Custom Flights


Custom flight aerial photography image acquisition is Terra Flight’s specialty. If our clients requirement is for a small number of acres with a one-inch pixel resolution; or the project covers an area of multi-thousand square miles requiring a resolution of a two foot pixel, we can provide it.

Terra Flight Aerial Imaging Inc., operates a specially modified, twin engine aerial survey aircraft equipped with Swiss built, Leica aerial camera sensors. These sensors are installed in the floor of the aircraft mounted in full gyro-stabilized camera mounts. During aerial photography image acquisition, we employ the use of GPS systems extensively from flight planning to aerial photography image acquisition. Additionally our aircraft operate in FAA FAR Part 91, restricted category operations and have FAA granted waiver’s to operate outside of normal FAA operational guidelines to obtain required imagery.

DO NOT CONFUSE the quality and accuracy of Terra Flight’s aerial survey aircraft and high resolution camera sensors with our competitors using a hand held small format SLR camera held out the window of a small single engine Cessna.


Piper Navajo PA-31 310 Specs

navajosThe Piper Navajo series aircraft began production in 1967. A total run of 2,044 aircraft were manufactured until production ceased in 1983. These aircraft were originally built as executive transport aircraft and carried a total of 6 to 8 passengers, depending on cabin configuration.

Due to the sturdiness of this airframe, the use of these aircraft evolved to provide a new role in civilian aviation. These aircraft are now globally deployed in use for freight operations, on-demand air charter and taxi services, and are also widely used in the aerial survey industry.
cockpitTerra Flight – Piper Navajo Specifications

  • Flight Duration: 7.5 hours (at higher altitudes)
  • Flight Range: 1,600 miles
  • Cruise Speed: 215+ MPH
  • Maximum Ceiling Altitude: 25,000’

TFAI ‘s piper Navajo has been modified for aerial survey applications. These structural modifications are extensive and are all completed with FAA certified STC’s. Other useful modifications to our Piper Navajo include; the addition of long range nacelle fuel tanks that greatly extend the range, numerous on board GPS Flight management systems, and other supporting equipment.

pasted image 900x1031RC30 Aerial Survey Camera System

Terra Flight provides vertical format imagery obtained from Swiss built Leica Heerbrugg RC-30 model aerial survey cameras. These camera systems are the latest generation of these camera types that were first introduced in the later 1990’s. These cameras employ the use of Forward Motion Compensation (FMC), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Photo Exposure Meter (PEM) and Gyro-Stabilized Camera Mount technologies. By utilizing these specific cameras, our clients receive the highest resolution and accuracy available from any type of airborne camera or sensor.

Aerial Survey Camera Basics – These camera systems weigh approximately 325 lbs and are mounted directly over a camera port in the floor of an aircraft. They are operated at altitudes (in Terra Flight’s aircraft) varying from 900’ to 25,000’. Today’s aerial survey camera is a very precise and extremely complex system of technologies all engineered into one single system. These cameras are electro mechanical, they contain optical lens elements, are operated by multiple computer chips and are linked to GPS satellites.

Forward Motion Compensation – This technology enables the apparent ground image motion to freeze during the exposure cycle. The image quality with respect to sharpness and resolution is substantially increased by use of this technology.

rc30Global Positioning Systems – Terra Flight utilizes GPS technology extensively throughout the flight planning and project acquisition phases of all aerial surveys. This insures extremely accurate navigation of flight lines and precise positioning of predetermined photo centers. In addition our survey camera systems are coupled to Novatel survey grade L1/L2 GPS systems for use with kinematic AGPS surveys.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) Camera Calibration Reports – In order to provide aerial mapping photography services, it is vital to our clients that Terra Flight’s aerial survey cameras have an accurate and up-to-date Aerial Mapping Camera Calibration Report issued by the USGS. These calibration reports outline precise measurements of the specific characteristics of each camera system. This report basically outlines the overall accuracy of the camera lens and camera drive unit. An example of a few of the categories on a report are, lens distortion (expressed in microns), calibrated focal length (measured to 1/1,000 of a millimeter), lens resolving power (known as AWAR) and fiducial measurements. All of our aerial survey cameras have up to date USGS calibration reports.

If you are interested in obtaining a quote for a custom flight, please contact us at 281-370-1236 or 844-521-2188.