Can I Fly DJI Drone In The Rain? We know you’re wondering whether you can fly DJI drone in the rain. Read our article on flying drones in the rain and you will find out.
Drones are exciting toys and versatile gadgets. There is no limit to getting creative on what to do with your little flying companion.
While it is but natural to get lost with the excitement that steers you forward to play with your drone, there are some precautions to take to ensure the safety of your electronic friend.
Drones are small electric fly machines that have a number of electronic components. Most DJI drones are neither water-resistant nor waterproof. They can’t also be floated on the water.
Therefore, it is not advisable to fly drones in the rain. While DJI drones can withstand light drizzles, flying them in rain can lead to severe damages, sometimes irreparable.
If you have to fly them in light rain, apply a thin coat of a suitable water repellant which will act as a protective layer.
Here you will learn about flying a DJI drone in different weather conditions, what to do if it rains when flying a drone, warranty covers for damages due to rain and some waterproof DJI drone models to buy.
- Related: How To Fly Drone Over Water?
Can I Fly DJI Drone In The Rain?
Waterproof Vs Water Resistant – Know the difference
In the context of drones, the terms waterproof and water-resistant do not mean the same thing. Here is what you must know about what these terms suggest in drones.
You will say an electronic gadget to be ‘water-resistant’ when it can withstand brief contact with water. Nevertheless, you can’t submerge these items into the water.
In other words, spilling or splashing water on them is fine, while dunking them into water is not. So, though a water-resistant drone can handle light rain, it is not meant to get wet.
On the other hand, you can submerge “waterproof” electronic goods underwater up to a certain depth and for a certain period of time. Hence, you do not need to bother about getting your drone wet as it is even fine to drop it in the water.
Still, the expert advice warns you to exercise caution in either case. Irrespective of the claims regarding the waterproof capabilities of a drone, exposing it to water still carries the risk of damage to its electronic components.
Since damage to electronic components due to water is not covered by a warranty, you will have to face the expensive bills on repairing them.
Flying DJI drones under different weather conditions: Rain, Fog, and Humidity
While flying your drone, it may encounter different types and levels of precipitation. Let us know here how each of these circumstances can impact your drone to gain a clarity on what it means to fly them under different weather conditions.
Flying your drone in rain
At times, it might start raining unexpectedly while your drone is still at flight. Though DJI does not condone flying your drone in the rains, you may be curious to know what may happen to your drone if it has to fly in rain.
There is no straightforward answer to this question because the level of risk also depends on the intensity of rain to which the drone is exposed and if the wind is more.
Secondly, your drone might look apparently fine after exposure to rain, however, there is still the risk of corrosion of the internal parts which might even take a few weeks to settle in. Therefore, the same amount of rain and wind can affect different drones differently.
One another thing to consider is the reason to fly your drone in the rain. If your objective is photography, then you must understand that even a drop of water on your drone camera lens can ruin the clarity of the image you get from it.
It is never advisable to fly your drone under lightning as it is one of the deadliest threats to the safety of your flying machine. Due to the high magnetic field, lightning can impact severe damage to the drone’s electronic components. DJI’s limited warranty does not cover damage due to lightning.
Flying your drone in humidity
Humidity not only exposes the drone to moisture for a prolonged time, it also interferes with the drone’s radio signal as humidity can impact the permeability of the atmosphere.
However, there are not many reports to prove the direct connection between humidity and a drone’s weak signal. Nevertheless, this can become a factor in case of long-range operations.
Flying your drone in fog
Fog is one another threat as rain. Therefore, you will not want to fly your drone in fog. Fog causes a thin layer of moisture on your drone and it also impacts its visibility.
Since FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) prohibits flying your drone beyond your visual line of sight, fog is an important consideration while flying your drone.
What to do if it rains while flying your DJI drone?
Sometimes, you just can’t help if it starts raining while your drone is at flight. As a drone pilot, you must always keep a watch on the sky.
