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Helicopters vs. Drones for Aerial Photography in Montana

January 22, 2019 Leave your thoughts

Do you need aerial photography in Montana? If so, you might be wondering which option is best for your project: helicopters or drones. To determine which solution is best for your needs, you’ll need do consider several factors.


What options do you have access to? Do you own a drone? Is there a professional helicopter charter nearby that can provide aerial photography in Montana? Consider which option might prove more convenient as you book your equipment rental and plan your project.


What equipment will you need to obtain the images you desire? Does that equipment include people? Helicopters provide the option of carrying larger equipment as well as personnel. Drones may offer high-quality cameras, but might not be equipped with exactly what you need.


How much range do you need? Helicopters can fly longer distances and for a longer time than drones. Drones need frequent battery charges and can’t fly above certain heights. If your aerial photography in Montana will require longer flight times or the ability to reach far distances, helicopters are your best bet.

Inclement Weather

Most aerial photography in Montana requires fair weather. Both drone and helicopter options are difficult if the weather does not cooperate. Inclement weather can have a greater effect on filming with helicopters, since this typically requires more prep time. A drone can allow you to get up in the air with shorter notice if the air clears, but the equipment might be damaged if the storm resurfaces.


What budget do you have for your aerial photography in Montana? Neither option is free, but one may be more economical that the other, depending on your situation. As you consider how to finance the photography, keep in mind the typical costs of each method.

With helicopters, you must determine the costs of camera rental, helicopter ground support, insurance, pilot and fuel. For drone use, you must factor in drone rental, operator, camera rental and insurance. Consider your current resources and what you would have to supply to complete your project with either method to determine which is more cost-effective for your situation.


Where do you hope to complete your aerial photography in Montana? Helicopters can reach remote locations, but they may struggle with hot areas or tight spaces. Drones can also fly closer to the ground or capture other angles near structures that helicopters cannot. Keep in mind, your best bet may be a combination of methods. A helicopter may transport you to a remote area, where you can deploy a drone to capture additional shots in hard-to-access places.

Reach New Heights

If you think a helicopter might be a good option for your aerial photography in Montana, contact the crew at Rocky Mountain Rotors. Each of our pilots is highly trained, and all maintenance on our helicopters is performed by our factory-trained mechanics. We offer reliable, quality flights for your aerial shoots. Reach out to us today with any questions or to schedule your next flight. We look forward to helping you capture stellar images!

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