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Suez Lorry Crash – Stump Cross Halifax 28/03/19

By News

no images were found

On Thursday 28th March 2019 approx 5:45am a Suez Lorry crashed in to a row of houses in Stump Cross – early indications suggest that there may have been a problem with the brakes. Luckily nobody was hurt and they’re hoping to have the Lorry lifted back to safety by lunchtime so they can re-open the road which is causing major traffic jams all around the surrounding areas.

Thank you to John Whitham – Landlord at Stump Cross Inn – Halifax for giving permission to take off from his car park. Also special thanks to PC Brimelow – Badge 4541 & Shane – Incident Manager at Stoneywood Motors for allowing me access. #suez #stumpcrossinn

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Copyright © Rotorgraph 2019 – All rights reserved – Please contact Gary Brown – 07738276411 for permission to distribute.

Bradford Mill Fire – Aftermath

By News

Today I sent up my drone to view the damage done in fire to the Harris Court Mill on Great Horton Road – Please feel free to share. 

Thanks to Martin Baker at Whaleys (Bradford) Ltd for permission to take off from his land and also Steve Holdsworth – Watch Commander – West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) for also providing permission.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Drones for Roof Inspections

By Roof Inspection

Drones provide safer inspections


Using Drones certainly eliminates the majority of risks associated with typical roof inspection methods. Typical risks arise due to the nature and design of the buildings. Complex designs, extreme heights, rotten roofs, and structures as well as hard to access areas can pose multiple risks to the workers, occupants of a property and those people around it. Collecting the data without putting the lives of the workers at risk is one of the major benefits of using the drones to inspect a wide range of properties.


Roof Inspection – Rotorgraph – Close up gutter


Ability to collect in-depth data

Drones allow immediate and easy access to almost every part of the building, this allows us to collect more useful information using onboard high-quality cameras. Even though there is still a requirement for the human expertise, a drone-based building inspection is faster, more efficient, accurate and usually cheaper.

Modern building inspection technologies allow people to get more details about the structures. By accessing the difficult to reach and tight spaces, the drones can capture more information that an inspector would not have managed using the conventional means. In addition, the drone can be used repeatedly, taking the photo or video from the same location over and over. This is helpful if you want to compare the before and after images once a repair is complete.

The drones have inbuilt GPS systems that make it possible to take shots of a location from the exact location at every visit, even if it is after a month or longer period. This means that the drone camera can be able to capture images and videos from the same elevations and angles that are impossible with the manual inspection by a human.


Roof Inspection


The new technologies help you to get the job done faster

A lot of preparation goes into planning and executing a traditional building inspection. It, therefore, takes more time and workers to plan and complete one inspection. In addition, the different data collected using the various means must be combined and analysed to produce a report. With new technologies, such as drones, it requires only a short time to carry out an inspection once a client makes the request. Since it does not require mounting the climbing and access equipment, the drone- based inspection starts off immediately the team gets to the site. In addition, it performs the examination within a fraction of the time it would take using the conventional methods. The drones can then transmit the data to the inspection team on the ground or through the Cloud – allowing them to analyse the data and generate reports faster without putting anyone at risk.


Roof Inspection / Dilapidation


Drone-based roof inspections are less costly

Drone services can help in reducing the inspection costs significantly. There is no need to acquire and transport costly scaffolding, lifts, ladders and other climbing equipment and gear. In addition, it does not require as many people, hence cutting down on the equipment and labor costs.

Reducing the time and labor means that it is even possible to perform several building inspections in a day. In fact, a building inspector can perform multiple inspections simultaneously as long as there are enough drones and their pilots. The inspector can at the same time monitor all the inspections from a remote office through the internet and Cloud systems.


Aerial Roof Inspection Close Up


Drones can reduce the insurance costs

Due to the risks associated with traditional roof inspections, the workers and sometimes the equipment and structure are insured against accidents and damages. And since many workers are required, the insurance costs can be high, thus reducing the revenue. The drones reduce the need to pay insure the workers and equipment since there are fewer if any risks.

