When the holiday season arrives, we all get a little obsessed with checking the weather. The last thing we want to do is take any risk flying our UAS in the wrong conditions. However, sometimes even the most reliable weather apps can fail. In that scenario, how does weather affect the DJI Mini 2?
You SHOULD NOT fly your Mini 2 in severe weather conditions, such as winds exceeding 10 m/s, snow, rain, and fog, or extremely hot or cold. Furthermore, the battery will suffer a performance reduction in cold weather, and it is not recommended to operate the aircraft above 13,123 ft (4,000 m) above sea level.
I get it, you might have been saving for years to go on a trip to a cold place and get drone footage of the beautiful snow from the sky. Or maybe you are visiting a location where it can get very sunny and windy at times, like Miami. Therefore, let us see how much adversity the Mini 2 can withstand and what precautions you should take to avoid any damage to your drone in adverse weather conditions.
How much wind can the DJI Mini 2 stand?
Because the DJI Mini 2 weighs less than 250 g (0.55 lbs), you may think that any strong wind will take it flying away to a galaxy far, far away. However, we should not judge the book by its cover, and even though the Mini 2 does look small and weak, DJI says it can withstand winds of up to 22 miles per hour (36 km/h). Is this true?
As it has been proven in several YouTube videos, the Mini 2 has been shown to tolerate winds that surpass 22 miles per hour. In DC Rainmaker video, the small drone fights wind gusts of more than 31 miles per hour (50 km/h). YouTuber World of Ozz states that his Mini 2 was put to the test against 55 mph (88 km/h) wind gusts.
It is obvious that the drone could struggle in these conditions, but the important part here is seeing how it keeps hovering without problems. Needless to say, the battery time will be greatly reduced when flying in extreme winds. As usual, keep it safe and use caution when flying in high winds!
Is the DJI Mini 2 waterproof?
Before I start talking about the next sections let’s make something clear: DJI does not recommend flying the drone in severe weather conditions, such as extreme heat, strong winds, or snow, but that does not mean that the Mini 2 is not able to fly in those situations.
We know that the Mini 2 is not waterproof, but from experience, I can tell you that you can fly it with light rain without noticing any major issues. However, the battery performance, as we have already talked about, will be decreased, so be extra careful if you attempt to do it.
A few weeks ago, while I was recording a football game for work, strong wind gusts and rain caught me by surprise. I had checked the weather conditions before the start of the operation as always, but eventually, all these weather apps can fail you in important moments.
So, there I was surprised by moderate rain wondering if I should stop flying or not. My work involved recording kids playing football, so even though the drone was performing outstandingly well in the rain, I simply could not risk injuring a child.
When I landed the Mini 2, I realized that the weather it was resisting was worse than I first thought. I was too concentrated on the aircraft and how it was handling the wind to notice how strong it was pouring down, and when I had a proper look at my controller, it was covered in water drops. My gloves were completely wet, and so was my jacket.
That day I learned two important lessons that you should always take with you when flying in adverse weather. First, you should be constantly aware of your surroundings in such weather, as miscalculating how strong that rain was could have caused damage to the drone or worse. Second, the safety of the operation should always come first, without hesitation.
Can you fly a DJI Mini 2 in the snow?
Once again, flying the Mini 2 in the snow is not recommended by the manufacturer, so it will be exclusively your responsibility if you decide to do it and something goes wrong.
Another important detail to keep in mind is that DJI states in the drone’s manual that we should not fly the aircraft at more than 13,123 ft (4,000 m) above sea level, as the battery performance may be reduced due to the low temperatures and thin air. Furthermore, the Chinese company warned us in the official document that DJI drones cannot use the GPS in polar regions, so the Vision Systems included in the aircraft should be employed instead.
Although the Mini 2 was not made for snow, many YouTube videos prove that it can cope even with moderate snowfall combined with high winds. If you pay attention to the following 20 Tips for Flying in Cold Temperatures you should be fine operating your Mini 2 in the snow.
Even though it is risky to fly in the snow, most of us cannot resist the temptation, as the footage obtained from these audiovisual sessions is simply amazing. If you are thinking about flying over a lake, a water landing gear can be a drone-saver in case of a sudden loss of power above the water, something to consider for sure: this one from Amazon is a good option.
DJI Mini 2 wetsuit and rescue jackets
After reading all these warnings and precautions you should take if you are planning to operate your Mini 2 in cold weather, you might think that there is no way to avoid damaging your precious DJI product while flying it in rain or snow. However, let me tell you about a solution to fix those two weather issues.
