It can be pretty challenging to fly your drone in winter conditions. Winter has its own beauty, and as long as it is so why not spend some time outside with your drone and capture its beauty. A lot of practice will enable you to fly your drone in different weather conditions and take great photos. So lets throw a look at winter flying with our favorite UAVs.
So can Drones Fly in Snow and winter conditions? Yes it is possible to fly your Drone during snow and winter. Flying through the snow can also result in damage to your drone. When you look, drones have a plenty of electronic parts and even with the best measures they can easly be damageable, but it is certainly safer to fly in the snow than in the rain.
Regardless of the way your drone gets in touch with fluffy stuff, remember that snow is not friendly to your drone. First we need to look at six basic hints and after that we are going to throw a look at some battery hints, because mostly the battery brings our copter down in the winter. Low temperatures will surely impact flight performance, and you will not have enough time to fly as in normal conditions.
Can Drone Fly While it is Actually Snowing?
Yes, drones can fly while it is snowing and I already tried that, but of course I cannot recommend it because your UAV can get wet a lot easier. So if snows only slightly go for it, but of course have an umbrella with you while setting things up. But if snows too badly you probably shouldn’t be taking your Drone out for a short flight. Some of the newer, more modern drones are even resistant to it, but their price is drastically higher. If you want to capture some winter photos, do it as fast as you can and put your drone at safe place.
Is Flight Time Shorter During the Winter?
Yes, the flight time is even more limited. It is not possible to determine exactly how much, but I might say its around -10% of flight time when flying under the circumstances when the temperature is below zero. At such temperatures (under -10 degree) battery is drained by more and fly time is shorter for about maybe 10%. If it’s colder or if it’s warmer you got to pay attention to the battery life and more stuff like that. There are batteries that are resistant to a certain degree of coldness but such batteries will be difficult to find in drones. Wind also quite exposed battery stress which reduces battery life.
TIPS: How To Fly a Drone in Winter
Winter came, the temperature is about zero or below and you would like to record some winter photos with your drone. Here are my tips and tricks to have a successful flight in cold weather when flying a drone. This tips are for every drone.
1) Avoid Moisture As Much As Possible
Moisture ruins the electronics of a drone. So as much as possible avoid all moisture, if it’s snowing out, make sure you have some sort of cover to be able to get the drone out and make sure that everything is ready to go before you put it out in the snow. Yes you can fly in the snow and I did with my DJI Maverick Pro, but just keep in mind that any moisture will ruin the electronics and could cause a crash.
2) Do Not Add Any Extra Weight
So cold is reducing the amount of flight time that you’re going to have. If you add more weight to your drone like putting on the camera on it, or like a 360 camera or something like that, you’re just going to reduce the flight time even more. As much as possible fly the drone adzes because your flight time is reduced and you don’t want to crash.
3) Make Sure Everything is Dry
You need to dry your propellers or any other aspect of your drone before you take it into the air. When you’re flying in winter conditions it’s cold and a lot of times it’s below freezing, so if there’s any sort of moisture on your drone it could cause ice and it might cause your drone to crash at any moment.
4) Avoid Flying into the Clouds
Don’t fly into the clouds. So clouds contain moisture. By flying into the clouds you could cause your drone to get ice buildup which could cause a crash. Also in these clouds the temperature is very low, which results in damage and sudden drop in battery capacity. the thing is even worse if you have a drone that is not intended to fly at such heights.
5) Know What Altitude Your At
When you flying at higher altitudes, your drone needs to spin the propellers faster to keep the drone in the air which drains your battery faster. So if you’re flying from a mountain at 10,000 feet vs a valley which is at 4,000 feet, your drone is going to be working harder the higher altitude because the air center. So it’s another way that your battery is going to be reduced in the amount of time that you’re going to have in the air.
6) Avoid Flying in a Storm
You can fly while it’s snowing but I highly advise if there’s to much snow, do not go. When I flew last in the snow it was a light dusting coming down and I was a bit nervous when I was flying the drone. I will defently not go fly my drone through a snowstorm and expect it to stay in the air.
Major Issue When Flying in the Winter
Most crashes are actually caused by battery voltage drop downs and that can really hit each and every one out there. It may happen that you have a battery of 30% and suddenly battery went down to 8% immediately. Voltage on your battery could drop in a second because it’s cold outside and your drone just fall out of the sky. So here are some tips to make sure you don’t get some voltage dropouts.
1) Always Check Your Batteries
Check your batteries to make sure they’re in good condition. Don’t fly with old batteries, just make sure that your batteries are good. Leave older batteries at home completely and in battery shows swellings or other damage you should even retire it completely. That they’re holding a charge like they sohould be in normal conditions.
2) Charge Battery 100% Within 24 Hours
Inspect your Batteries way stricter than under normal conditions. So don’t charge your batteries a week and then go out and take it for a flight in the cold. You want to make sure that you have a full charge and that everything is working properly. So within 24 hours charge your battery and get it to 100%.
3) Keep Batteries Warm At All Time
Always keep your batteries warm at all time. Transport them in a heated surrounding and never lay them on the cold ground and insert them into the UAV right before the takeoff. If they feel cold to the touch, they’re not good to fly. The battery capacity also decreases with the cold. Try to get a special battery bag for your battery.
4) Test Your Drone Before You Fly
Don’t just go flying straight out into the clouds. After the take off don’t forget to let your UAV hover low to the ground for about 30 till 60 seconds and make sure that everything’s working properly. Fly around really low to the ground and watch the battery. See if there’s any big drops. And if everything is good to go, you could take off and start flying.
5) Avoid Using Full Throttle to Start
Avoid throttle, especially during your first few minutes of flying. If you push the throttle at full, you’re at 10,000 feet, it’s freezing and your battery might think that there’s no juice left in and it will just drop out of the sky. It’s not going to give you a warning that says you have 30% left and your drone crashes.
6) Use Handwarmers
Keep handwarmers on you to keep your batteries warm. So if you’re out in the cold, those little hand warmers that you might use for skiing or snowboarding and throw them next to a battery just to keep your batteries at a decent temperature so they don’t freeze. One thing that is also important is that your phone is fully charged.
We all know that best time for drone flying is when it is sunny, a reasonable temperature , and little to no wind. But such times are only during the summer. We got the answer that you can fly your drone in cold weather and during the winter, but it may require a little extra work before the flight and some additional caution before the flight when you’re drone is up in the air. One of winter disadvantages are that flight times can be relatively short, but if you give proper attention to the batteries and prioritize best practices your flight time can significantly improve. If you find yourself in the situation that you crash your drone in the snow, first thing you need to do is to remove the battery immediately and use a towel to wipe it off.