Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Flying phantom in precipitation

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by gruvpix, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. gruvpix

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    1
    Quick question, tried searching but didn't really find anything conclusive. How risky is flying my phantom in any sort of precipitation, i.e. rain or snow? There have been a couple times where I have been caught with my phantom up in the air and it started drizzling lightly. I didn't notice any ill-effects but promptly brought it down and into shelter...
    I'm not talking about taking it up during a blizzard or thunderstorm, but has anyone experienced any crashes or issues at all after flying the thing in light to medium rain?
     
  2. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,929
    Likes Received:
    1,800
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    Well the answer for snow is right there in the word itself. Your big concern will be icing which will ultimately turn the props into thin blocks of ice incapable of producing enough lift to keep your Phantom in the air.

    Rain is pretty much the same answer. Some people have been caught in light rain and survived but doing it on purpose is pretty much asking for trouble. I think the props do a good job of dispersing moisture away from the craft in this situation but I wouldn't be certain of it. The air vents will at some point get moisture in them. That and the motors may short out as moisture gathers in between windings and wire contact points.
     
  3. HarryT

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    My P2 has survived being caught for several minutes in quite heavy rain, but it's definitely something to be avoided where possible! If moisture gets inside the casing it could short something out, potentially making your Phantom fall out of the sky.
     
  4. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    896
    Likes Received:
    134
    A little water will not hurt the motors but if it gets into the ESC's through the vents, it could cause a problem. I would not intentionally fly in the rain with a quad that was not waterproof.
    I had a flyaway which was likely caused by an approaching storm. It was not yet raining or windy, just getting darker. I just wanted to do a quick test of a new gimbal. I had calibrated the compass and found sufficient satellites. I lifted off to hover at head height when I saw the first lightning strike in the distance. The quad was acting wonky and not responding well. I tried to land but it took off and flew over the neighbor's house and crashed, bent one arm and wrecked the gimbal.
     
  5. gruvpix

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    1
    Awesome, thanks for the replies guys. I'm obviously not planning on taking it up in any sort of precipitation, mainly just concerned if I am flying the thing and it starts to rain heavily... Generally I schedule filming around the weather forecast, but there are some instances that can't be predicted, so it is nice to know it will be able to handle a fair bit of rain while I bring it down.
     
  6. HarryT

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    If at all possible, land it immediately if it starts to rain. Safer to let it get wet on the ground while you go to fetch it, rather than fly it back to you.
     
  7. 4wd

    4wd

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,532
    Likes Received:
    421
    Location:
    North York Moors
    You might be safer in light snow if it's well below freezing, and it could make a lovely video.
    I'd still be concerned that internal heat would melt fine bits that got inside at least as soon as the propellers stopped blasting cold air through it.
     
  8. RobertMfromLI

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    2
    DON'T fly into a cloud, either.

    We started flying into the edge of a low, thick, cloud, and then I remembered what I learned in meteorology class. It is NOT a good idea, with or without the chance for an electrical discharge.