Yes, you can fly a drone in the snow. However, flying in the snow is not advisable as snow can damage a drone’s components and low temperatures can also harm your drone’s batteries.
Hello, fellow drone enthusiasts! My name is Lavelle and I am a professional drone pilot who has about a decade of experience flying drones. I have flown my drones for recreational and commercial purposes in all types of climates, including snow!
In this article, I will cover how snow/water can affect your drone and how frigid temperatures can be a potential problem when flying. I will also provide some helpful tips for flying your drone in wintry conditions.
- Key Takeaways
- How Snow Can Affect Your Drone
- Tips for Flying Drones in Winter
- Final Thoughts
- Map out a clean takeoff and landing space before launching your drone.
- Use fully charged batteries and warm them up before the flight.
- Be aware of the weather conditions before flying your drone and remember that they can change quickly.
How Snow Can Affect Your Drone
Flying your drone in the snow can be exhilarating but it can also be dangerous. Every drone is not made of equal weather endurance, so checking your drone’s manufacturer recommendations can prove to be very helpful.
Snow, of course, is an element made of water, and water or moisture can be damaging to most drones. The electrical components in a drone, such as the motor and camera, are susceptible to water damage.
Therefore, it is important to protect your drone as much as possible from wintry weather elements.
Low Temperatures Can Destroy Lithium Polymer Batteries
One of the things that can happen in extremely cold temperatures, is that lithium polymer batteries can be fatally damaged.
When lithium batteries are exposed to extreme weather, the chemical makeup of the battery can quickly deteriorate. It is highly recommended that you do not fly in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Moisture Can Damage the Drone
When the snow melts or comes in contact with a surface, it generally results in moisture. Moisture is not a friend of your drone. It can cause severe damage to your drone or even destroy it.
Snow Can Change the Drone’s Settings
Another problem that can occur when flying in the snow is that the wintry element could change your drone’s settings.
For instance, the drone might try to return home using a different route and possibly collide with objects along the way if the return-to-home coordinates are changed.
Other settings such as altitude and camera settings could also be altered which could be problematic.
Tips for Flying Drones in Winter
For those who are risky or have a proper drone that allows them to fly in extreme conditions, here are a few tips for flying in those conditions.
1. Use Fully Charged Batteries
Be sure to charge your batteries before flying fully. Also, keep extra batteries in a weatherproof bag or case if possible.
2. Warm Your Batteries Before the Flight
Take a few minutes to warm your batteries before taking off. Warming your batteries before flying will help to keep your battery operating at optimal capacity. You can check the list of drones with the longest battery life here.
Consider using a battery warmer if one is available for your particular drone model.
3. Skip Flying in Temperatures Below 0°C/32℉
Avoid flying in temperatures that are below the freezing mark. Doing so could result in permanent damage to your drone. Extreme temperatures like this can affect your drone’s ability to function properly.
4. Clean The Start/ Landing Spot
Ensure that you have identified and prepared a clean landing and takeoff spot for your drone. The area should be dry, free of debris, and in an open space.
5. Maintain a Strong GPS Signal
If you must fly in snowy conditions, try to maintain a strong GPS signal so that your receiver stays in communication with your drone. Always keep a line of sight with your drone and do not fly too far away from your receiver.
If your receiver loses communication, it could crash and a crash landing in snow could be fatal for your drone.
6. Keep Yourself and Your Tablet Warm
It is important to stay warm in extreme temperatures. More important than protecting your drone, is protecting yourself. Stay dry as possible, dress in clothing appropriate for wintry conditions, and try to have a warming space available if possible.
If you are using a phone or tablet to control your drone, keep it warm and dry too.
Here are some answers to a few of the frequently asked questions about flying your drone in the snow or in winter conditions.
How Cold Is Too Cold for a Drone?
You should avoid flying your drone in temperatures below the freezing mark (0℃/32℉).
Can You Fly DJI in the Snow?
Yes, you can fly DJI drones in the snow. However, it is highly recommended that you avoid direct contact with snow if possible.
Is Snow Bad for Drones?
Yes, snow can be bad for drones. Snow is a variation of water or moisture and in any expression, water is bad for most drones.
Flying in the snow is not the ideal situation for your drone. However, if you must do so, proceed with caution. Prepare for the flight before launching your drone, keep your drone as clean and dry as possible and avoid direct contact with the snow.
You also should protect your drone and your batteries when operating in extreme wintry conditions.
Do you like to fly a drone during the winter? Did you find my tips accurate or do I miss something? You are welcome to share your experience in the comments section below.