Phantom 4P Propeller Icing In Cold Foggy Weather

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I was out in the country flying this morning. It was +2° F and there was ground fog. This particular flight only reached an altitude of about 75 feet and lasted 3 or 4 minutes. When the drone landed, I noticed that there were ice crystals on the body and props. I didn't sense any change in behavior as I was landing it though because I'm new to all of this, I'm not sure what a difference in handling would look and feel like. Here's the video clip I filmed as I was taking off (speed doubled). For the rest of the morning, every time I flew, I needed to de-ice. Has anyone else seen this?


And a couple photos of the ice crystals

DJI Icing-1.jpg
DJI Icing-2.jpg
 
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You were very lucky. Any more Ice and you may have lost your quad.
 
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What was relative humidity? High humidity and below freezing are a bad combo.

BTW you can take those warning stickers off :)
 
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I'm not sure what the humidity was. Cold air doesn't generally hold much humidity. But there was fog . . . As for the stickers, thanks. I do have the black and silver thing figured out now. [emoji846]


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You were very lucky. Any more Ice and you may have lost your quad.

I had one minor crash incident today. As the drone went to lift off, it just tipped over. It turns out that one landing gear froze to the ground from the time I took it out of the truck after de-icing to the time I tied to launch.


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N017RW

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Cold air doesn't generally hold much humidity.[emoji846]


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From this site:
Unit 4: Temperature-Moisture Relationship — Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare

A cool, dry air mass may actually have a higher relative humidity than a warm, moist air mass.

Rule of Thumb : Relative humidity doubles with each 20 degree (Fahrenheit) decrease, or halves with each 20 degree increase in temperature.

Generally, as temperature goes up, relative humidity goes down and vice versa.
 
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I'm not sure what the humidity was. Cold air doesn't generally hold much humidity. But there was fog . . .
Probably the fog but I've read a couple of threads now about ice forming and it's typically places like the mid-west. You'd be surprised how much humidity there is in the cold, like 80-90% is not uncommon.
 
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Probably the fog but I've read a couple of threads now about ice forming and it's typically places like the mid-west. You'd be surprised how much humidity there is in the cold, like 80-90% is not uncommon.

Well, I stand corrected. I guess it just doesn't feel real tropical when it's -20° F. My mother never swore but when I was little I would hear her say from time to time that it's "damp cold". She knew what she was talking about.
 
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Well, I stand corrected. I guess it just doesn't feel real tropical when it's -20° F. My mother never swore but when I was little I would hear her say from time to time that it's "damp cold". She knew what she was talking about.
I'm a Coloradan, we get no humidity to speak of so I really notice it when I visit family in the mid-west. Summer or winter. Granted in the winter it's tolerable LOL
 
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cd335627395786c13bdab9e8c110c76e.jpg


I guess another clue to the humidity recently is the wonderful frost forming on the trees. Humidity and no wind are two parts of the formula for this.


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N017RW

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Well, I stand corrected. I guess it just doesn't feel real tropical when it's -20° F. My mother never swore but when I was little I would hear her say from time to time that it's "damp cold". She knew what she was talking about.


It's a common thought since a/c in your house reduces humidity.
It can be really confusing.

The great thing about this hobby/site is ALL the OTHER STUFF you learn by virtue of buying a 'toy'.
 
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Ice on the props changes the airflow of the propeller resulting in a loss of lift and crash. Ice on the body will primarily add weight to your craft as well as disturb the airflow in flight. You got lucky this time, many a full size aircraft has crashed due to icing - google it.
 
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Ice on the props changes the airflow of the propeller resulting in a loss of lift and crash. Ice on the body will primarily add weight to your craft as well as disturb the airflow in flight. You got lucky this time, many a full size aircraft has crashed due to icing - google it.

Yes, I did get lucky. I spent the next three hours flying short mission in light fog. There was very minor icing a couple of times but nothing like you see in the photos.

I know about icing issues on big planes. More than once we've sat in the de-icing area of MSP while our plane gets a bath.


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Yes, I did get lucky. I spent the next three hours flying short mission in light fog. There was very minor icing a couple of times but nothing like you see in the photos.

I know about icing issues on big planes. More than once we've sat in the de-icing area of MSP while our plane gets a bath.


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Most aviators of passenger aircraft are acutely aware of the freezing altitude + or - 2 or 3 degrees and the due point, You found out why aircraft pilots want to pass through those altitudes quickly.
 
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The fact that you have Fog , shows Dew point was reached at that temperature in the atmosphere around you & the air was saturated with water or Humidity . bringing a warm aircraft into this environment , not to mention its movement ( prop speed ), will cause Ice to form .

So many Hunters have found that bringing a warm rifle or Shotgun from a warm cabin in to that kind of Temperature will freeze up , Scopes & firearms Actions to the point of being useless .
I always put my Firearm outside for hours before I hunt , so it has time to acclimate to outside temps.
 
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Rime ice.



Any general aviation pilot who has experienced rime ice will tell you that the impacts of rime ice on performance along with the speed in which it can accumulate is frightening.

Tell me more about rime ice. I'd never heard of it before you mentioned it.


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