Photography News Issue 57

Photography News | Issue 57 |

19 Interview


Fergus Kennedy is aman of a greatmany talents. He is amarine biologist, photographer and filmmaker, and an experiencedmulti-rotor pilot and camera operator. He provides aerial video, still photography and 3Dmodelling services to the BBC, ITV, Canon Europe, Toyota, Nissan, WWFG, the Royal Navy and Love Productions – Fergus is responsible for the intro sequence for The Great British BakeOff . He is a successful author, writing Drone Photography andVideoMasterclass (£16.99) which came out last year and this autumn he serves as consultant editor on the newbook Masters of Drone Photography . Both books are available fromthewebsite below.

I can understand that there is a concern that beauty spots could be spoiled by the constant buzzing of drones

area becomes off-limits to drones. But I can understand that there is a concern that beauty spots could be spoiled by the constant buzzing of drones. Depending on the landowner, it may be possible to arrange a special permission for a flight at a time when there aren’t many visitors. PN: You use drones professionally. What training and qualifications are needed to work commercially in the UK? FK: If you want to fly drones for commercial gain, you need to get your Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the CAA. This usually involves a course, a written test, a flight test and various other paperwork. The permission is renewed annually. You will also need to maintain fairly comprehensive insurance, and keep detailed flight and maintenance logs. PN: Moving on from drones, your new book Wings Over the Desert is about a paramotoring expedition to Jordan. What exactly is paramotoring? FK: It’s a sport involving flying a foot- launched powered paraglider. Basically it involves a soft foil wing above you and a motor and propeller on the back of your harness. It’s the cheapest and most compact form of powered aviation. The Jordan trip came about because a friend who’s a paramotor pilot got in touch

Images Fergus’s book features drone images of people using paramotors over the amazing scenery of Jordan.

and asked me along. He had visited Jordan and saw its potential as a flying location, with amazing scenery. After careful planning at the invitation of Aqaba Directorate of Tourism, the expedition was arranged and special permissions were granted to use both drones and paramotors with the help of the Royal Aero Club of Jordan. The book is a compilation of drone photos from various talented drone photographers around the world. I don’t fly paramotors, so

my aerial shots were taken using the drone.

weather conditions is crucial.

PN: What training do you need to fly one? FK: Although you don’t need a CAA licence to operate a paramotor, you should get trained by a qualified instructor – look at the British Hangliding and Paragliding Association website, It’s not dangerous if you do it sensibly, hence the need for proper training. A sound knowledge of both your equipment and the

PN: Can you try paramotoring in the UK? FK: There are schools that offer paramotor tuition in the UK – check the PPG pilots Forum for more advice and information. PN:What is your next drone/paramotoring adventure? FK: I’m hoping to get up to the Scottish Islands with my drone before too long.

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