Tips for Flying Your Drone in Winter
As weather conditions change with the winter's coming, many drone pilots ask us questions like: “Can I fly my drone in a cold weather or fly my drone in snow?” or “Will low temperature affect my drone’s flight performance?”
Sometimes winter flying would be challenging in extreme conditions. Low temperatures or condensation can impact on the flight performance, and you may encounter rain, fog, or snow during the winter flight. Although it’s not advisable to fly drones in extreme conditions, we understand many drone pilots won’t stay inside at the first sight of snow. So how can you have a safe flight and capture great shots during the winter season? Here are some tips for winter flying.
Potensic drones use Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries. Low temperatures can put your batteries out of their comfort zone, and shorten the flight time, slower down the chemical activity within the batteries, batteries will drain faster than normal days. Follow the tips below to ensure a safe flight:
- Fully charged the batteries before using. Bring extra, fully charged, LiPo batteries if you plan to fly for a while, and well stored the extra batteries in a warmer place like vehicles.
- When ready to fly, try to hover for a couple of minutes to allow the battery to warm up before launching.
- Push the control sticks gently to prevent any low battery voltage drops.
- Keep an eye on your drone’s battery status during flight as batteries drain faster in cold temperatures, so that you can plan when it’s time to bring the drone return to home, averting a crash in low battery.
- Do not let your controller expose to extreme cold for a long time. The batteries in your controller will also use power faster in cold weather.
In addition the above tips for battery, obviously, you’ll need to check the weather conditions before heading out. Avoid the strong wind, freezing rain, and snow, which can easily damage or ice up your props and even the arms and fuselage of your drone.
- Check out whether the day is suitable for flying or not before heading out. You can check weather forecasts at UAV Forecast, which allows you to calculate wind speeds at the altitude you’ll be flying your drone. The mobile app for Android and iOS are all available.
- Always be attentive to your drone status, especially when flying with the wind. If you notice that it’s having a hard time staying level, bring it back immediately.
- Be careful during your takeoffs and landings, you drone may veer off course more easily in the wind when it’s just getting off the ground or decelerating during landing.
- Do not fly in temperatures below 0°C (32°F). Skip flying in the rainy, foggy or snowy weather conditions.
- Try to use a landing pad for taking off and landing. Avoid the direct contact with snow as the moisture can damage the motors.
- For GPS-enabled drones, make sure you are flying with strong GPS signals.