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Flying in a Thunderstorm

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by npalen, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. npalen

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    Haven't seen anything posted regarding flying in approaching bad weather so wondering about all the caveats. I could envision some cool looking shots just prior to the storm hitting ground zero.
     
  2. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    A few concerns come to mind: rain, electrocution, sudden up/down drafts, turbulence.
     
  3. amrflyingdude

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    I doubt the drone will be able to handle it.
     
  4. npalen

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  5. usaken

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    DON'T As a regular aircraft pilot as well as a DJI guy, let me tell you what they told us in ground school: The updrafts, downdrafts and wind sheer in a thunderstorm are enough to tear the wings off an aircraft. Microbursts and windsheer close to the ground can and have forced commercial aircraft to crash. That's not to mention what water could do to the motors and electronics. lightning hits are the least of your worries!
     
  6. npalen

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    I would think that some common sense applies here. I'm not suggesting one should film "in" a thunderstorm but rather an approaching thunderstorm from a safe distance. That's the beauty of aerial photography, getting up high for a view of the sky, the horizon and surrounding landscape without being in the middle of it.
     
    DarylV likes this.
  7. Buk

    Buk

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    There are "distance from lightning" function in a few of the weather apps for phones. Not sure of accuracy. Sporting events will use a device called a striker, for the same purpose. This is tornado season in the States, extra caution is advised.

    Safety first.
     
  8. IceFireSoul

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    I am very interested in flying my phantom in a storm. I can handle bad winds and water. What concerns me, is it possible that a lighting will hit the phantom? Does it make sense since it's not grounded itself?

    And worse off, could the lighting find it's way over the radio transmission back to earth and hit me with the remote next?
     
  9. TeamYankee

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    Lightning could conceivable hit your Phantom, they hit planes in flight all the time - but I very mush doubt it... the risk is infinitesimally small.

    In any case, the Phantom will have crashed well before that due to water ingress, short circuit or turbulence etc...

    As for lightning "find it's way over the radio transmission" - no, just no...
     
  10. tcope

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    So the real question is, what about flying in clear, nice weather and filming a storm that is miles away? It's one or the other. Either filming close enough that the rain and/or wind affects flight or flying in clear, calm weather.
     
  11. flyingphish

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    I Bolt.JPG have flown a few times between storms here in Florida. check this out...
     
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  12. N017RW

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    If lightning is your fear (and it should be) be advised it can strike as far as 10 miles form the storm.
     
  13. IceFireSoul

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    The question remains - let's say you will fly over a forest/field and sacrifice the phantom in your mind. The question is - will a possible strike to it travel back to the remote.
     
  14. maxwell smart

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  15. Bean

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    No not a chance.
    However standing in the middle of a field during a thunderstorm or under a tree can be an enlightening experience !
     
  16. Milly

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    I think I would prefer to film a spectacular firework display from high up and at a safe distance.
     
  17. Andy Collins

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    I'm also a private pilot, and the wind could be a real issue,,also I don't know if the weather was bad enough if you could lose satelites,,again, I don't know the answer to that, but it would be a concern,,if your lost GPS and got hit by a 30 knot wind all of a sudden,,,,your drone could end up with making a nice long trip
     
  18. HawksMaine

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    I took my Phantom 3 Standard up to get a shot of an approaching thunderstorm. Everything was going fine until I got an RC signal loss. I assumed it was going to land where I took it off but it then started flying backwards. It then proceed to do an autoland into some trees. All of this occurred only at about 120ft in the air.
     
  19. Phantomix

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    i flew in a raging storm once with my tiny little FC40
    winds on the ground were about 20 mph with gusts of 25mph
    it almost got blown away and i brought it down within 20 seconds when it started pouring so it was fine but the gimbal was not :/ $50 down the drain
     
  20. LordEvil

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