Blown Off Course: How to Master Drone Flying in Windy Conditions
If you are new to the hobby of drone flying you might have already discovered just how challenging it can be to maintain control of your drone in windy conditions.
Practice makes perfect and you can learn to master the controls more easily as you hone your skills, but you can also learn a few techniques and tips that will help you master your drone in the wind.
Here is a look at how to assess wind conditions and how to use certain features and techniques to help you cope better when there is a chance your drone could be blown off course.
The strength of the wind
If you have taken the trouble to read through the dronethusiast list of top camera drones and chosen a model that is going to help you capture some amazing aerial footage you don’t want to risk damage to that drone or have your efforts ruined by windy conditions.
If you want to get the best results and protect your equipment it would be a good idea to learn how to measure wind strength.
One of the easiest ways of making an accurate assessment every time would be to invest in a hand-held anemometer. This device will measure wind strength and once you learn how to interpret the readings you will soon have a good idea when the wind is within the capabilities of your drone.
If you don’t want to buy an anemometer, look up the Beaufort Scale and use your eyes and the landscape around you for clues about the wind strength.
Avoid flying your drone in anything greater than a Force 3 gentle breeze while you are still learning to fly your drone and the scale up as you add more flying hours and experience.
Check the battery
A good tip to avoid any potential in-flight issues or a crash landing would be to make sure your battery has plenty of juice left when you take off.
It is also important to monitor battery usage while your drone is in the air and aim to bring the unit down to land when you reach 30% remaining capacity.
If you leave it until you are at 10% capacity you are not leaving yourself much room for maneuver if wind conditions make it difficult to land quickly, leaving you exposed to battery failure and loss or damage to your drone.
Think about altitude
Windy conditions make your drone vulnerable to being blown off course and hitting an obstacle.
A good way of helping keep your drone safe would be to check the failsafe height setting on your drone and what altitude you have set for the Return To Home feature.
If you are going to fly your drone in wind it would be better to set your drone to fly at an altitude that steers clear of obstacles if the wind intervenes.
These are just a few points to consider, but the main thing to remember is that flying in wind does require a fair bit of practice and patience, plus plenty of battery power.