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How windy is too windy
4771 17 2017-2-4
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Jasonstarbird
lvl.3
Flight distance : 116969 ft
United States
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I've got a new litchi mission that I am dying to try out. The problem is that the wind is blowing around 23 mph with gusts up to 37. Is too much? My experience so far has been that the drone seems to be pretty much unaffected by the wind..?  What's the windiest conditions you all have flown in?
2017-2-4
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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It's surprising just how much wind strength a Phantom can handle. But putting that much extra stress on your drone isn't really a wise use of it.
The flights will be shorter, with the motors working harder. If you lose Satelite or device connection, and the drone goes into Attitude mode, you may well learn to regret it...

Flying in strong Wind isn't a friendly flying atmosphere. Takes much of the fun away... I have flown my Phantom 3 Pro' in gusting wind, and soon realized, making it fight to stay on course wasn't an enjoyable experience. Not worth taking the chance of a blow away.

RedHotPoker
2017-2-4
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WilliamM
First Officer
Flight distance : 904364 ft
United States
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Yes, that's too much. Personally I think one half the drones top speed is a good gauge. So about 18 mph is a good wind speed to stay under.
2017-2-4
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fansa84fe8a4
First Officer
Flight distance : 3 ft
United States
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Someone posted today in Phantom Pilots forum that they flew near some mountain ridge.  Picked up some wind gust that inverted their P3 and it flew upside down straight down into the ground.  Owner thought pushing up on the sticks would upright it and maybe go upward, but it accelerated upside down into the ground for a crash.  You could see the legs during the flight as well as one or two prop arms so it was fighting the wind pretty hard before it went upside down.

I don't know how an IMU responds if it is inverted in flight and if it will stay there albeit level and upside down both.
2017-2-4
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Mobilcams
First Officer
Flight distance : 2907674 ft
United States
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The problem with flying drones is that you know what the approximate speed of the wind at ground level is.. I had a surprise without any issues (THANK GOODNESS) when I flew my P4 one morning to do a timelapse of the sun rise.. The wind at the ground was MAYBE five MPH.. When I got it up to around 400 feet I did my time lapse.. I did notice I could hear the drone struggle a little bit.. Towards the end of my time lapse I turned on the radar and saw the P4 was at a significant tilt.. brought it down with no issues.. When I uploaded the telemetry to Healthy Drones, it estimated that the winds were around 36 MPH.. Be VERY careful.. Pay attention to the radar if you can..

Gust

Gust

Altitude difference

Altitude difference
2017-2-4
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Cabansail
Second Officer
Flight distance : 136686 ft

Australia
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fansa84fe8a4 Posted at 2017-2-4 15:43
Someone posted today in Phantom Pilots forum that they flew near some mountain ridge.  Picked up some wind gust that inverted their P3 and it flew upside down straight down into the ground.  Owner thought pushing up on the sticks would upright it and maybe go upward, but it accelerated upside down into the ground for a crash.  You could see the legs during the flight as well as one or two prop arms so it was fighting the wind pretty hard before it went upside down.

I don't know how an IMU responds if it is inverted in flight and if it will stay there albeit level and upside down both.

Around mountain tops and the like you can get turbulence. It can be enough to cause problems to light aircraft let alone a small drone.
2017-2-4
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fans57658a95
lvl.1

United States
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23 mph wind speed is just too risky. I lost one of my Phantom 3's due to high winds aloft.
2017-2-28
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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20mph is tuff enough...


RedHotPoker
2017-2-28
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Tom24nh
lvl.2
Flight distance : 174239 ft
United States
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15 mph would be my max
2017-3-7
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Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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In many ways, it depends on your flight.  You might fly out several miles with a 20 mph head wind with complete confidence because you can ride the wind back home.  OTOH, if you ride a 20 mph tail wind out and pass the edge or range, your Phantom will RTH in its very slow RTH speed, and it may be a very long wait before you can take control because it will be fighting that strong head wind with limited AC speed.  In fact, it may never get back into range.  Strong cross-winds are dangerous too because they tend to drain the battery and also blow you off track.  You really need to plan your flight very carefully when the wind gets over 15 mph.  

