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Ice on drone propeller
5457 22 2016-12-7
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SkyMavic
lvl.2
Germany
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Hello everyone,

look at this what happend today... I did fly for about 15 minutes when it was -2°C. It was verry cloudy this day and I was sometimes flying in the clouds. Is this normal so fast? How dangerous is it flying in the winter when it is cold?

IMG_0671.jpg IMG_0672.jpg IMG_0669.jpg IMG_0667.jpg IMG_0665.jpg IMG_0663.jpg

  Greetings from germany
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2016-12-7
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dotfiles
lvl.4

United States
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I would image that if you weren't flying in the clouds you wouldn't have anywhere near as much ice buildup
2016-12-7
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POLARMONKEY
lvl.2

United States
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Get your squirt bottle and fill it up with windshield deicer, then spay your propellers before each flight.
2016-12-7
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Heavysledz
Second Officer
Flight distance : 631096 ft
United States
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I wouldn't risk it and would not fly in the clouds when this cold out......
2016-12-7
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BuzzCut
Second Officer

United States
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How cool is that?  You basically grabbed part of a cloud and brought it back down to earth!
2016-12-7
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Blade Breaker 0
lvl.2

United States
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Fun stuff. I have flown rc planes and copters almost every winter. Never had any crash due to ice. I actually tried many times to get ice build up and had it a 1/4" thick on wings before. No prob.  Takes quite a bit to cause any issues.
I wouldn't be concerned
2016-12-7
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bighi
Second Officer
Flight distance : 33485010 ft
Austria
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I've flown P1,2,3 and 4 during snowfalls with never an issue.
2016-12-7
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BuzzCut
Second Officer

United States
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I'm often underwhelmed by stuff I'm 'supposed' to be impressed by... Almost to the point of a personality defect.   But I think this is completely freaking awesome.  This is the sort of thing that excites me about finally owning a highly capable drone.  It was only a few years ago that you could only dream about sending a 'toy' up into the air and flying in a cloud, or flying in snowfalls.  Completely and utterly cool.
2016-12-7
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SkyMavic
lvl.2
Germany
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bighi Posted at 2016-12-8 04:29
I've flown P1,2,3 and 4 during snowfalls with never an issue.

But did you get ice on the propeller?
2016-12-8
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bighi
Second Officer
Flight distance : 33485010 ft
Austria
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SkyMavic Posted at 2016-12-8 13:11
But did you get ice on the propeller?

Actually not. No snow at all on props. Only some flakes on the camera lens.
2016-12-8
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hallmark007
Captain
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Ireland
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Looks great, interestingly
2016-12-8
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hallmark007
Captain
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Ireland
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looks great , interesting,  but must remind you Mavic is an electronic machine, and anyone will tell you electronics and water don't mix,  it's your call I hope you got shots of the clouds, always remember batteries in cold weather can reduce power very quickly,  good luck..
2016-12-8
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NavigatorNL
First Officer
Flight distance : 700768 ft
Netherlands
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Time for some de-icing!
2016-12-8
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Squad
lvl.1

United States
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POLARMONKEY Posted at 2016-12-7 20:53
Get your squirt bottle and fill it up with windshield deicer, then spay your propellers before each flight.

You  mean the stuff you spray on your windshield and it immediately evaporates at driving speeds? Do you think that coating will stay on with the propellers at 500+ RPM? I don't think so.
2016-12-8
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Macstrax
lvl.3

United States
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Small amounts of ice not much of a problem, but keep in mind that ice on the props changes the angle of attack. This makes the the propellers less efficient at maintaining lift which will result in more power needed to achieve the same flight dynamics.  If build up continues, at some point a complete failure to maintain lift/control. Granted a worst case scenario, but if you are flying at a distance and you lose some of your lift, you will need more battery to get your bird back as the motors will be under a greater load.
2016-12-8
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Tharg (from the
First Officer
Flight distance : 120784 ft
United Kingdom
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Icing can occur at temperatures above freezing and can bring down a multicopter in seconds.
It is caused by the drop in pressure between the upper a lower surface of the blades and will form even a few degrees above zero.

Since multicopter rely on rapid acceleration and deceleration of individual props to maintain attitude the additional inertia can cause the multi to crash to earth.

Learn these things and you become a more responsible pilot.

It is neither cool nor exciting to continue to fly in these conditions and greatly increases your risk of catastrophic failure.
2016-12-8
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SkyMavic
lvl.2
Germany
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Tharg (from the Posted at 2016-12-8 14:48
Icing can occur at temperatures above freezing and can bring down a multicopter in seconds.
It is caused by the drop in pressure between the upper a lower surface of the blades and will form even a few degrees above zero.

Thank you! I needed a sentence like this.
2016-12-8
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AG0N-Gary
Captain
Flight distance : 700846 ft
United States
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Remember-the blades of a propeller are airfoils, just like a wing.  Ice is modifying the lifting characteristics of the airfoils.  If they are allowed to continue collecting ice, the airfoils will eventually fail to provide enough lift to maintain altitude, no matter how fast they spin.  And then there's the matter of imbalance on the two blades of each propeller.  As one side sheds ice, it becomes lighter and vibration starts to occur.  This decreases stability of the craft and wears the motor bearings faster.
2016-12-8
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SkyMavic
lvl.2
Austria
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Im on holiday right now. I found out that it is no problem flying when it is cold but when you hit the sky you will get ice on you props. I do not recommend flying when it is cold...
2016-12-22
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BuzzCut
Second Officer

United States
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I'm guessing it is humidity dependent.  I honestly haven't seen a spec of ice so far in the cold staying within FAA limits.  My hands are the first things to fail
2016-12-22
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SkyMavic
lvl.2
Austria
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BuzzCut Posted at 2016-12-22 22:46
I'm guessing it is humidity dependent.  I honestly haven't seen a spec of ice so far in the cold staying within FAA limits.  My hands are the first things to fail

Haha, i am living in Germany and i was in "FAA" limits. It was a cloudy day and i had to test out "My hands are the first things to fail" You are so right I do not fly with gloves on because without you have got a much better feeling. I never expected that much ice.
2016-12-22
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BuzzCut
Second Officer

United States
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SkyMavic Posted at 2016-12-23 05:51
Haha, i am living in Germany and i was in "FAA" limits. It was a cloudy day and i had to test out  "My hands are the first things to fail" You are so right  I do not fly with gloves on because without you have got a much better feeling. I never expected that much ice.

Yep, the no gloves thing is a killer!  I ended up sitting in my car in an empty parking lot of a park one time for about 20 mins trying desperately to warm up my hands so that I could drive away.

The police drove by slowly and probably thought I was very suspicious  {:4_177:}
2016-12-22
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SkyMavic
lvl.2
Germany
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Hello everyone

i still fly when it it verry cold. I did already fly on -24C° and it dit work verry well. I never had this problem again.
It looks like it happens only when it is cloudy.

Greetings from germany
SkyMavic
2017-1-22
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