Tips on Flying Your Drone in the Winter

December 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Winter FlyingWinter Flying 2017

It’s winter time again, and with the change in temperature you might think it will put a damper on your drone fun.  It’s our goal at Altitude Motion Media that our customers and fans have a safe and fun time. Enhance your experience with some useful tips to keep you flying no matter what the temperature.

Check the Weather

It’s never a good idea to fly your drone in bad weather. Knowing what the weather will be like will help keep you from putting your drone in a position to get ruined. Moisture can ruin the electronics on your drone, so avoid flying your drone during rain storms or snow. High winds are common during the winter months, so watch out for those as well as precipitation. Check for wind speed before flight to make sure that your drone is capable to fly. If there are high winds, fly with caution, especially if you aren’t used to flying in these sorts of conditions.

Keep the Drone Dry

Don’t fly into the clouds. Clouds are full of moisture, and moisture will harm the drone’s electronics. Flying into a cloud can cause costly damage. Avoiding moisture as much as possible is a good way of making sure that your drone will have a safe flight. Make sure everything is dry. Wet equipment can cause ice build-up on your drone in low temperatures and higher altitudes which can cause it to drop out of the sky.

Plan Your Flight Location

Using a launch pad could help keep your drone dry and free of mud and dirt. Avoid flying in difficult locations like over large bodies of water. You may need to land your drone on short notice, like if it starts raining or the temperature drops. Flying over land will reduce the chances of damaging your drone.

Dress for the Weather

Your hands will be exposed to the cold temperatures, so make sure you keep them covered. If you are using a smartphone or tablet, make sure you are able to use your gloves with the screen and you protect your equipment at all times.

Maximize Flight Time

Flying a drone in higher altitudes causes the propellers to spin faster which causes the battery to drain faster. It’s important to maintain a safe altitude to maximize your flight. Similarly, avoid adding any extra weight. Keep the extra add-ons off and it will maximize your flight time in the cold weather. You can also maximize your flight time in cold weather by checking your batteries. Cold weather causes batteries to drain faster. Voltage-drops can cause your drone to think the battery is drained when it’s not, and your drone can fall out of the sky.

Maintaining Battery Life

Check batteries regularly. Make sure they are in good condition and hold a charge.

  • Charge to 100 percent within 24 hours of flight. Make sure that any smartphones and tablets are fully charged as well, and bring a portable charger with you in case of sudden battery-drops on your handheld device. Keep batteries warm at all times. If they feel cold to the touch, they aren’t good to fly.
  • Keep them in your pockets close to your body or use hand warmers (like those you can buy for skiing) to keep them warm.  We use a cooler with heat packs in it.
  • Test your drone before you fly, by letting it hover for 30 seconds, 10 feet off of the ground. Watch the battery for sudden drops in charge. If everything is good, you can start flying. During your flight, continue to pay attention to battery temperature and voltage.
  • Avoid full throttle in the first few minutes of flying. At higher altitudes, full throttle can cause your drone to mistakenly think there is a sudden battery drain and cause it to fall with no warning. Give your drone a few minutes to get used to the flying conditions.

Even when your batteries are fully charged and necessary precautions are made, limit your flight time. Cooler temperatures cause the battery to drain faster, so don’t fly your drone until the battery is dead or for as long as usual.

When you’re finished, remember to wipe down your drone with a towel to make sure it’s completely dry before storing, so it’s ready to go next time you fly. We hope you found these tips useful, and we’ll see you next time.


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