Drone eliminates the need to follow the numerous regulations on health and safety. These requirements are often required when sending a human worker to perform the structural examinations or roof inspections on a block of flats or similar buildings.

The sites must be checked for any safety issues, which may arise due to height and other potential dangers. To perform such inspections, the regulation requires a check on the workers to confirm that they are in good health. This is also done for insurance purposes. However, the drones eliminate the need for the tests as well as insurance for the workers.


Areas Covered


Addingham,   Baildon,   Bingley,   Burley-in-Wharfedale,   Cottingley, Crossflatts, Cross Roads, Cullingworth, Denholme, East and West Morton, Eccleshill, Eldwick, Esholt, Great Horton, Gilstead, Harden, Haworth, Ilkley, Keighley, Menston, Oakworth, Oxenhope, Queensbury, Riddlesden, Saltaire, Sandy Lane, Shipley, Silsden, Stanbury, Steeton, Thornbury, Thornton, Tong, Undercliffe, Wibsey, Wilsden. 


Bailiff Bridge, Boothtown, Brighouse, Copley, Cragg Vale, Elland, Greetland, Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall, Hipperholme, Holywell Green, Luddendenfoot, Mytholmroyd, Norwood Green, Rastrick, Ripponden, Shelf, Shibden, Sowerby Bridge, Todmorden


Almondbury, Batley, Birkby, Birkenshaw, Birstall, Cleckheaton, Dalton, Denby Dale, Dewsbury, Emley, Golcar, Gomersal, Hartshead, Hartshead Moor, Heckmondwike, Holmfirth, Honley, Kirkburton, Kirkheaton, Linthwaite, Liversedge, Marsden, Meltham, Mirfield, New Mill, Norristhorpe, Roberttown, Scammonden, Shelley, Shepley, Skelmanthorpe, Slaithwaite, Thornhill


Allerton Bywater, Beeston, Boston Spa, Collingham, Garforth, Guiseley, Harewood, Harehills, Headingley, Holbeck, Horsforth, Hyde Park, Gipton, Kippax, Kirkstall, Ledsham, Ledston, Methley, Middleton, Morley, New Farnley, Otley, Oulton, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Pudsey, Rothwell, Rawdon, Scarcroft, Scholes, Stourton, Swillington, Walton (Leeds), Wetherby, Yeadon, Woodhouse


Ackworth, Alverthorpe, Castleford, Crigglestone, Crofton, Durkar, Fairburn Ings, Featherstone, Ferrybridge, Fitzwilliam, Hemsworth, Horbury, Knottingley, Newmillerdam, Normanton, Nostell, Ossett, Outwood, Pontefract, Ryhill, Sandal, Sharlston, Stanley, Walton (Wakefield), West Bretton

Can Drones help in Roof Inspections?

By Surveying

Roofs are the core part of building infrastructure and must be monitored and managed. They are challenging to inspect due to the fact that they are difficult to reach and any problems with roof integrity can be hard to detect and address. When there is an issue, it can often be expensive to resolve; especially if the building has a large roof footprint.

There are a number of ways to get close enough to a roof to conduct inspection activity but this has traditionally been a time-consuming, complex activity that usually has a significant cost attached. With a range of methods to elevate to inspection level, such as scaffolding, ladders or cherry-pickers, it inevitably means the prospect of people working at height, which always comes with risk.

Close up of Gutter & Roof Top

Roof Inspection – West Yorkshire

Whether on old or new buildings, roofs come in all shapes and sizes and are typically difficult places to access. On many older buildings, the roof can be easily damaged by human contact or may even be inaccessible. This is where drone technology brings significant advantages over manual inspection.

