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Didcot Cooling Towers Demolition - Cameraman Oxfordshire

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

Today I filmed the last remaining three cooling towers at Didcot being demolished with explosives.

In order to deliver this job safely with the best angle I made sure I recced the site and obtained permission from the land owner ensuring the land below the drone would be clear of any onlookers.

There was a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) placed over the site which warns pilots not to overfly the location. Some amateur drone pilots ignored this and I saw at least one drone flying all over the location. Other drones were a real risk for my drone as many had plotted their flight plans on the NATS app.

On the day I had no prior notice of the demolition time. I was given a time window of two hours. This meant I had to keep the drone up and recording for that whole period landing every 20 minutes to change batteries.

The drone does not record any sound so this had to be captured separately and then cut into the footage.

I was assigned by BBC News to film from the air using my drone and captured the two clips below.

The footage was used on the main lunchtime & evening news, it ran all day on the BBC's rolling news channel and was used in the local news in the whole of the South of England.

The demolition did not go according to plan as parts of one of the towers made contact with a nearby power line causing a pylon to ark and explode sending people running in fear. This left the local area with no power and also took out the nearby cell tower so I had to rush to Oxford to connect to the next cell tower before I could file any pictures.

A behind the scenes look at me working in my van as I set up the shot.

Prior to the demolition I went to the site to recce the job and captured this footage for posterity.

Didcot Power Stations monumental cooling towers had dominated the landscape of rural Oxfordshire for decades. Read more about them here.

It was a great thing to film but as a commercial drone pilot in Oxfordshire, with CAA certification and a PFcO I had to ensure a safe area was below me to film the event.

See more about my drone services here.


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