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Aerial survey hourly rate

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Aerial survey hourly rate

Old 13th Oct 2017, 08:42
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Aerial survey hourly rate

Hi Everyone

I'm doing some market research on aerial survey in the UK. What would be a typical hourly rate for a contract worth 500-1000hrs per year? Aircraft would be of the single-pilot, twin-engine piston variety, with survey-hatches for the sensors, operated under Part SPO. Do hourly rates normally include fuel and other DOCs, or just a rate for the pilot and aircraft?

Very grateful for your help

WDWB
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 10:21
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Originally Posted by whydowebother View Post
Hi Everyone

I'm doing some market research on aerial survey in the UK. What would be a typical hourly rate for a contract worth 500-1000hrs per year? Aircraft would be of the single-pilot, twin-engine piston variety, with survey-hatches for the sensors, operated under Part SPO. Do hourly rates normally include fuel and other DOCs, or just a rate for the pilot and aircraft?

Very grateful for your help

WDWB
I don't quite understand your question. Are you asking about hourly rate for the pilot compensation? Or hourly rate for the survey operation?

If the latter, it depends on what sort of survey equipment you are carrying, because a lot of the costs are born by the image or lidar processing costs.

FWIW, I fly a variety of survey aircraft for our company in Africa and normally our contract values run at about $20-25K per flying hour, all in. Earnings in Europe are lower because costs are generally lower.
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 09:35
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Hi Trim Tab

Sorry I should have been clearer - I am trying to establish the hourly rate charged by an operator to a customer for data collection - i.e. actually doing the flying. This would not include the costs of installing the sensors, or any data processing, just the hourly rate for flying the aircraft, with a single pilot. Rate could either include fuel and other DOCs, or they could be extra - I want to get a feel for what the market rate is for largish contracts of about 1000-1500 flying hours per year (UK).

Thanks
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 01:51
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I don't know of any aerial survey contracts are structured that way.

The aircrew/aircraft/sensor/processing package needs to be tightly integrated to ensure quality of product, and so is generally performed by a single company who can provide a turnkey solution.

Sometimes the processing is sub-contracted to another operator, but that can lead to problems with each side blaming each other for any failings in the quality of the end product.

I can see a lot of potential problems if you try to separate the aircrew/aircraft from the package.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 08:12
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there are a few consultancies around who might help.

If you are really going to bear all the costs of installation etc etc then it's a straight daily/weekly hire rate

But remember the aircraft owner will be be pretty twitchy about installing 3rd party kit in their 'plane
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 08:21
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry View Post
there are a few consultancies around who might help.

If you are really going to bear all the costs of installation etc etc then it's a straight daily/weekly hire rate

But remember the aircraft owner will be be pretty twitchy about installing 3rd party kit in their 'plane
You generally need STCs too. Some aircraft types are more flexible than others.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 09:13
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I'd have thought if anyone can guarantee 500-1000 hrs a year they should be able to find someone without much trouble

But there's also the question of the pilot - survey flying requires a lot more skill than most people ever realise to maximise productivity and the QUALITY of the product
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 09:58
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry View Post
I'd have thought if anyone can guarantee 500-1000 hrs a year they should be able to find someone without much trouble

But there's also the question of the pilot - survey flying requires a lot more skill than most people ever realise to maximise productivity and the QUALITY of the product
Indeed! I have written some fairly complex software aimed at maximising productivity. And in terms of pilot skill it is the most rewarding flying I have ever done.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 10:19
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1000-1500 hrs is a LOT of surveying to get done in the UK in one year, unless you can fly in all weather... If you are time constrained, you may need to consider how many systems you can throw up in the air at the same time.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 12:31
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There are a number of UK operators who will carry out survey work in piston twins carrying third party kit. There are modifications that can allow fitting to some aircraft types without requiring an STC. However this only applies in limited cases.

You're probably better to speak to these companies directly.

RVL Group
2Excel
APEM Aviation
Ravenair
Directflight
Diamond Executive

These are the companies I can think of, off the top of my head. I'm sure there are at least a couple more to throw into the mix.
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