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How S4G Drone Service went from a start-up to Business Champion Award Finalist.

Last updated on

July 8, 2022


    Earlier in the year, we caught up with one of our alumni, Mark Elliott, owner and founder of S4G Drone Service to see how he was getting on.

    Mark began training with Coptrz back in 2020, before founding S4G drone services. Now 2 and a half years down the line, Mark is the owner of a successful drone start-up and is looking to grow the business.

    About S4G Drone Services

    S4G Drone Services are a specialist drone team based in London, that serves customers across the UK. They are qualified to Civil Aviation Authority, or CAA, standards and are fully insured, meaning they can provide their customers with end-to-end high-quality drone projects and customer service.

    S4G Drone Services work with a range of customers including:

    • Building Developers
    • Property Management & Facilities Managers
    • Construction
    • Architects
    • Land Developers
    • Business Marketing

    Where did it all start?

    Like most people in lockdown 2020, Mark wanted to do something that would allow him to be out and about and not stuck in the house all day. That is when he decided to buy his first drone. Fast forward 2 and a half years in the future and Mark’s lockdown hobby is now his full-time job.

    After realising how much he enjoyed flying drones, Mark decided he wanted to go and do something useful with this passion, and that’s when he got in touch with Coptrz to look for training and advice.

    “I first came across Coptrz when I was trying to find someone to train with. I didn’t really know where to start. My experience with Coptrz started in 2020 when I did my first qualification with them, but it hasn’t stopped there. I’ve gone back again and again and asked lots of questions. The team are always willing to give me technical advice or training advice.”

    How are S4G Drone Services using drones?

    Initially, S4G Drone Service were using drones for a number of services like photography, videography, inspections and much more, but owner Mark soon realised that it was better to try and narrow down the services they wanted to specialise in instead of trying to offer everything.

    Credit: S4G Drone Services

    S4G Drone Service now specialise in building management inspections, surveying and assessments. Within this sector, they offer topographic land surveys, identification of water incursion risks and thermal qualities, building management and reparations, and insurance reports.

    They also offer 3D building models that can be used for building changes, design and repairs, as well as virtual reality for building interiors and exteriors.

    Training with Coptrz

    “The initial training I did with Coptrz was the PfCO, I’ve now migrated that to a GVC.”

    “I have also completed the A2 COFC out of curiosity, to see what it offered, and also to allow me to fly for fun outside of the business. In addition to that, I have completed a surveying course with Coptrz.”

    The General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC) is the remote pilot competency qualification that enables pilots to apply for operational authorisation in the UK. The GVC qualification gives pilots the ability to fly up to 50m from uninvolved parties, buildings, and built-up areas.

    Credit: S4G Drone Services

    The A2 CofC training course and qualification enables pilots to fly drones within the A2 Sub-Category of the Open Category under the new UAS regulations, and provides pilots with a strong foundation of drone pilot knowledge.

    Coptrz are here to guide you to the right training course. Want to know more? Click here.

    What drones are S4G Drone Service using?

    S4G Drone Service are currently using DJI Mavic Minis which they use for a lot of their congestive work in urban areas, as well as the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual & Enterprise Advanced which they use for thermal work and solar inspections.

    They are also just about to purchase a Phantom 4 RTK and for the larger jobs, they are hiring a Matrice 300 RTK.

    The Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual has been developed in partnership with FLiR systems. It features a three-axis gimbal-stabilised camera housing a side-by-side 4K sensor, allowing users to capture visible light and a FLiR Lepton® thermal micro camera for capturing thermal data.

    The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced is a powerful quadcopter with powerful sensors. It comes with a 48MP ½” CMOS visual camera, with up to 32x digital zoom, and a top-of-the-range 640 x 512px radiometric thermal camera (17x that of the Enterprise Dual), with up to 10x zoom.

    Credit: S4G Drone Services

    The Phantom 4 RTK is the ultimate mapping solution for those working within the surveying sector. This custom-built quadcopter is crafted from the ground up with accuracy in mind. The abilities of the Phantom 4 RTK are on par with some of the most advanced equipment to use.

    The Matrice 300 RTK is DJI’s flagship commercial drone platform that takes inspiration from modern aviation systems. Offering up to 55-minutes of flight time, advanced AI capabilities, 6 Directional Sensing & Positioning & more, the M300 RTK has set a whole new standard by combing intelligence with high-performance and unrivalled reliability.

    Need some advice on which drone is perfect for you and/or your company? Click here.

    What’s next for S4G Drone Service?

     S4G Drone Service have some exciting things in the pipeline for the business this year. They have just hired their first full-time Kickstarter as well as looking to build up their office team and will be bringing some new pilots on board from the South East and South West of England.

    “We’re looking to expand our capabilities, so I am looking at the higher qualifications like the OSC for the business. I am also looking to target large organisations as we build up our experience.”

    Earlier this year S4G Drone Service were selected as a finalist for the Business Champion Awards, in London.

    “I am delighted that we came down to being in the final finalists somewhere in the top eight. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but this is our first time going for an award.”

    “It certainly raised some interest that there was a drone company amongst traditional businesses like accounting firms, marketing firms and other entrepreneurs. There was a lot of conversation during the awards evening about drones. We were asked ‘what do drones do?’ ‘What are drones about?’ ‘What does a drone company do?’ and I think that actually raised a bit of excitement.”

    Experience with Coptrz

    “I found that Coptrz honestly are the best. They understood my nervousness about learning, they understood what I needed to learn, and they were well priced for what I needed.”

    Watch the full interview with Mark Elliot, S4G Drone Service Owner and Founder here.

    Find out more

    If you have any questions about how Coptrz can support you with drones or how drones can be utilised in your sector, we have a team of experts on hand that are ready to help you – whatever stage of your drone journey you are.

    Simply fill out the form below, and our representatives will be in contact as soon as possible.

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