Drones can deploy quickly and be on task in a fraction of the preparation time of manual methods. The surface area that can be covered with a modern drone system is considerably quicker than if conducting the inspection with a human and, with a range of modern image processing software available, the resulting report can be completed and presented to the client quickly. The health and safety benefits alone are an attractive reason for organisations to look to adopt drone technology.

Operating a drone during a roof inspection can be a complex activity, subject to the performance of the drone system, the capability of the camera, the shape and size of the roof being inspected and weather conditions on the day. It requires some level of planning diligence.

Close up of broken gutter

Aerial Roof Inspection – West Yorkshire

Due to the close proximity of the roof it almost always requires a good degree of flying proficiency from the remote pilot but if planned and executed well, the inspection can be completed quickly and effectively.

Roof inspections with drones are still at a relatively early stage. Currently, a drone cannot also conduct repairs to any defects that are detected but it is envisaged that this will become part of a future where drone capability will be fused into a full inspect and repair capability. That future is only a few short years away.

We offer great rates for Roof Inspections in West Yorkshire.

1st NESTA Task Force Meeting

By Commerical, NESTA

1st NESTA Task Force Meeting 26/02/18

After the successful bid for Bradford to become a NESTA approved city, Rotorgraph were invited to the very first task force meeting today to discuss implementing new roles for drones to play in both Bradford but for society In general.

As part of this discussion the main focus was on 9 user cases put forward at the early bid stage, todays meeting focused on stripping that back to 3 core ideas and discussing the social benefits, substainibility and more importantly the feasibility.

It was clear to see even with a wide range of different organisations that included Universities, Bradford Council, Commercial Drone Pilots, and many more that it was important we used Drones in a way that helped society as an whole and in ways that won hearts and minds of the public.

1st NESTA Task Force Meeting (image shown on slideshows taken by Rotorgraph)

For such a long time the word “Drone” has had negative conitations that include military bombings etc, it is NESTA’s priority to bring like minded experts from the hobby, robotics, emergency services etc to use Drones for services such as delivering Blood & Defibrillators etc to hard to reach places or simply beat the traffic in extreme emergencies. This will need new legislation to allow for changes in current restrictive laws.

There are more ideas which will come to fruition which I will keep you updated on as the phases move forward, however initial indications prove that Drones are here to stay and will pay a large part in society and for the good.



Supporting Queensbury Tunnel – Cycle Route

By News, Queensbury Tunnel

Supporting Queensbury Tunnel

If you weren’t already aware Queensbury is hoping to create one of the longest cycle routes in the whole of the UK. This is being currently supported by local Councillor Andrew Senior, Graeme Bickerdike – Senior Partner, Four by Three, and Norah McWilliam.

Gary Brown – Rotorgraph, Andrew Senior – Councillor & Carlos Conwaz – Local Drone Enthusiast


At a cost of £3m to fill in the tunnel, Graeme Bickerdike, said: “Is it sensible to take £3m of taxpayers money, convert it into concrete, and pour it into a black hole? Or do you use that money and invest it into transforming this structure into an asset that can be used to generate money?”

Sustrans has calculated that using the tunnel for recreation would boost the local economy by almost £40m over the next 30 years.

You can help by simply signing this petition and getting the much needed votes to keep it open as a cycle route. Not only will this help improve the health of our local community, but it will also bring much needed tourism to our area which in turn will help boost the local economy.

Rotorgraph used DJI Mavic Pro to capture aerial footage

Finally to find out more about the costs and logistics behind bringing this to life, here is a short clip of Graeme Bickerdike reflecting on the struggles faced in getting to where we are currently.


Credit to Andrew Senior for all his ongoing efforts, Ian “P13” Hudson for editing the video and also Carlos Conwaz for local support from Queensbury Drone Flying Group 


Bradford is Flying High

By Queensbury Tunnel

Putting Bradford on the Map

In conjunction with the Nesta Flying High Team – Bradford have managed to become one of only 4 cities in the UK – alongside London, Preston, Southampton and 1 region (The West Midlands). to be picked for a very exciting project that is the very first of its kind. From the beginning of February 2018 until June 2018 Bradford Councillor – Alex Ross-Shaw, alongside West Yorkshire Police, Bradford University and the major spearhead behind pushing for Bradford – Ian Hudson – UAVHIVE will work together to think up new groundbreaking new ways of putting drones to the very best of their capabilities. 