You also have to make sure you have an ACCURATE wind forecast.  

This is the main weakness of uavforecast.  I do like uavforecast, but sometimes the wind direction is forecast incorrectly because it uses NAM exclusively, and the trouble with NAM is it doesn't give wind forecasts for 400 feet elevation.  NAM will give you the surface wind, and it will give the 300 meter wind.   But nothing in between.  So if you are using uavforecast and you want a 400' wind forecast, uavforecast will estimate the wind speed between the surface and 300 meter.  But they will use the NAM surface wind direction exclusively.  This is okay most of the time, but sometimes the wind at upper elevations is a completely different direction than at the surface.  It could be a 60-90 degree difference, and I've learned this the hard way.  That is why I couple uavforecast with windytv.com.  Windytv.com allows me to see forecasts in the EURO, GFS, and the NAM.  And both EURO and GFS will give a wind forecast for 100 meters, that is, 330' which is a lot better than a surface wind forecast.  And it will be more accurate than the NAM.  So with all three models, I can make a better assessment of what the wind will be before I make a run.  
2017-3-8
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eliot may
lvl.4
Flight distance : 245367 ft
United States
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Im agreeing with 15 mph max. This week winds in Milwaukee are 35-45. My drones are in the hangar
2017-3-8
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blackcrusader
First Officer
Flight distance : 689774 ft
Taiwan
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I will try and always fly with as little wind as possible.  Now on this flight I actually did 9920ft distance into a nice headwind of 15mph - 19mph.  I was meandering about so could have flown farther but you can see at 52% my drone does an RTH.  This is because I got a low battery warning.  I wasn't worried about running out of power though.  I decided to do a full throttle return and with the tail wind was cruising home at 42mph.  I got back to home point with 35% battery left.  Decided to fly around my home point area and then when I got to around 18% I had the drone hover at home point to do a battery drain down to 11%.  Mileage was over 24500ft for this adventure.  

I used to hang glide in mountains and fly thermals.  There are a lot of things apart from just wind you think is there or not.   If you have a strong tail wind and can't get home then find somewhere to land asap.  So if flying near water or mountains you need to be aware of where good spots to land are.  

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/KWLSGPTEF8FIFFE5042W/
2017-3-8
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blackcrusader
First Officer
Flight distance : 689774 ft
Taiwan
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Cabansail Posted at 2017-2-4 19:54
Around mountain tops and the like you can get turbulence. It can be enough to cause problems to light aircraft let alone a small drone.

Unless you are the Blackcrusader who revels in mountain top flying
2017-3-8
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Maxi3D
First Officer
Flight distance : 93993 ft
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United States
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Any wind that's strong enough to blow away my landing pad is too windy.
2017-3-8
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fansa84fe8a4
First Officer
Flight distance : 3 ft
United States
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I just look for some flag on  a pole somewhere en route to a site.  Anything more than 45 degrees up is too much for me (Which would be about 11 MPH in military flag angle speak.)

Autopilot doesn't like anything more than around 10 MPH as the flight patterns can be curved by being blown off course between waypoints until it learns the route on successive flights to compensate.
2017-3-8
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Kneepuck
Captain
Flight distance : 275102 ft
United States
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I have flown in 35 mph gust.  It was very exciting as I nearly lost the drone.  I flew once in a spot that is normally windy, but on this day was calm.  I was about 1000 feet out and the wind started up.  At full throttle, the Phantom was being blown backwards.  By changing altitudes, I was able to get it back to me, butr it had 8% battery left.    So, it depends.
2017-3-8
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 4201896 ft
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Ireland
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Litchi mission, so you are most likely taking video or photos, in that wind don't expect to get much useful footage,
Also remember safety aspect if your drone gets caught in a gust where will it end up.

Having said all that it's your ball game, let us know the outcome..
2017-3-8
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Rob McCaffrey
New

United States
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The safety guide for the Phantom 3 warns not to fly in anything over 10m/s (about 22 MPH).
2017-4-3
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