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Flying in Cold Weather
2161 25 2017-11-20
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hallmark007
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Ensure batteries are fully charged: Some drone batteries include technology that automatically discharges battery power after a certain period of inactivity. This maintenance feature helps extend the battery life, but if you haven’t flown for a few weeks it can be easy to forget that your batteries may no longer be at the levels you expect. Before you head out the door, take a minute to verify that your batteries are fully charged.


Minimize heavy control inputs: Flying at high speeds or at full throttle requires a heavy current from the battery and can cause a sudden voltage drop. Avoiding full throttle, especially during the first few minutes of your flight, and minimizing heavy control inputs will help extend the flight time.

Avoid draining the battery: Under normal weather conditions, maxing out the flight time and flying to a low battery level is common. But when you’re flying in cold weather, completely draining the battery can be risky. Fly until the battery drops to 30-40 percent capacity, and then bring the drone back down. Pack a few spare batteries if you know you’ll need a lot of time in the air.
Bring a portable charger for your mobile device: Many popular drones stream live video to a mobile device on the controller. Remember that the battery in this device will also be impacted by cold weather. You may want to purchase a small portable charger to power up your mobile device if needed.

Steer clear of precipitation

Most drones aren’t waterproof and precipitation of any kind can damage the camera and gimbal, short out a motor, or cause other malfunctions to the drone or controller. If your drone does get caught in the rain or snow, land it as soon as possible. Make sure to dry off the props and body of the drone. In particularly cold weather.

2017-11-20
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Locoman
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Good post.
2017-11-20
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A CW
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Great advice as I don’t understand people who consider only flying their drones in the Spring/Summer - the winter season offers some of the most beautiful scenery and there are generally less people around too. Watch out for heavy winds too.
2017-11-20
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hallmark007
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A CW Posted at 2017-11-20 08:21
Great advice as I don’t understand people who consider only flying their drones in the Spring/Summer - the winter season offers some of the most beautiful scenery and there are generally less people around too. Watch out for heavy winds too.

Yeah it’s great to get opportunities to fly in winter, once conditions are reasonable.
2017-11-20
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hallmark007
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Thank you..
2017-11-20
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DocAraxá
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Dear hallmark007,

Great post.
Thanks for the advices and for sharing experience with us.
But, reading this, I must invite you to come visit me in Brazil, with tropical sceneries and a great climatic condition to fly.
And then, you will never have to complain about those worries, assuring you will have a great stage.
But, despite of the joke, thanks for the post!
Cheers.
2017-11-21
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Colin G4GBP
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All good useful information, thank you for sharing it with us. Are there any temperature controlled storage boxes that can run from the car's 12v DC that are suitable for battery storage whilst travelling to and from a chosen flying site?
2017-11-21
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hallmark007
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Colin G4GBP Posted at 2017-11-21 02:45
All good useful information, thank you for sharing it with us. Are there any temperature controlled storage boxes that can run from the car's 12v DC that are suitable for battery storage whilst travelling to and from a chosen flying site?

Not sure but a really good idea, I know a friend has this thing like a cool box but he uses it to keep his Indian take out warm works on 12 v
2017-11-21
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hallmark007
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DocAraxá Posted at 2017-11-21 02:31
Dear hallmark007,

Great post.

Oh how I would love to spend some time in the Brazilian sun maybe someday, but this year I will be in Sweden for the Christmas holidays spending sometime with my grandchildren in the snow, so this got me thinking about the hazards of flying in Cold Weather.
Thank you for your kind words. Maybe Brazil next Christmas.

boa sorte e tenha um ótimo tempo voando ao sol
2017-11-22
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R&L Aerial
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Very good info....
2017-11-22
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DocAraxá
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-11-22 04:49
Oh how I would love to spend some time in the Brazilian sun maybe someday, but this year I will be in Sweden for the Christmas holidays spending sometime with my grandchildren in the snow, so this got me thinking about the hazards of flying in Cold Weather.
Thank you for your kind words. Maybe Brazil next Christmas.

Dear hallmark007,

This year in Sweden? - OK
But, next year I will wait you here in Brazil, Minas Gerais (the state I live).
We will get an offroad and go to the falls near my home and you will see some sceneries you will love.
The flights will be awesome; you can count on it!
Thanks for those portuguese words; you are almost a brazilian guy, talking this way!
Cheers.
2017-11-22
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djiuser_reRUFzf
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DocAraxá Posted at 2017-11-21 02:31
Dear hallmark007,

Great post.