A well-known brand in the drone forums has created a wet suit capable of protecting the DJI Mini 2 from rain and snow, thus fulfilling many people’s dreams of being able to seal their drones from that weather. This invention allows us to push the limits of our drone in severe weather conditions without putting the operation in danger. Fantastic!
The wet suit specifically designed for the Mini 2 seals the battery and the power button while also providing a cover for the SD card port. As the drone employs aluminum brushless motors, the same as those used in some submersibles, they are designed to deal with water (according to their official website)
The price? You can get the wetsuit for the Mini 2 for $75, and in a very popular forum, you will find a special offer to get several suits for the price of one.
20 tips for flying in cold temperatures
Operating your drone in cold climates can be tricky. We have already talked about how low temperatures affect battery performance and duration, so you do not want to make a mistake that might lead to harming your aircraft and/or any being. Remember, safety first!
To make sure that you keep your aircraft, battery, and controller in good condition when flying in cold temperatures, follow these tips:
- Always remember that the DJI Mini 2 operating temperature is 32° to 104°F (0° to 40°C).
- The Mini 2 controller can operate between 14° and 104°F (-10° and 40°C).
- Wear touchscreen gloves to keep your hands warm when flying.
- Hover the drone for a while when operating at temperatures that range from 32° to 41°F (0° to 5°C).
- Keep the battery above 68°F (20°C) to ensure optimal performance.
- Get a couple of hand warmers and store your batteries in a LiPo bag with them to make sure they remain warm when it is time to use them – available on Amazon.
- Alternatively, keep the batteries in your pocket, as your body temperature will keep them warm.
- Insert the battery into the compartment and turn on the drone to allow it to warm up before taking off.
- Do not fly your drone higher than 13,123 ft (4,000 m) above sea level.
- Use a landing pad (see our favorite on Amazon) for take-off and landing, especially in areas covered by snow.
- DJI drones cannot use the GPS in polar regions. Instead, use the downward vision system when flying in these locations.
- Land the aircraft when the battery is at 30% charge to avoid sudden power loss problems.
- Know the operating temperatures of the device you use to control your drone (mobile phone, tablet).
- Check your propellers for any signs of ice that could reduce drone performance.
- Watch for strange behavior. If the drone seems to be behaving oddly, land immediately.
- Listen for any unusual sounds coming from the motors or the propellers.
- Keep your sensors clean. Snowflakes can cause some problems with the obstacle avoidance system.
- Fly slower than usual, as the gimbal does not perform as well in cold weather and the footage might be shaky.
- Consider flying against the wind first so that your return to your home has extra power.
- If a battery gets too cold while flying, it may suddenly discharge and lose power. So be aware of this possible scenario to prevent any accidents.
Apart from these tips, make sure to always comply with regulations such as flying in a visual line of sight, checking your drone for faults before taking off, etc. Pay special attention to the rules of the place you are planning on flying if you are going to a foreign country, as it may be forbidden to fly with snow.
DJI Mini 2 and hot temperatures
Maybe you are one of those people who hates the cold, just like me. So, while everyone is enjoying the snowy winter season, you are flying away to an idyllic beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Maybe you prefer the quietness of the desert away from other tourists.
Well, no problem! You can fly your drone in hot temperatures just like you would fly it in the snow, simply with special care.
10 tips for flying in hot temperatures
Last summer I was enjoying a few flights when I suddenly started losing my video feed. I was so excited to fly, after a couple of weeks without doing so, that I did not realize that the heat had increased like a rocket and it was more than 104°F (40°C).
At that moment, I was doing a test flight as if I were inspecting some electrical towers, so losing the video transmission was quite dangerous to the drone. High temperatures can be as risky to our aircraft as extreme cold is, so here is a list of tips to consider when you fly in hot weather:
- Avoid high levels of moisture, as it can damage drone electronics.
- Use sunglasses to help you keep your UAS in a visual line of sight.
- Wear appropriate clothes and accessories to avoid sunstroke.
- Be careful when flying at temperatures above 100°F (37°C) as you may experience loss of video transmission.
- In those high temperatures, your phone or tablet could overheat. Look for shady places!
- Do not leave batteries and drone equipment in the car or car trunk (or similar).
- Make shorter flights than usual, as the batteries quickly get too hot in the summer.
- Store your intelligent flight batteries out of the sun to keep them cool.
- Be aware of your surroundings and always have an emergency landing zone planned.
- Don’t let your battery go beyond 149°F (65°C) as at 158°F (70°C) there is a risk of fire.
This is all for today. Hot or cold? It is up to you, but always take extra precautions and look for the safety of the operation.