operated via a transmitter remote. They are far more maneuverable than manned aircraft and can get much closer to the subject matter.

What sort of equipment can be used on your UAS's?

Our largest rig can support up to a 40 pound payload. That is only used for very specific functions and quotes are on a per project basis.

Our most popular rig for film professionals is the DJI S1000 which can carry up to 15 pounds of payload. It is equipped with a MOVI M5 and can be customized to carry many types of cameras and lenses. We typically rig it with a Canon 5D Mark III, Sony A7S or Sony FS5.

Our smallest and most maneuverable drone is the Phantom 3 Pro. This popular quad can has the least amount of set up time and can grab photos and video from the air, changing the camera settings in real time. It can also be equipped with propeller guards to protect property and people alike. 

What about safety?

Safety is our paramount concern at Above Summit.  We will not fly over dense crowds or in inclement weather (precipitation, high winds, etc) and we use a Visual Observer to provide an additional level of on-site safety.  Our pilots are seasoned and responsible operators with experience on an array of equipment and have created safe yet incredible, innovative shots, flying in locales ranging from a kayak race on the Mystic River to an indoor rock-climbing gym.  

How far can you fly?

The UAS must remain within the Pilot in Command's line of sight (LOS) at all times, and our height ceiling is 400 feet (122 meters). 

Our copters are equipped with a failsafe system so that if loses communication with the transmitter, it will automatically return to the takeoff location. We maintain a visual of the drone at all times and fly accordingly, depending on visibility.

How long can you fly?

We use LiPo rechargeable batteries to power our copters. Each battery lasts approximately 10-20 minutes, depending on the payload, temperature and type of aircraft. Swapping out a battery only takes 2 minutes and we always bring multiple batteries to each shoot and recharge during flights as long as there is an outlet nearby.

Are you insured?

Yes, we are insured by one of the few leaders in the industry who specialize in covering UAS' for liability and damage. We are also insured with standard production insurance. If you decide to book us, we will be happy to provide you with any documentation.

What sort of non-aerial coverage do you provide?

Anything you need!  We recommend ground coverage for all of our projects; it can often bring the production value to another level and tell a more complete story.

We have a full suite of cameras including time lapse, motion time lapse, and slow-motion; a professional lens kit to get precisely the shot you need; and an array of stabilization equipment to give you high-quality films of events, landscapes, promos, real estate properties and more. Want live HD streaming of an event? We do that too! As a full-scale production studio we do all of our editing in-house to give you a consistent level of professionalism and quality. 

Where are you located and what areas do you service?

We are located in Somerville, Massachusetts and service all of New England. That being said, we LOVE to travel! If you want to get us on a project that is requires a plane or a long drive then all we ask is that you pay basic travel and lodging expenses. We are great at finding deals and do not charge a premium for this.

What are the FAA restrictions?

IMPORTANT: Since this industry is on the cutting edge, new rules and regulations are coming out regularly so be sure to ask us about the most current drone laws. 

There is a 5-mile radius "no fly zone" around all international airports and 1 mile around local airports. There are also other areas with restricted flight, to check your project's location, please visit this Know Before You Fly Map. Please note: all of Boston, 

That being said, there is a process through the FAA where one can obtain a Certificate of Authorization. These are processed within 60 days. If you have a project located in a no-fly zone, reach out to us as soon as possible so that we can submit a petition to fly.

For a detailed overview of the rules and regulations, read this pdf provided by the FAA.

How do I book you guys!

Fill out our connect form and someone from Above Summit will contact you shortly!