Queensbury Tunnel – Gary Brown – Rotorgraph & Andrew Senior Queensbury Councillor wearing DJI Goggles



Some of the future uses of a drone

Some key uses in the last few years have been around Aerial Photography, Aerial Videography, Mapping both 2D & 3D models of both land and buildings. However there is so much more uses for this technology, which is why this project has been put together to get like minded individuals who are interested in this technology, and will work in partnership to come up with more roles for the drone to play. 

As illustrated above a small drone “DJI Mavic” was used to help a local campaign in Queensbury, Bradford backed by local Councillor – Andrew Senior to open up an old disused Railway Tunnel as a Cycle Route – this would make it one of the longest tunnels used for such a purpose in the UK. Rotorgraph are extremely pleased to be able to highlight this project by providing both Video & Aerial Photography of the site for both local residents to get behind and also help in promoting this project on both a local and national platform. 


Other key areas we see Drones coming in to their own will be around delivery of medicine, defibrillators, & blood. The fire service can also use drones to get a much safer view of a roaring fire from above whilst radioing to firefighters on the ground to move strategically to best place to put out a fire much quicker. Police will use them more for getting photographs of Road Traffic Accidents and in the aid of capturing criminals on the run. 

The great thing about drones is that they’re only getting smaller and smaller making them much safer whilst bringing together new technology such as Infrared and higher quality 4K footage.

Finally if you want to learn more about Bradford bid and the Nesta Flying High Challenge please check out a radio interview by BCB Radio in Bradford with Ian Hudson from UAVHIVE



The Benefits of Drones in the workplace

By Commerical, Property, Roof Inspection, Surveying, Uncategorised

Drones are consistently being used in the commercial workplace to make people’s lives easier and safer!

Whilst many people only look at drones through the lens created by mass hysteria, i.e.- the invasion of the privacy of civilians and extensive military uses, that is in fact not the case. To put it simply, drones were created to make our lives easier, and there is no better way to exercise that than at work. Drones are largely being used in industrial settings to monitor job sites, inspect gas and power lines, and to be used as security for the safety of the employees.

They are also used to map the progress of job sites from an aerial view, which can make the building process easier and faster. Another commercial use for drones is search and rescue, which is certainly beneficial to the public. The remotely operated drones can get a bird’s eye view of an area, with the ability to zoom in for a closer look using a high powered camera. Drones can also be used to put out large fires from a range that cannot be properly reached by conventional means.

The agriculture industry also uses these machines for farming, spraying pesticides, mapping areas, tracking and monitoring animal herds, and analyzing land to find optimal crop areas. As the FAA laws change, the commercial use of drones will change along with them. This will expand the regulated uses of drones in commercial industries, and there will be no telling what new and innovative uses will be discovered.

Removing dangers

For individuals in jobs that involve lots of time spent traveling to the extremities of where enterprises do business, or to a precarious perch to get a good view, like infrastructure inspection or site management, an opportunity presents itself.

Historically, it’s been a dangerous job to identify the state of affairs in the physical world and analyze and report on that information. It may have required climbing on tall buildings or unstable areas, or travelling to far-flung sites to inspect critical infrastructure, like live power lines or extensive dams.

Commercial drones, as part of the current wave of automation technology, will fundamentally change this process.

The jobs involved aren’t going away, but they are going to change.


New ways to amass data

Jobs that were once considered gruelling and monotonous will look more like knowledge-worker jobs in the near future.

Until now, people in these jobs have had to go to great lengths to collect data for analysis and decision-making.

That data can now be collected without putting people in harm’s way. Without the need to don a harness, or climb to dangerous heights, people in these jobs can extend their career.

