Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Flying while it's snowing

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by John Locke, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. John Locke

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Location:
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I've seen a couple videos of people flying while it's snowing. The effect is really cool looking. What I'm wondering is how many here have done this? Is it feasible to put temporary masking tape over the vents on the arms since it's below freezing? Seems the inside should keep cool enough without ventilation. Any opinions on this?

    I will soon be visiting my local mountains and it turns out there's a chance it will be snowing, it will be about 25F during the day with a front coming through. I'm thinking about flying if it snows to capture something unique, but I'm still on the fence.
     
  2. RedHotPoker

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,363
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta
    You can watch this @dji video and get some ideas.


    RedHotPoker
     
  3. John Locke

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Location:
    Yorba Linda, CA
    So you have never flown while it's snowing in Edmonton?
     
  4. RedHotPoker

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,363
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta
    Not if it bothers any warranty, no, never. ;-) Ha

    He said with a stone cold grin on. Hahaha

    Eh, it's winter here for four month stretches, so please don't be silly.
    Just be cautious, pay particular attention to your battery voltage, and don't let the Phantom get too wet. Remember the props are pushing air down, around the craft, & that includes any moisture that they trap.
    Not sure about taping off ventilation flow, I leave mine open, exposed. Get up get your video or pics and land. ;-)

    It sounds like you want to fly around and spend a full battery or two while capturing snowflakes and frost bite.


    RedHotPoker
     
  5. alokbhargava

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,032
    Likes Received:
    1,620
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I have not flown in snowing condition but yes masking the vents will definitely help melting snow (water) getting into the body. Also, I think inner heat will prevent inner moisture condensing into ice particles and settling then on to electronics. In short masking vents should definitely help. On the other side, body will cool down so inside air touching body might condense and drops of water might slide down to bottom of the housing.
     
    #5 alokbhargava, Jan 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  6. RoyVa

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Virginia
    Not really a need to close the vent holes as the space around the motors into the shell is wide open and props force more in than vents. Just my 2 pennies.
    I would fly in a very lite snow but not a heavy snow. Just use common sense. Snow turns to water the ratio is normally 5:1 if that helps. Also depends if it's a dry snow or a wet snow. A dry snow has very little moisture content.
     
  7. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,208
    Likes Received:
    906
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    I always close the air vents off once the temps drop below freezing. Once they're closed off it is noticeable while hovering and flying in windy conditions.

    As for flying while it's snowing, it is a bad idea. The moisture alone is hard on electronics. The motors are designed to draw air through them for cooling. Should you land and tip over in snow, you should treat the event the same as if it were in water and dry up the melted snow from the heat in the motor's and battery. This goes for flying in fog, all the same applies.
     
  8. John Locke

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Location:
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Thanks guys, good info to chew on. I realize it's not a good idea in general to snow fly, but I figured some may have done this. No, I wouldn't be flying a whole battery, that's too much, I'm too conservative. Maybe a dronie pull away shot and two photos. Likely a two minute flight at max in light snow conditions, if it presents itself. This plan is still out to jury to decide if I'm willing to risk it..... just to get something unique. I'll definitely tape the vents if I do it, wouldn't hurt. But like some of my flight opportunities I will go prepared, then due to the particular risk factors, common sense tells me not to fly (some would say I chicken out).
     
    #8 John Locke, Jan 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  9. Newly

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    BC
    I flew in light cold fluffy snow, just because I was impatient to fly. I only flew for a few minutes so I don't know what the prolonged effects would be. Also, took it up at -8 F, but only for a few minutes. The aircraft performed beautifully.
     
  10. BVC

    BVC

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    182
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA / Dener, CO
    When I fly in moderate/heavy fog I always tap off the vents with blue masking tape. When the bird comes back down from some adventure there is always a good chunk of water on it beaded on the top of the shell and around the camera.

    I would think taping the vents up would help on the upper half given the temp range.

    ..I just left lake tahoe and there is a large storm system moving in. I wish I was able to stay another couple days to get the bird up into the snow as well. I have yet to fly in snow....