Flying High with Lee Collins

The air is still and the wind blows ever so gently. Perfect conditions. Just a few fluffy clouds pepper the sky at the horizon. With every second, the sky shifts from an electric blue, to an almost heavenly red and orange. As the sun slowly crests the horizon, beautiful rays of orange light gently kiss the sleepy landscape below. This is what is called the golden hour. Time is of the essence at this point and so the bird is prepped, ready to fly.

Of course this bird is not the feathered kind, but a nickname for my mechanical bird carrying a high-resolution camera, more commonly known as a drone. As a professional drone pilot, for me this is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Capturing the sheer magic and beauty of a magnificent sunrise. The world at this time of the morning is so still, as if you are the only person on the planet. It feels like such a poignant moment and almost euphoric in some way. This is just one of the reasons why I really love my job.

I have been flying drones for over three years now. I started my business Aero-Scope in 2014 when the industry was still in its embryonic stages and in order to fly commercially, I had to be licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority. It sounds pretty straight forward but a lot of theory, training, tests and paperwork has to be carried out before you can legally operate as a business. But it is also much more than a business to me; it has become part of my life. Everywhere I go, I see a filming opportunity. There is beauty everywhere if we care to see it, even if it doesn’t look like it from the ground. Aerial video and photography changes your perception of the world that we are all used to. We get to see things with fresh eyes and from a new perspective. It really does have quite an impact.

Aero-Scope is aimed at producing captivating aerial video for TV, Film and web-based digital video marketing. I have just come back from working on a TV series pilot with motorbike legend Austin Vince (Mondo Enduro) and comedian Ross Noble. It was a lot of fun and involved some pretty fast, high-octane flying, filming motorbikes on an adventure in various parts of the South West. Screened at this year’s Adventure Travel Film Festival in London, it was received really well and with a few other interesting projects in the pipeline, I’m looking forward to the coming year ahead.

Aero Scope and Flying Rhino Films
Aero-Scope / Flying Rhino Films

M: 07583 974 772