Even if there are the slightest chances for rains forecasted, you must ensure to fly your drone as close as possible to your location. If it starts raining unexpectedly when your drone is flying, you must at once attempt to fly it home backward. This is necessary because the drone’s intake can suck up water.
Immediately after retrieving your drone, turn it off and remove its battery. This will give you a chance to examine if the drone is wet and take the necessary course of action.
If the drone is wet only in a light drizzle, you can leave the drone to dry for a while after removing its battery.
If your drone is drenched in rain, it is advisable to discard your battery as it can risk your drone to further damage. Whatever the case might be, it is advisable to sit your drone for a few days before turning it on once again. Also remember that opening your drone to dry its inside will make the warranty void.
What damages to expect while flying your DJI drone in the rain?
A drone has different components inside that can be damaged if it flies in the rain. If the drone has a camera mounted on it, rainwater can penetrate through this area.
Though found shielded to some extent, the spinning props are still exposed. As a result, one of the drone’s ESCs (Electronic Speed Controllers) can short-circuit leading to the drone falling from the sky immediately.
Even if your drone has not fallen down during its flight and has safely returned to you without any apparent signs of water damage, the device could have some issues still. The reason is electronic components exposed to water for a prolonged period can risk some troubles.
Fly your drone only when it has fully stopped raining and also ensure that there are no puddles nearby irrespective of how small they may be.
There are chances that the drone might intake some dirty water inside it through suction. This can be as bad as flying your drone during a rainstorm. Therefore, using a Launchpad while taking off your drone near sand, dirt and water is advised.
Waterproof DJI drone models to consider
If your drone lives in a place where it rains often, it does not mean you have fewer chances to fly your machine. DJI gives you some good drone model options to choose from which are labelled as waterproof.
According to DJI, its Matrice 200 series has an ingress protection (IP) level of IP43. IP rating refers to the level of protection a drone’s electrical enclosures have against liquids and solids.
The value IP43 in case of the Matrice 200 series means that small wires lesser than 1 mm are protected from a water spray which is lesser than 60 degrees measured from a vertical position.
Though the drone is water-resistant, the camera is still not. As long as the drone is not moving fast, the drone camera is safe as it is fixed underneath the machine. Quite a many Matrice 210 pilots have said they are able to fly their drones in the rain without any adverse effects to the drone camera.
What DJI says about its Matrice 200 series as water-resistant is that this model is splash-proof. Therefore, it is necessary that you must take steps to land the device if it starts raining. Never purposely fly your drone during a rainstorm.
If your drone is caught in a rainstorm, fly your drone back home quickly without any delay, landing it immediately. After its landing, remove the drone battery and sit the drone overnight at room temperature to let it dry. Such precautions can save your drone from any possible issues.
If you are expecting industrial capabilities in your drone, the Matrice 200 series is a great option. Hobbyists and people on a strict budgets may consider one another option namely Phantom Rain.
The maker of this drone has also made wet suits that can go well with their Phantom 4 drones. These wetsuits also provide a sealing arrangement around the drone’s components like SD card, battery, props and gimbal.
When your drone gets wet, you may not be able to take clear pictures, but you can still fly your drone. This is a good reason why the Phantom Rain series has established itself as a great choice for search and rescue (SAR) tasks.
Does DJI warranty cover water damage?
If you spend a minute reading through the terms of limited warranty that DJI provides, you will discover that “Damage caused by operation in bad weather including rain, dust storms, sand, and strong winds., is not covered.
However, you can still buy DJI Care Refresh, a comprehensive range of protection plan to cover the accidental damage to your drone.
When you have bought this cover, DJI says, “Damage occurring after the product has come into contact with water is covered by the DJI Care Refresh.
The product that suffers water damage can be replaced under DJI Care Refresh.” Therefore, if you have plans to get your drone wet, it is necessary to have this cover so that you can stay at peace.
Never attempt to fly your drone when it rains. It is very hard to anticipate how the wet weather can affect your drone. At the same time, if your drone has got wet accidentally, you must not panic as the chances are high that your DJI drone is still fine.