Wondering how to fly your drone in the wind? Here’s a complete guide on flying your drone in the wing. Check it out!
Knowing how to fly and control your drone in difficult atmospheric conditions will help you tremendously. Keep reading if you are a drone enthusiast or work with these gadgets.
The article offers in-depth tips and technical explanations about flying your drone in windy and unstable weather conditions. Read ahead for extensive insights.
How To Fly Your Drone In The Wind
Every drone pilot will ultimately encounter difficult circumstances. Here are some of the finest recommendations for flying a drone in windy weather and other challenging situations.
You can fly a drone in the wind. However, the flight quality and stability depend on the wind velocity and the kind of drone you have. Drones are impacted by wind, and there are several factors to consider in each flight condition. Let’s dig deep into these factors in this article.
Types of winds that your drones can encounter during flight:
Winds are just the motions of air caused by the sun’s unequal heating of the earth and its rotation. Winds can range from gentle zephyrs, massive air breezes to hurricanes or tornadoes.
In the following sections, we’ll look at those winds which come into contact with the drones.
- Primary winds:
The primary winds blow continuously and roughly at the same speed most of the time in populated regions.
- Planetary winds:
These refer to the winds that blow from one section of the earth’s atmosphere to another due to air pressure variations throughout the year.
- Heat winds and hot breeze:
The hot breezes generally dominate the atmosphere of countries experiencing tropical and subtropical climatic conditions. These heat winds, created when the air is heated on the ground by the sun, can be pretty powerful.
- Local winds:
Local winds can be described as hot, cold, slope, and convectional based on temperature differences in the air and temperature differences in the surface.
Which wind conditions will your drone be able to withstand?
If you are a drone enthusiast, you might already have figured out that not all drones are designed in the same way. Their mechanisms differ. Certain drones can resist high gusts of winds, while others can only withstand mild winds. It is an essential point to note if you are a newbie starting to experiment and work with drones.
- Drone speed is proportional to its motor strength
The first thing you need to know about the drone before flying it at incredible speeds through the wind is the maximum speed that it can muster. Drones that can fly through strong winds have more significant thrust power due to more robust motors. As a result, slower drones will lack the power and speed needed to fly under suboptimal wind patterns.
- Rule of thumb – wind speed should be two-thirds or less than maximum drone velocity
The main element to remember while flying your drone is that you should fly it only when the wind speed is two-thirds or less than the maximum speed that the drone can reach. This is not a scientific conclusion.
However, this is an inference that the experts have presented after a lot of analysis and definitely based on their astute evaluations and experience. To be on the safe side, you should always follow this as a thumb rule when flying drones.
Using sport mode while flying your drone in the strong winds
The sports mode is an advanced feature in drones to beat the normal flight modes. You can switch to the sports mode when you need your drone to cater to advanced functions.
For instance, if you examine the DJI drone, a particular mode is designated as the P mode. It refers to the position mode – where all the sensors of the DJI aircraft are active, and it responds to strong GPS signals. So flying your drone in this mode can cause disruptions if there is an intense wind speed.
If you limit your drone’s speed to 15 mph, it will be impossible for you to combat the powerful gusts of wind above the drone’s designated speed.
Nowadays, drones include a built-in sport mode. When flying the drones, most of them do not fly at their full speed due to the sports mode. Start practicing enabling the sport mode in your drones from now. This is not enabled by default. You must manually enter it using the DJI Go app.
Upwind and downwind speeds
You can designate the maximum speed of the drones as upwind or downwind if you know the actual wind speed.
Your upwind speed is the maximum speed of your drone, less the wind speed. Your downwind speed equals the sum of your drone’s top speed and wind speed. So, if you want to establish a drone speed record, bring it out on a windy day and operate it downwind.
6 Tips for flying your drone in windy weather
If you urgently need to operate a drone in windy conditions, you should adhere to the following considerations.
#1 — Stand between the drone and the wind direction
When your drone is taking off, you may create a barrier between the wind and the drone, allowing the drone to quickly take off from the land without being bothered by the strong winds.
Similarly, as the drone is landing, you should stand between the wind and the drone as your physical presence offers a slight resistance to the existing air pressure and reduces the influence of the wind on the drone.
#2 — Check where the wind speed is lower
The second thing you might do is to find all the spots where the wind cannot reach the drone due to the presence of tall trees or other structures. Your drone can easily fly in all of those places without being bothered by the wind.
However, do not prioritize an area with dense vegetation as it will present more obstacles to your drone’s flight.
