Flying in cold temperatures.. what to expect.

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Hey all, just wondering with the warm temperatures slowly leaving us (at least here in the US) how does everyone's flight routines change during cold days? How's preparation different? How's pre flight checks differ? How's aircraft/ battery care differ? Etc... If at all.

Thanks!
 

Oso

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Hey all, just wondering with the warm temperatures slowly leaving us (at least here in the US) how does everyone's flight routines change during cold days? How's preparation different? How's pre flight checks differ? How's aircraft/ battery care differ? Etc... If at all.

Thanks!
I don't have much personal experience, but here are two related links with some good info:


 

ianzone

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Batterys in pocket and flask of coffee,that's me
 
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Hey all, just wondering with the warm temperatures slowly leaving us (at least here in the US) how does everyone's flight routines change during cold days? How's preparation different? How's pre flight checks differ? How's aircraft/ battery care differ? Etc... If at all.
I've got some hours flying in the winter cold. Some suggestions I can think of,

- #1 Keep your batteries warm, use pockets, old socks, etc.
- Keep your hands warm, get some gloves with the bend back fingertips (cold hands are unpleasant but can also be a safety issue)
- Never a great idea but don't take off with a partially charged battery (voltages drop quicker in the cold)
- Give your craft some extra hoover time after takeoff to let the batt warm up some more
- Don't mash the sticks, keep it smooth and don't push it too hard especially when <50% battery
- If you're in an area with snow and have a white AC it's not a bad idea to put a skin on it (JIC) :)
 

PhantomWetSuits

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Just keep in mind that your Phantom is likely to do better than your Phone or Ipad , However if you have the Plus Controller your in better shape.

Its also a great time to fly from inside the car, were huge fans of that if you can keep VLOS of course .

Phantomrain.org
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I usually put batteries in hot air in the car vents. Do not overheat them. If by foot then pockets are the best choice.
Your phantom wouldn't even start if the batt temp is less than 16 deg C.
Land sooner than at normal temps. I do not fly at less than -10 deg.C. As it's been said don't push it too hard.
Đ
 
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Living in Canada and having flown in temps as low as -31C I can honestly say the aircraft will definitely outlast the pilot! As others have said, start with a warm, fully charged battery. If you plan to fly alot in cold weather I recommend doing an IMU calibration outside in cold weather on a level surface. This will greatly reduce warm up time and save your battery. And also, as others have said, go easy on the sticks, nice and smooth. My P3P does just fine in winter, my hands? Not so much lol.
 
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KachemakDiver

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Living in Canada and having flown in temps as low as -31C I can honestly say the aircraft will definitely outlast the pilot! As others have said, start with a warm, fully charged battery. If you plan to fly alot in cold weather I recommend doing an IMU calibration outside in cold weather on a level surface. This will greatly reduce warm up time and save your battery. And also, as others have said, go easy on the sticks, nice and smooth. My P3P does just fine in winter, my hands? Not so much lol.
Amen to that!
 
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Not a problem in Florida. But I’ll remember the advice when traveling or the rare freeze. 😬 Pockets and coffee 👍
The rare freezes are COOL, when you wake up in the mornings and everything is covered in ice, because everyone had their sprinklers on. Only Florida people understand that one. Might make a COOL video?
 
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Hey all, just wondering with the warm temperatures slowly leaving us (at least here in the US) how does everyone's flight routines change during cold days? How's preparation different? How's pre flight checks differ? How's aircraft/ battery care differ? Etc... If at all.

Thanks!
I flew my P4P last January for a inspection on a old dam base, it was 5 degrees. No drone issues, just numb fingers trying to adjust camera settings
 
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I concur with what others have said about warming batteries, keeping fingers warm, IMU calibration, etc.
If you are flying on really cold days or snowy days a transmitter mitt comes in handy.

Also, on those really cold days I tend to use automated flight modes like waypoints more often so I can keep my hands warm.

I have flown my P3S in temps as cold as -25C and even colder with a wind chill, as well as heavy snowfall without any problems.

Chris
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Forgot to add, your flying device which has a battery too will also be affected but unlike the drone batteries it’s battery does not heat up enough to keep it warm. I have had the touchscreen on my iPhone XR become unresponsive and the battery prematurely shut down so be prepared to fly just with the controller and no display. All the more reason to stay within VLOS.
 
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Forgot to add, your flying device which has a battery too will also be affected but unlike the drone batteries it’s battery does not heat up enough to keep it warm. I have had the touchscreen on my iPhone XR become unresponsive and the battery prematurely shut down so be prepared to fly just with the controller and no display. All the more reason to stay within VLOS.
Excellent advice. I find my IPhone does not like cold weather at all, even when fully charged but my Samsung Android has always lasted longer than my flight.
 
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Hey all, just wondering with the warm temperatures slowly leaving us (at least here in the US) how does everyone's flight routines change during cold days? How's preparation different? How's pre flight checks differ? How's aircraft/ battery care differ? Etc... If at all.

Thanks!
I make sure my batteries are warmed. Either by placing them in my hoodie pouch or near but not directly under the floor heater of my vehicle.
Limit flight time depending on the outside temp.
 
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