With the weather dropping to -40c (yep c not f) here in Winnipeg, Canada, we thought it would be a great time to talk about winter drone flying. Here are some hints and tips you can use to enjoy flying your drone in colder winter weather and get the most out of every season!
Winter Drone Flight Batteries
Batteries are critical to your drone, they are the source of power and if they die your drone will crash to the ground. We all know that cold weather affects battery performance, so how do you handle this when its -20c or colder?
Our trick is to keep them in an inner pocket within your jacket while hiking or traveling to your location. If that is not an option, wrap them with hot pockets or other warming pads to keep them at a nice temperature.
Do not use frozen or ice cold batteries in your drone, they can suddenly lose power and cause your drone to fall from the sky.
Winter Drone Flight Pre-Flight
So now that we have warm batteries we are good to go right? No! Your drone is a complex piece of technology with various circuits, fans, motors and sensors. These all need to be warmed up! Our typical process is follows.
- Remove drone from backpack or carrying case. Install rotor blades if required.
- Remove transport protections such as the gimble lock and covers.
- Install any filters.
- Install warm battery (see above)
- Power on drone
- Allow drone to power up and perform any pre heating on IMU and other sensors as required.
- Once Drone gives you the all clear spin up rotors
- Allow rotors to spin and warm up for 30 seconds to a minute.
- During this warm up, confirm battery discharge rate and sensor checks.
- Enjoy your flight but make sure you stay within line of sight.
Winter Drone Flight Cautions
Remember that your drone might not be designed to operate in colder temperatures. This must be done at your own risk!
Also remember that snow, ice and ice fog can cling to rotors, and intakes causing you drone to fly abnormally or even crash! Always stay in line of site and monitor your drones performance.
With all of these in mind, go out there and enjoy one of the most rugged beautiful times of the year. Also stay warm!
Here is a shot taken in -40c of Tulabi Falls, enjoy!