Be careful what you wish for. I’m in Minnesota, and Brazil sounds very very nice... we might just show up at your door!  Hahahaha
2017-11-22
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Flybee
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Great tips Hallmark,Thanks. It's starting to get white here with snow already, hope it will be some left for you this Christmas
2017-11-22
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Camogreg 9
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Did a castle video last weekend and it was very cold. When I changed the battery I had a message that battery’s temperature was lower than 15degree and that I have to warm it to 25... no issue during the flight
2017-11-22
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Bastien Flies
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Thanks for the advice... Wish I read it earlier... Got really scared this weekend when I asked the driver of the taxi I was in to stop in a field as we could see a ton of wind turbines and a beautiful sunset in the background. Didn't want to waste his time so I got off the car, turned on the Mavic and went ahead full speed in sports mode. It was pretty cold, I got a message in French : " /!\ Batterie: Surtension en décharge ". From now on, even though it might be frustrating, I will never rush into things and warm up my baby. I'd rather miss a sunset than crash it
2017-11-22
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DocAraxá
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djiuser_reRUFzf Posted at 2017-11-22 09:54
Be careful what you wish for. I’m in Minnesota, and Brazil sounds very very nice... we might just show up at your door!  Hahahaha

Dear djiuser_reRUFzf,

And you will be very welcome!
I garantee!
Just let me know and we will plan awesome flights!
2017-11-23
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Nazar78
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Great post and many thanks for the excellent advice. I'll be driving around several cold parts of Europe next week. First time flying in cold weather and this post definitely helps. Does flying in snow fall even the slightest is not recommended?
2017-11-23
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hallmark007
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Nazar78 Posted at 2017-11-23 02:55
Great post and many thanks for the excellent advice. I'll be driving around several cold parts of Europe next week. First time flying in cold weather and this post definitely helps. Does flying in snow fall even the slightest is not recommended?

I would wait for snow to stop falling, although Mavic is pretty well sealed battery is a bit exposed. Enjoy your trip.
2017-11-23
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Nazar78
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-11-23 03:20
I would wait for snow to stop falling, although Mavic is pretty well sealed battery is a bit exposed. Enjoy your trip.

Ok noted and thank you!
2017-11-23
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GH057xR7
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Great post. Just flew n our 1st cold WX.
2017-12-12
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hallmark007
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GH057xR7 Posted at 2017-12-12 11:57
Great post. Just flew n our 1st cold WX.

Thank you, glad it helped.
2017-12-14
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WolfgangStiller
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Colin G4GBP Posted at 2017-11-21 02:45
All good useful information, thank you for sharing it with us. Are there any temperature controlled storage boxes that can run from the car's 12v DC that are suitable for battery storage whilst travelling to and from a chosen flying site?

What I do is use chemical heating pads or 3M gel packs warmed in a microwave and place those next to the batteries in my pack (wrapped in a down jacket or other clothing)  or just carry the battery in an inside jacket pocket. I fly a lot in cold weather and high altitude here in Colorado.  The other thing to be a aware of is to keep your cell phone warm.
2017-12-14
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mancuso_inc
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I had recharged my batteries and headed outside to fly, not particularly cold here, maybe 55-60F. I had just walked outside and laid the inspire 1 on the driveway, did a checklist, hovered to take off, and then started gradually moving away. But I noticed immediately a warning came up: "Critical voltage" level or something (it all happened quickly) and the AC was attempting to immediately land straight down where it was without a return to home point. I was able to steer it away from the fence that was directly below it fortunately.
On the ground, I noticed the Battery read 60%, though I know I had charged all of them to 100% at lunch after using them in this same morning.

Did the battery just get too cold after taking off?
2017-12-28
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hallmark007
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mancuso_inc Posted at 2017-12-28 23:33
I had recharged my batteries and headed outside to fly, not particularly cold here, maybe 55-60F. I had just walked outside and laid the inspire 1 on the driveway, did a checklist, hovered to take off, and then started gradually moving away. But I noticed immediately a warning came up: "Critical voltage" level or something (it all happened quickly) and the AC was attempting to immediately land straight down where it was without a return to home point. I was able to steer it away from the fence that was directly below it fortunately.
On the ground, I noticed the Battery read 60%, though I know I had charged all of them to 100% at lunch after using them in this same morning.

It could have particularly if it was sitting for awhile, quick fix for that landing, switching from P to S will stop landing mode.
2017-12-29
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fans987d278a
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-12-29 10:33
It could have particularly if it was sitting for awhile, quick fix for that landing, switching from P to S will stop landing mode.

Went out this morning, 26 below, flew fine, it was my fingers that gave up before any warnings!
And, worse of all, forgot to install SD card, DUH!
2017-12-29
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ShortRouter
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Eh, recommending to keep the LiPos close to the body is not exactly safe advice!! There are LiPo heaters available though.
I store all of my LiPos in fire-proof bags as I did have a meltdown before. Trust me, you wanna be around when a thing like that catches fire especially when indoors.

Edit: Don't care how "safe" and "intelligent" the Mavic LiPos are. I always go by Murphys Law when it comes to safety: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong"
2017-12-29
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