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Flying in strong windws
1016 6 2015-9-10
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FireHawk
lvl.1
Flight distance : 285758 ft
United States
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I was in northern Michian last weekend and went to video a Lighthouse (Grand Traverse) and encountered strong winds.  I am new to flying and have not flown in strong winds.

Below is a recording of my flight (very short).  At around :30 into the flight my P3A gets carried off by the winds.  It did not get far and reined it bac in quickly.  I was flying in a semi crowded area and there were considerable obstacles.  I planed to be above the tree line but when the gust took off with my P3A so suddenly, I scartched the flight.  

I was curious as to what techniques do people use when flying in strong winds and what do you consider too strong of wind to fly.  I checked the weather reports for that day and winds were recorded as 8 MPH with a max of 14 MPH and gusts at 20 MPH.  



Thanks,
2015-9-10
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FireHawk
lvl.1
Flight distance : 285758 ft
United States
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just noticed my title.  Winds not windws.  I guess you can tell what OS I use.
2015-9-10
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1320frank
lvl.3
Flight distance : 2624856 ft
United States
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I fly in high winds as a hobby. Top Speed flying actually. The higher you go, the worse the wind will be. It also becomes more constant when going up in altitude. As for flying against the wind, or returning back to which could be against the wind, you have 3 flying options. If you are flying directly into the wind and see that the aircraft is not gaining any forward motion, you can switch to A-Mode and have increased power. Just know your battery will drain a little quicker, but this may be what saves you from a loss or crash. Your next option in this situation, and while in P-Mode, you can attempt to zigzag which can help to achieve overall forward gain. If you do happen to do this while in A-Mode just know that as soon as you lift and reduce power, the wind is going to take your aircraft in the opposite direction like a hot air balloon. It is safer to remain in P-Mode as it wont drift away. Your final option to gain forward motion is to lower the altitude while continuing full throttle. If your not moving forward, increase the amount of lowering the aircraft. Other then these options, if you are in a open area, it would be less stressful to just sit the aircraft down and walk to it. It's my opinion that the wind speed cutoff for return back and against the wind would be around 25mph.

Btw, I'm located in Indiana and the same day you are referring to is last day I was attempting to better my personal best top speed mph. This was the day after the big update and the only time I got to fly was also the 1st time installing the update a calibrating everything. I have major video issues and I struggled to fly in the angle I needed to and was not able to improve my record.
2015-9-10
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BoostedPhantom
lvl.3

United States
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First of all, I would never recommend flying in a “semi crowded” area, ESPECIALLY since you are new to flying.  The last thing this industry needs is someone crashing their drone into an obstacle causing it to fall on someone’s head.  

I’ve flown my P3 in strong wind conditions (15-20 mph) multiple times in vacant areas just to see how the craft will react.  I don’t have any issues with the actual flying, however, getting quality video with 15 mph winds is a challenge when piloting this size of drone.
2015-9-10
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brianb
New

United States
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Been to that lighthouse many times, the winds can be very deceiving.  I have had a chance out of 4 flights to fly now in pretty steady winds approaching 20-25 and I would say it is about the limit in P mode.  It is stressful as hell in that kind of wind to keep it where you want it.  You can try and give it full forward and left or right to help it dive more into the wind then you get with full forward.  
2015-10-19
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hummingbird.uav
Captain
Flight distance : 7250791 ft
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Canada
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On a calm day you should test fly at max forward pitch and enough power so as not to climb or descend.  Then note the speed reading in the app.  It should be around 32 mph (14.5 m/s).   So now if you were to fly in a 32 mph wind you could just hold position, any gusts and you are going backwards.  With a that 20 25 mph max wind you should still be able to fly safely and its always a good idea to fly upwind.  Then if you loose GPS lock at least the machine will be carried back to you.
2015-10-19
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Sir Edward K
Second Officer

United States
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My story of high wind.   2nd flight with P3 Pro with prop guards.  I checked the weather and it said 14 MPH winds.  That seemed reasonable.  I took off out and over the corn field and was hovering to capture some video when all the sudden I realized I was moving backwards slowly.  I gave a little forward thrust and it still moved backwards.   I gave it a lot of thrust and finally it started moving back to me very slowly and those damn prop guards made the phantom dip way down into view and could tell the amount of stress they were adding to the ordeal.   Never ever fly with the prop guards again.  They just add unwanted stress to the arms.

I made it back and took off the prop guards to never use them again.   I just figured I was getting higher than normal winds and must have been at the limit of the bird.  I noticed that HealthyDrones got the wind portion working and I uploaded that short flight and saw it was a 26 MPH wind.  So I can tell you that my P3 would not hover and fight that wind and was moving away at 1 or 2 mph.  So 25 is probably the max.   Now when the weather tells me 14 MPH I take my bird up to 150 ft and hover.  Switch to Atti Mode and watch the speed telemetry to see how fast the wind is blowing and the map to see from what direction.
2015-10-20
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