Southsea Common - Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day

Getting involved in Armed Forces Day is a fantastic opportunity to show your support to the Armed Forces community. The community ranges from actively serving troops to service families, cadets and veterans. 

The day takes place on the last Saturday each June. This year it took place on my wife's Birthday! We were asked by Portsmouth Council to capture aerial imagery of the setup on the common and of the parades marching from The D Day Museum over onto Southsea Common where the events were taking place. 

As usual, to start with we had to plan to fly as safely as possible and with expected crowds of over 5000 people and a parachute drop later in the afternoon we planned to fly from the playing field beside Southsea Skate Park. Portsmouth Council had kindly arranged for our take off area to be sectioned off to mark our take off and landing area. 

Take off and landing zone

Take off and landing zone

This area was over 400 metres from Southsea Common so using our 45mm lens was essential to obtaining the best footage we could from that safe distance. We were also in a really good position to capture the parades leaving The D Day museum. 

Prior to arriving onsite we compiled a 6 page risk and method statement. We have to do this on every commercial job as per our operations manual that's been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority. 

So we arrived onsite, displayed our warning markers advising people of a drone flight taking place, checked distances and spoke to nearby members of the public to ensure they were aware of our flight plan and emergency procedures ensuring we adhered to our operations manual. 

We were then airborne!

The Parade Begins!

The Parade Begins!

Armed Forces Day Parade

I'm sure you will agree that the Parade looked amazingly well coordinated and certainly from an aerial perspective quite stunning! We look forward to viewing more of the ground footage that was obtained on the day.

Whilst in the air our spotter (ground observer assisting the pilot) was approached by members of the public who were naturally inquisitive as to what we were doing, why and how! We like educating everyone who is interested as much as possible as it's in our best interest to help other people enjoy drones and fly safely. 

One kid was particularly interested and wanted to watch our drone take off and land. This is of course was not a problem and we waited until his family arrive to give them a safety briefing and obtain the necessary permissions from them to take off in closer than normal proximity. Turned out his dad was a helicopter pilot in the army who seemed a very interesting chap! We showed them where the drone was and explained we were about to capture a panoramic image comprising several photographs which would later be stitched together. We invited them to press the capture button and so they did! Hopefully they will see the image they captured. Here's how it came out:

Panoramic Photo of Southsea Common

Panoramic Photo of Southsea Common

We were commissioned on the day to take photographs only however as we love what we do and actively support The Armed Forces we put together a short video edit which you can see below:

Later in the day we spectated as a parachute display team jumped out from a plane and landed on Southsea Common!

Parachute display team

Fun fact - Did you know that the Navy salute in a different way than the Army and RAF?

The Naval Salute

The British Army Salute

The Royal Air Force Salute