#3 — It is better to fly the drones at a lower altitude
When the weather is particularly windy, it is advised to maintain the drone’s flight at a lower altitude. There is no need to re-route the drone’s flight to higher altitudes. The winds at higher altitudes are highly turbulent and make things more complicated, sometimes even causing the drones to crash.
#4 — Keep an eye on the battery life
After all, drones are nothing more than technological innovations. Their performance depends entirely on the battery’s efficiency and the attribute of tolerating heat.
When the temperature is optimum, you will notice that the drone’s battery drops by 1 or 2 percentage points – every 30 seconds of flight. However, if the wind is acting, the battery discharges much faster, and you should keep the flights shorter. Plan your priorities and photography needs, and then decide the flight accordingly.
Similarly, you should evaluate how fast the drone gets heated up during normal conditions and windy conditions because that is usually at the expense of its battery life.
#5 — Use Stronger drones
If possible, use a quick and physically strong drone to fly amidst higher gusts of wind. Smaller drones that cannot fly in severe winds should be avoided since they won’t be able to combat higher wind gusts and will be heavily overpowered during windy weather conditions.
#6 — Maintain safe distance in all the directions
To safeguard the drone from the gusty winds, you should constantly keep longer than the typical safe distance in all directions surrounding it. Higher wind speeds or turbulence may easily turn over the drones and inflict severe damage. Hence a factor of safety is required in terms of permissible distance.
Ensure the drone is in GPS mode so you can navigate faster and that RTH mode is enabled so you can easily retrieve the drone if something goes wrong. Drones should not be flown over humans. The drone should be visible to you at all times.
Technologies might not solve all problems, which should be conquered by your enthusiasm and competence. A skilled drone flying can combat adversities that technologies are yet to overcome.
The secret to success in any of these problems is simply to practice – while you should never fly the drone if you don’t feel safe and secure doing so, you can handle any of these harsh conditions after gaining more expertise with drones.
Flying Drone In Strong Winds: FAQs
How high can you fly your drone while abiding by the legal rules?
Irrespective of individual private property rules, aviation officials suggest operating your unmanned drones at the height of fewer than 400 feet. This allows you to avoid potential collisions with other aircraft such as airplanes or helicopters.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has guidelines for operating drones in U.S airspace that clearly delineate that small unmanned aerial systems should not be flown higher than 400 feet above ground level. The policies also restrict drones from flying near airports, heliports, military bases, and large gatherings of people.
There are two main reasons for this recommendation. Firstly, because it is illegal to fly an unmanned aircraft over a public place without getting permission from the owner of that area; secondly, because there might be people on board who could be injured if your drone’s propellers hit them at higher velocities.
What are some of the best drones for windy days?
If you wish to sail your drone with higher wind speeds, you may use a drone like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. It is pretty popular in corporate scenarios and can endure heavy wind gusts. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can travel at speeds up to 45 mph, allowing it to overcome and smoothly fly at wind speeds of up to 30 mph.
For those looking for the most fantastic camera for their drone, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can capture footage in 4K quality and live stream in 1080p.
Is it possible to fly a drone when it is raining heavily?
Drones, in general, cannot fly in the rain since they are generally not water-resistant or waterproof. However, specific drone systems have varying degrees of waterproofing. The motor and electronic components that may be prone to damage by moisture or liquids, such as batteries, cameras, and chargers, must be protected from dampness.
What should you do if your drone crashes on windy days?
You should constantly be mentally prepared for the possibility of encountering a drone crash on windy days. Locate the position of your drone if it crashes. If you feel like there are the possibilities of the drone collapsing, then make sure there are no persons in the vicinity of that location. The safety of the people comes first.
You must enable ‘retrieval’ mode to retrieve your drone seamlessly. After you’ve found the drone:
– Bring it back and check whether there’s any damage to it.
– Check the drone’s propellers and body in the first place.
– If the damage is considerable, utilize a backup drone to complete any task, and be sure to obtain technical assistance.
Jon is a passionate photographer and videographer who has been flying DJI drones for over 5 years. He loves the freedom and creativity that comes with capturing aerial footage and the unique perspective it provides. Jon is always on the lookout for new locations to explore and capture with his DJI drones. His favorite DJI drone is the Mavic 2 Pro, which he uses to capture stunning 4K footage with its Hasselblad camera. Jon is always eager to share his knowledge and experience with other drone enthusiasts and is a member of several online drone communities. When he’s not flying his DJI drone, Jon enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with his family.