General Questions

How does this work?

As simply as possible. We will need to hash out the details of where your property is located, what views you want to see, what I am to deliver (prints, digital files, CD’s etc.), when you need it, and what the price will be. These things can normally be communicated in an informal email. Once all the questions are answered, I’ll ask for an email authorizing me to go do the work. Once I have finished, I’ll deliver your photographs and invoice you.

How do you find my property?

I’ll work with you to define exactly where your site is located. The easiest way to get started is to use the site locator tool on this site. Or, if you prefer, just give me an address and I’ll come back with a satellite photograph with your property circled. You can then confirm that I have it right or correct me. For land, you can send me a plat or a ‘google.earth’ photograph with your site circled. In all events, I won’t leave the ground until I’m sure I know exactly where your site is and what it covers. I then use a GPS in the airplane to navigate to the site.

How long does it take?

I like to have two or three weeks notice. This allows me to schedule the aircraft more efficiently. However, I’ve been known to get a call in the morning and be airborne by noon.

Can you photograph my site at a specific time of day on a given day?

You bet. I frequently make a dedicated flight, calculated to be on-site during a baseball game or a big party, etc.

What do you fly?

Most of our work is done from a Cessna 182RG. The high wing lets us see the ground, while the retractable gear pulls the wheel out of the way of the camera, and lets me fly faster. For mapping vertical work, we use an aircraft specially equipped with a ‘belly port’. Fancy word for a hole in the floor. The camera mounts over the hole, and we steer over your property using an extremely high resolution GPS. Occasionally we get a job that requires a helicopter. Those are FUN.

Do you take credit cards?

Not at this time. I really don’t want the hassle or the expense and find that checks work great.

What kind of camera do you use?

TOP FLIGHT is a Canon shop. We currently shoot with a 5D Mark II, a professional grade camera with a resolution of 21.4 Mpixels. Even more importantly, we use the absolute best lenses Canon sells (their professional ‘L series’). Any pro photographer will tell you that it’s more about the ‘glass’ than the body.

Do you take passengers?

Yes—and No. The airplane is my office—a working platform. When I am working, I really don’t want someone sharing my space any more than you would want an inquisitive buddy in your office when you are concentrating. However, I LOVE flying and especially enjoy carrying enthusiastic passengers on pleasure cruises. Call me and we’ll go sightseeing.

What makes TOP FLIGHT so great?

We are dependable, we are honest, we deliver a fine product, our pricing is fair.

Construction Progress

How often do you fly?

As often as you like. Many construction progress clients need photos twice per month. Others once per month, and some once per quarter. It depends largely on how fast your project is moving.

How many photographs do you take?

A typical construction progress aerial package provides four views, NSEW, each encompassing the entire project. However, some clients need a closeup of a particular area, or want to have significantly more ’looks’ at certain tasks in process. Others like to see a vertical view of their project.

Where do you fly?

All over Texas. We will happily cover your progress photography needs anywhere in the great state of Texas.

How high do you fly?

For construction progress, typically 1500 to 2000 feet above the ground. For vertical mapping jobs, some jobs require altitudes up to 12000 feet or so. It gets cold up there.

Do you use a plane or helicopter?

For construction progress, almost exclusively fixed wing airplanes. If the site is right next to a major airport, we may have to hire a chopper, but that is rare.

Can you come on-site and take photos from the ground?

Absolutely. We do it all the time to document work in progress or to take marketing photographs.

Copyright Issues

Do I own the photographs?

Unless we make specific arrangements, TOP FLIGHT Aerial Photography retains ownership of all the photographs we create. When a client hires us to take pictures, what we deliver is the right for your company to use these photographs. You can’t resell or give them away without written permission from Top Flight Aerial Photography.