The RAPTR (Remote Aerial Platform/Tactical Reconnaissance) utilizes manual and autonomous flight modes for video surveillance. Aerial video surveillance from the RAPTR provides operators with time critical information around a target area before and during an assault, enhancing overall situational awareness and ultimately preventing loss of life. Small enough to be transported to the area of operation on short notice; the RAPTR is easily operated with the Ground Control Station that includes a GPS receiver. Aerial photographs and high definition video are supplied to enhance the operational planning process. Used in a variety of ways in law enforcement, military, and civil applications the RAPTR effectively places the eyes of the operator overhead.