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March 2018 Vol 24 # 3 . Fly Your Drone in the Winter

Recent Software Reviews

January 2018--What You Can't Do with Your Drone
December 2017--DJI Phantom 4 Drone Flying Car Simulation & Flying the Traffic Circles
November 2017--DJI Phantom 4 Drone Flying Around Town
October 2017--16MP Sports Action Camera with WiFi & Wireless Remote Control

Flying Your DJI Phantom 4 Drone in Winter Weather

By Howard Berenbon

If it's winter where you are and you retired your drone because it's cold and stormy where you live, well, that's not necessary. You can fly in the winter, in the cold, as long as you don't fly when it's snowing, or land it in an icy puddle (you wouldn't do that!). As you know, most quad copters (AKA drones) can't take precipitation. or fog for that matter.

Note on Flying in Fog

If you registered your drone with the FAA, required if it weights 0.55 lbs or more, then you are not allowed to fly in fog. The FAA rules state that you can't fly if visibility is less than 3 miles. That's because you have to be able to watch for approaching aircraft and land your drone if one is heading your way for safety reasons even if you are 100 percent sure the plane won't be landing in your backyard. Those are the rules, I don't make them! Also, fog is moisture and you can damage your drone, especially your camera, if you fly in it.

Aerial Survey & Mapping

Last week a friend asked me to fly above his house to get some photos so he could check the property line between his house and the new construction on his neighbor's property to the south. And though there was snow on the ground, and somewhat damp outside, I agreed to fliy as long as it wasn't snowing. A warm front was moving in and the temperature had dropped from around 29 degrees F to a chilly 40, not too cold for Michigan. Since there was snow on the ground, we put a blue tarp outside his rear patio to assure a moisture free liftoff, which was successful. My friend lives on Walnut Lake in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and it's an impressive video of his house at about 300 feet height and the snow-covered lake and shoreline homes. It was a cloudy day, and it's mainly in black and white, but the short video was a success and I safely landed my DJI Phantom 4 back on the tarp without incident. Check out my Youtube video below.

Winter Flight on Walnut Lake





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