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Flying above clouds - Bad idea?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Phantomix, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. Phantomix

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    I live in an area where sometimes there can be extremely low clouds with no chance of precipitation. Assuming other aircrafts are not an issue, is it a bad idea to fly to the top of the clouds? Also, even if there is no chance of rain could rainclouds still damage it?
    Thanks
     
  2. LordEvil

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    New regs wants us to fly with Line of sight, above clouds you won't have LOS.
     
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  3. sar104

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    Setting aside the LOS issue, non-precipitating clouds should not adversly affect the aircraft which, typically, will be warmer than the surrounding air.
     
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  4. NotARubicon

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    THank you, I've wondered the same thing.. I live near a mountain pass that is often just above the clouds - like you could step off the edge and walk across them.. Several times I've want to fly out across the top of them.. Maybe descend into them just a bit.
     
  5. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    How?
     
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  6. Phantomix

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    in the area i fly in there are rarely any low-flying aircraft and even when they do fly low they dont fly under 500m
     
  7. Hellofly

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    The only problem I have run into is condensation on the body of the drone . Excellent shots though !

     
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  8. Sky Pirate

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    I would NOT recommend flying in clouds with a Phantom. Apart from the 'Visual Flight Rules' of aircraft and pilots remember these aircraft we fly rely on electricity to function.

    What has that got to do with it you may ask, well what are clouds? they are water vapour (that's WATER evaporated into the surrounding air, it's a vapour or has started to developed into tiny tiny droplets, either way it IS WATER). They start much lower down (usually at ground level, but not always) as a bubble of air warmed by the surrounding area, be it fields, tarmac, desert or whatever, the bubble of air gets warmer and expands, so it's lighter than the air around it and less dense, it trundles along on any light breeze or air movement until it either gets comparatively warm enough to expand enough (getting lighter as it expands) to float upwards or it may hit a bump, wall, ridge or whatever that acts like an assisting trigger to 'bump' it off he ground an on its journey upwards. Air cools as altitude increases so as the bubble gets higher and higher so the surrounding air is cooler, the bubble still being warmer continues to rise as it's less dense and therefore lighter, but the bubble too is loosing some of its heat and when it gets cool enough our bubble of warm air starts to condense and the water vapour starts to turn back into water (tiny tiny droplets, that's why you can see them) until they cool so much and collect into bigger droplets to fall as rain. There's a fan in your Phantom to keep the internals of the bird cool. Do you really want to spray the inside of your Phantom and its components with that? I would think not.

    Mind you 'ABOVE' clouds, now there's a view to behold!

    Enjoy, stay safe.:rolleyes::D
     
  9. WetDog

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    Nonsense. I fly in and through clouds all of the time. The biggest issue is that it gets on your lens. Electronic components are actually quite water resistant, circuit boards are typically cleaned in something that closely resembles a dishwasher.

    I fly next to mountains and hills - if there is a plane there it's in more trouble than my 1 kg drone. Helicopters I can hear.

    Because I fly in cold, wet environments I have the upper vents covered with tape, but water vapor can get through all of the rest of the venting. I've disassembled two of my Phantoms that have been through clouds and mist for about a year and both are internally perfect.

    Fly away!
     
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  10. kennedye

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    If you're flying 107, the rules are pretty specific about remaining below and away from clouds, although if it's that common where you live you could probably get a waiver.

    I was a bit surprised, but I can't find any mention of cloud distance under part 101, although the VLOS requirement would probably come into effect there.
     
  11. WetDog

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    Well, yes. But. They're not really clouds. It's just fog.....

    You certainly should be very careful whenever you can't see the craft. I think the most common violation many of us are guilty of is having the UAV outside of visual range. I contend that it can be done safely but if the Powers That Be want to get up close and personal, you don't have too many good excuses. I typically fly close to mountains or other places where aircraft should not be. If I hear anything aircraft-like, I land. But even the Coast Guard doesn't like to fly around mountains in the fog and I definitely stay away from the typical aircraft routes.

    I have got some great video by flying 150 feet above a cloud bank.

    https://vimeo.com/lostrange/clouds
     
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  12. rcheing

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  13. Sky Pirate

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    Hi Wetdog,

    Whilst everyone should be entitled to their own opinion I must say your comment of.
    . .
    "Nonsense. I fly in and through clouds all of the time. The biggest issue is that it gets on your lens. Electronic components are actually quite water resistant, circuit boards are typically cleaned in something that closely resembles a dishwasher." is in error.

    How many people have got their mobile phone damp and it won't work properly, how many people have driven through a puddle and lost the electrics on their vehicle, how many people have fancy electronic fitness watches that break down when damp etc etc etc?

    If you 'READ' what I said, my comment was . . .

    "I would NOT recommend flying in clouds with a Phantom. Apart from the 'Visual Flight Rules' of aircraft and pilots remember these aircraft we fly rely on electricity to function."

    I fail to see what is nonsense about that and I would strongly recommend you read a little on VFR (Visual Flight Rules) as they are LAW internationally, and I would hate for you to get busted for breaking them.

    If you doubt my meteorological knowledge then so be it, however just check it out at your local flying club, they will surely put you right, especially if you talk with the sailplane pilots (which by coincidence is just one of my flying qualification categories, among others).

    Your other reply comment of
    "Well, yes. But. They're not really clouds. It's just fog....."

    Made me laugh so much I nearly fell of my chair. What are Clouds made of? What is Fog made of? Spot the difference?:laughing:

    My comments are to help people, not to point them in the WRONG direction.

    Have a nice day.:innocent:
     
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  14. djphantom2015

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    I would only fly above clouds when they are fog clouds, because I'm 100% sure there is no small aircraft traffic. Generally I would start high up or just below the fog ceiling. This is the only video I tried with fog. Humidity is absolutely now issue for a running phantom.
     
  15. CCrew

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    Typically using a deionized water/isopropyl alchohol mixture. Last I checked neither met the same criteria.
     
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  16. Sky Pirate

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    Difference Between Cloud and Fog

    • Condensation of water vapor present in air, whether high up in the skies, or near the surface of earth, leads to formation of clouds. But whereas we are more familiar with clouds across the blue skies, the ones that are formed near the surface of earth are called fog.

    This should make it completely clear, I hopeo_O:D

    Next question please?
     
  17. jlrsn

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  18. Nick Mendocino

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    Condensed water -- such as cloud droplets -- is a poor electrical conductor. Fear of a short circuit or other electrical damage from flying in clouds is purely hypothetical and based on a misunderstanding.
     
  19. Sky Pirate

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    Dear Nick,

    What ever you do, do not take an electric fire into your bathroom and then try to move it (where there is steam, "water droplets"). Water and electricity are "good slaves but a ruthless masters" Beware!
     
  20. Nick Mendocino

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    Your idea that flying a Phantom through non-preciptating clouds will cause an electrical short inside the drone is based on your incorrect theoretical understanding of electricity and meteorology. If what you say was a real phenomenon there would be dozens of reports here on the forums, but there aren't any at all. By the way, I've held a private pilot license from the FAA since 1965, and I majored in physics. I do electrical work on computers, laptops, tablets, phones and automotive electronics. So stop with your theoretical claims and cite actual evidence that what you say is true. How many actual cases can you point to where flying in a cloud caused a Phantom to fall out of the sky due to electrical problems caused by water getting into the works?
     
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