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Winter Drone Flying Tips

Winter is here

and with it come hills covered in blankets of snow, lakes suddenly polished with ice, and brighter lights as festivities fill cities. It may be one of the most beautiful sights a drone can capture, but the temptation to do so can put your drone at risk.

Drones need the utmost attention and care during the winter months, but with proper precaution and action, you may be able to record some of the greatest videos and images of the year. Remember, every drone is different so reading specific notes on your model is important to consider while reading these tips.

We’ll cover these three topics if you want to jump ahead:
  1. Check Your Battery
  2. Adjust Your Camera Settings
  3. Pay Attention to the Weather

Tip #1: Check Your Battery

Low temperatures during the winter can decrease the lifespan of your drone’s batteries. Less current is produced by a battery used at a low temperature, meaning that batteries run down much faster in winter than at other times of the year.

To combat the cold, you can:

 

      • Linville, North Carolina

        Use fully-charged batteries

        Batteries that last 10 minutes during the fall may last 5 minutes during the winter, so ensure you have the most flying time by bringing fresh batteries. If you’re planning on flying your drone for more than one trip, make sure to bring extra batteries or a portable charger!

      • Keep your batteries in a warm environment

        Your batteries will be affected immediately by the low temperatures outside, so try to keep your batteries at a more moderate temperature. Wrap your batteries in a scarf, keep them in line with the sun on your car’s dashboard, anything to keep them moderately warm!

      • Don’t max out your flight time

        Flying modestly is key to using your drone in the winter. In this different environment, it is best to keep a watchful eye on your battery level and bring the drone back down earlier than normal. In an environment where batteries deplete quickly, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry!

      • Warm-up your drone

        One of our more crucial tips is to warm up your drone before flying it out. It’s important to let your drone hover for up to a minute to warm up the batteries to function properly. Another benefit from this tip is that you can see how your drone is reacting to the weather – are the winds too strong?

Tip #2: Adjust Your Camera Settings

Captured from above, the winter landscape can be stunning. This comes with the assumption, though, that your drone’s camera settings are tuned to the cold-temp settings.

To better the quality of your shots: 
      • Modify the exposure

        With snow covering the landscape, your drone’s camera may accidentally underexpose the shot. To combat the reflective ground beneath, set your exposure above 0.

      • Change the white balance

        Due to the abundance of white in the frame, the shot may come out looking more blue than intended – adjust the white balance before flying your drone to ensure crisp, accurate images.

Tip #3: Pay Attention to the Weather

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College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

Every drone is different, but most come with specific precautions about cold weather. Your drone may not be waterproof, and condensation can do significant damage to your drone. Make sure you have ideal weather conditions on the day you are planning to fly your drone – this slip-up can be fatal for your drone!

Pay attention to wind speeds – anything above 15 mph may prove difficult to the average drone pilot. The smaller the drone, the lower this allotted maximum wind speed. Don’t risk a crash! Be wary of strong wind and looming clouds – it might be detrimental to your shot and your drone!

Flying your drone during the winter doesn’t need to be a daunting task. With the right preparation and precautions, you can get fantastic images unique even to drone pilots.

Follow our tips to better prepare yourself and your drone for the winter months!

 

 

Get Certified to Fly Commercially

The Dronegenuity Part 107 Test Prep Course does a deep dive into all of the topics that are covered on the FAA’s Part 107 Exam. This exam is required for drone users who intend on using their drone commercially. In other words, if you intend on making money with your drone, this course sets you up to take the FAA’s exam and get your certification. We’ll cover topics such as FAA regulations, weather, radio communications, sectional charts (of course), the national airspace system, and more. Enroll now to take your first step towards FAA certification.





 

Learn More 

We’d love to hear from you if you want to learn more about the benefits of aerial drone photography for the real estate industry. If you’re interested in obtaining your Part 107 Commercial Drone License or other drone training courses, please contact us at Dronegenuity today! We offer professional aerial photography services, performed by FAA licensed drone operators for customers of all sizes. All of the work that we do is completely customized and we make the process simple and convenient.

About the Author

Rebekah Madigan

Becky Madigan is a Digital Marketing Intern at Dronegenuity and third-year student at the University of Virginia, studying Economics and Business with a concentration in finance. Born in Tokyo, Becky moved to the US at the age of 18 in order to attend college. She came to Dronegenuity after wanting to further explore digital marketing after previous internship and classroom experience. She enjoys the company’s small, collaborative nature and credits it to letting her feel like “she’s really participating.” Outside of Dronegenuity, she serves on the executive board of UVA’s Consulting Group and enjoys travelling, hiking, and cooking. She especially likes to cook Japanese food, and one of her proudest hiking achievements is climbing to the top of Mount Fuji.