North Norfolk couple harness drone technology for high-flying business


Tracey Gray

Flypod Aerial Imagery, based in Bayfield, near Holt, has been launched by couple William Darby and Hannah Carman, using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).

The pair, who are CAA (Cival Aviation Authority) approved, have a background in media and filmmaking with Mr Darby having worked as a cameraman and Hannah as a logistics manager on documentaries.

They came up with the idea of launching Flypod whilst filming an expedition across the Australian Outback when they had no way of capturing their own high quality aerial footage themselves, and their filming budget wouldn’t allow for a manned aircraft.

They use a radio controlled UAV which allows them to frame the shots it is taking, relaying them back to a monitor on the ground, where they and their client can see exactly what pictures the UAV is taking.

Mr Darby, 27, said: “I think from my perspective as a cameraman the ability to put a camera way up in the sky is an amazing thing, it is more about what you can learn from them. For both of us it is about the amazing information and results you can get from it.”

Their projects so far have included several environmental surveys for the Rivers Trust, photographing properties and also filming Norwich School from above.

The company has recently been working with the Norfolk Rivers Trust on a project to restore part of one of North Norfolk’s chalk streams, the River Glaven.

By providing aerial photography surveys Flypod have been able to capture an overview of a newly dug river course alongside a lake, documenting the new lease of life for the river.

Miss Carman, 26, said: “We hope that people will begin to see the benefits that UAVs can bring to them. We have big plans for Flypod, and hope to grow our team as soon as we can. The industry is evolving very quickly, and we’re very excited to be able to harness the huge potential that UAVs offer.”

The couple are now looking to import a new state-of-the-art machine from America which will allow them to do highly accurate mapping of areas for environmental or agricultural purposes.

Mr Darby said; “In our opinion, that is they way the industry is going.”

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