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Manned Aerial Vehicles

Manned Aerial Vehicles

This group of craft includes microlights, paragliders, gyrocopters and other powered and un-powered machines, the types of which are proliferating constantly. Microlights are small aeroplanes, of specified total weight, designed to carry no more than two persons. They are required to be registered and must meet airworthiness standards and are subject to noise certification procedures. Pilots need to be licenced and they are not permitted to fly over any congested area or within 500 feet of any structure. Microlights and similar craft cannot legally be used for commissioned, professional aerial photography in the UK.


These craft are not used for professional aerial photography.

Some microlight enthusiasts use their craft for personal, amateur aerial photography with good effect, but only in rural and non-congested areas where landing options are greater. Good photographs can be achieved if a competent photographer is in the passenger seat and the craft can be manoeuvred into the right location at the right time.


Microlights are often powered by small noisy engines, and this is sometimes a problem in environmentally sensitive situations (eg near livestock etc).
As these craft cannot be used for commercial activities under the strict regulations of the CAA, no known professional aerial photographer uses this method.

Certain specialised microlights can fly up to over 20,000 feet when trying to achieve altitude and endurance records, but they usually operate below 1,000 feet.

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