We’ve seen this firsthand in our own work conducting commercial drone operation training for many of the largest insurers in America, whose teams typically include adjusters in the latter stages of their career.

When you’re 50 years old, the physical demands of climbing on roofs to conduct inspections can make you think about an early retirement, or a career change.


Keeping hard-earned skills in the workplace

But these workers are some of the best in the business, with decades of experience.

No one wants to leave hard-earned skills behind due to physical limitations.

We’ve found industry veterans like these to be some of the most enthusiastic adopters of commercial drones for rooftop inspections.

After one week-long session, these adjusters could operate a commercial drone to collect rooftop data without requiring any climbing.

Their deep understanding of claims adjustment can be brought to bear in the field without the conventional physical demands.

Specialists with knowledge and experience like veteran insurance adjusters are far harder to find than someone who can learn how to use a commercial drone system.

Removing the need to physically collect the data means the impact of their expertise can be global, and the talent competition for these roles will be global as well.


Digital skills grow in importance

Workers can come out on top in this shift by focusing on improving relevant digital skills.

Their conventional daily-use manual tools will become far less important than those tools that enable them to have an impact digitally.

The tape measure and ladder will go by the wayside as more work is conducted with iPads and cloud software.

This transition will also create many more opportunities to do work that simply doesn’t get accomplished today.

Take commercial building inspection as an example.

In the past, the value of a building inspection had to be balanced against many drawbacks, like the cost of stopping business so an inspection could be conducted, the liability of sending a worker to a roof, and the sheer size of sites.


Filling the data gap

The result is a significant data gap.

The state of the majority of commercial buildings is simply unknown to their owners and underwriters.

Using drones for inspections dramatically reduces the inherent challenges of data collection, which makes it feasible to inspect far more buildings and creates a demand for human workers to analyze this new dataset.

Filling this demand requires specialized knowledge and a niche skillset that the existing workers in this field, like the veterans from our training groups who were on the verge of leaving the field, are best-poised to provide.

This trend is happening in myriad industries, from insurance, to telecoms, to mining and construction.


Preparation now

Enterprises in industries that will be impacted by this technology need to make their preparations for this transformation now.

Those that do not, will not be around in 10 years.

Workers in jobs where careers are typically cut short due to physical risk need to invest in learning digital skills, so that they can extend the length of their career and increase their value, while reducing the inherent physical toll.

Individuals who see their employers falling behind in innovation have the freedom to pursue a career with a more ambitious competitor, or to take a leadership role kickstarting initiatives internally to keep pace.

There’s no shortage of challenges to tackle or problems to solve in the world.

Commercial drones, and the greater wave of automation technology, will enable us to address more of them. This will create many opportunities for the workers who are prepared to capitalize on this technology. That preparation must begin now.

Rotorgraph provide live viewing using DJI Goggles

By Commerical, Property, Surveying

As a client of Rotorgraph you will have full access to our DJI Goggles. The DJI Goggles are comfortable goggles designed for seamless FPV flying with DJI products.  They combine a pair of large ultra-high quality screens, long-range,low lag wireless connectivity, and direct control of photo and video capture. With Intelligent Flight Modes like ActiveTrack, TapFly, Terrain Follow, Cinematic Mode andTripod mode, a totally new flying dimension is created. These can be used with our without glasses and allow you live access to the drone in the sky when we take your Aerial Photographs, Aerial Videography or simply carrying out a Roof Inspection.

DJI Goggles are able to offer both 720p/60fps and close range 1080p/30fps viewing with an extremely low latency of just 110ms. Through DJI’s OcuSync wireless transmission system, up to four devices can be connected to the Mavic Pro simultaneously. Antennas built into the headband ensure 360° of coverage, offering a reliable connection even if the aircraft is flying behind you. Share the fun of immersive flying with friends by giving them a bird’s eye view of the world as you pilot their experience.