Winter Drone Flying Tips
Winter landscapes are magical. Photographing or making a video of the spectacular snow covered regions can be very fulfilling. But winters don’t really agree with drones, especially in regions that experience very low temperatures.
Early winters can be nice for flying drones but when everything is covered in snow, your drone requires special attention. Here are a few things that can help you fly a drone in winters with fewer mishaps.
You before the drone
To begin with, you have to take care of yourself. Be sure to wear warm clothes and take all precautions to avoid catching a cold. Flying a drone doesn’t really require a lot of physical effort which means that you will not be generating a lot of body heat like other outdoor activities.
Hand warmers are a great accessory to consider for flying drones in winters. Controlling the drone requires you to take off the gloves. Cold hands never make flying easy. To enjoy a smooth drone flight, you may consider buying hand warmers that keep the chills away from your gloveless hands.
Impacts of snow, fog and moisture
Snow, fog and moisture are common occurrences in the winter. While snowy landscapes look good, I do not recommend flying when it is snowing. Wait for the snowfall to end before you take your bird for a flight.
Fog reduces visibility which means the distance between you and your drone is going to be smaller than usual. I’ve seen photographers take beautiful shots of these natural elements, but you have to be very careful and ensure that you don’t lose sight of your drone.
Moisture does no good to anything that runs on motors and batteries. It can affect the quality of the photos when it settles on your camera lens, it can damage the motors and it may affect your drone’s battery. Avoid flying at a time when the air is heavy with moisture.
A transmitter glove shields your hands and the transmitter from the cold winter winds. It can allow you to enjoy flying your drone in the winter months without worrying about stiff hands.
Winters and drone batteries
Drone batteries tend to have a shorter life in colder regions. So pack enough batteries and be prepared for shorter flight routes when you are flying in the winter. Stick to smooth rides and avoid extreme maneuvers to make sure that the batteries last longer.
External battery packs can help you enjoy more drone flights. Keep these in the car where they can stay warm. But if you are hiking far from the car then your jacket pockets are a good place to keep these battery packs.
Check for ice
You may sometimes end up flying in areas where ice may build up on the propellers. This is can affect the quality of the flight as the drone may get unstable or heavier because of the ice buildup. This happens mostly when you fly over water bodies so keep an eye out for ice build-up.
Additional settings for photography
Photographers will find that snowy terrains usually require them to increase exposure for better photos. Another trick is to update the settings so that it can allow for warmer photos. Usually photographing snow or ice may mean that the white balance leans towards a bluish tone. This can be fixed from settings unless you like the hues being captured.
Use a weather app
Before you step out, be mindful of the weather forecasts for the day. If light showers are expected, then you can prepare yourself and your drone for it before stepping out. Weather apps are a great way to find out if you should fly your drone or not.
After the flight
Don’t expose your drone to sudden change in temperatures. It is common to instantly take your drone inside a warm home or a warm car, but it is better to allow the drone to slowly acclimatize to temperature changes. Put it in the case and let it sit a few minutes before you take it inside.