Wind and knowing when not to fly

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#1
Out flying this morning and got a warning that wind speeds were high, brought it down and came home. The bird seemed stable as there was no drift and little shake.
How do you judge when you shouldn't be flying due to wind?
 

PhantomWetSuits

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#3
We fly in Extreme winds all the time , and keep this in mind, the Drone is superman capable of winds up to 4o mph,
The question than becomes how do you negotiate those type of winds.

For most pilots it is safe to assume that if the wind is flipping the Camera , it is to much wind to fly in.

But for those of you that need to Negotiate the Wind and the Storm that comes with it , here are some tips.

IGNORE the wind warning.
If your Gimbal is trying to Flip , your flying against the wind, better to fly backwards> This is key Practice flying backwards so you do not flip your camera.

When you bring it down to land, move it down quickly as your window will be smaller to work with.

Throttle into the wind when you are landing so it does not blow back into you. Run Up to the drone and hand grab the drone.

Its comes down to the Pilot , but the Drone can take Extreme Winds with just a little bit of skill but remember where there is wind a storm can follow.
We plan on doing an Extreme wind Video soon, but all the best storms we have had come in the middle of the night.

Phantomrain.org
The confidence to fly into the Storm and Out.
 
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#4
ONE Good Rule in Flying in high winds : For fun type of flying.." Always Fly UP wind ".....its much easier to get back to the Home Point if the winds get more worse and IF a craft malfunction as a battery went low to fast....Much easier to get the bird lower and back closer before a dreaded accident takes place.
 
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#5
There are my tips for flying in a strong wind. Jump up off the ground quickly and gain about 10 feet of altitude. Then let it hover for a while. If the drone can't hold position there, land and go home! Also land quickly, like you are landing on an aircraft carrier. Wind is generally stronger at altitude. To check the winds aloft at your flying location, turn off GPS for a few seconds and see which way the drone moves. This will tell you the direction of the wind. Next go up to the altitude you want to fly at in the up-wind direction. See if you can made headway directly into the wind. Take note of how much throttle it takes to move forward. Once at altitude up-wind, again turn off the GPS and watch the numbers HS ( Horizontal Speed). The drone will start to move downwind rapidly. This will give you the wind dirction and strength. Don't fly downwind if there is a strong wind. You may not have to power or battery life to get back home. If you initiate RTH, again watch the HS numbers to insure they are decreasing. Take note of which way the drone is facing on your screen. If the drone is facing the home point, and the HS is showing a speed reading, but the distance from home is increasing. You've got a big problem! At that point I think I would initiate "Auto-land" and take my chances of where is comes down. Otherise, you'll have a fly-away and a lost drone. Also, point the camera down so you can get some sort of idea where it is coming down. If you still have a video feed, you might be able to manuver it to a safe landing. I alway "Cache Locally" so I have a copy of what the camera sees.

Just my 3 cents! Yes...3 cents. It was payday yesterday and I feel generous!

Edit: I meant to say if you initiate RTH, insure the distance to home is decreasing!
 
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Meta4

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#6
Out flying this morning and got a warning that wind speeds were high, brought it down and came home. The bird seemed stable as there was no drift and little shake.
How do you judge when you shouldn't be flying due to wind?
DJI's high wind warning comes on if the Phantom calculates a wind more than 7 metres/second or 15 miles/hr..
That's not really high and the Phantom can easily hold position in higher winds than that.

The most important thing to consider with wind is the direction.
Your Phantom can easily fly against a 7 m/s wind but it will slow the speed of the Phantom if you push against it.
If your are nearby or flying upwind, that's no problem at all.
But it could be a concern if you fly a long way downwind and then turn to come home.
 
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#7
There are my tips for flying in a strong wind. Jump up off the ground quickly and gain about 10 feet of altitude. Then let it hover for a while. If the drone can't hold position there, land and go home! Also land quickly, like you are landing on an aircraft carrier. Wind is generally stronger at altitude. To check the winds aloft at your flying location, turn off GPS for a few seconds and see which way the drone moves. This will tell you the direction of the wind. Next go up to the altitude you want to fly at in the up-wind direction. See if you can made headway directly into the wind. Take note of how much throttle it takes to move forward. Once at altitude up-wind, again turn off the GPS and watch the numbers HS ( Horizontal Speed). The drone will start to move downwind rapidly. This will give you the wind dirction and strength. Don't fly downwind if there is a strong wind. You may not have to power or battery life to get back home. If you initiate RTH, again watch the HS numbers to insure they are decreasing. Take note of which way the drone is facing on your screen. If the drone is facing the home point, and the HS is showing a speed reading, but the distance from home is increasing. You've got a big problem! At that point I think I would initiate "Auto-land" and take my chances of where is comes down. Otherise, you'll have a fly-away and a lost drone. Also, point the camera down so you can get some sort of idea where it is coming down. If you still have a video feed, you might be able to manuver it to a safe landing. I alway "Cache Locally" so I have a copy of what the camera sees.

Just my 3 cents! Yes...3 cents. It was payday yesterday and I feel generous!
I had just such a scenario with my Mavic Pro this last spring. I had my assistant flying the Mavic as I was getting my Inspire 2 ready, and the wind suddenly increased dramatically. Mavic was at 300 feet, and downwind. I got this sick sounding response from assistant saying "it's not coming back..." I took the controls, and sure enough, with full right stick forward I could see the home position receding. I quickly descended to about 75 feet, and tacked back and forth at 30 degrees from the wind, and safely back home. I praised my assistant for reacting quickly to a situation he was not prepared to deal with. Good learning experience...
 
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#8
I had just such a scenario with my Mavic Pro this last spring. I had my assistant flying the Mavic as I was getting my Inspire 2 ready, and the wind suddenly increased dramatically. Mavic was at 300 feet, and downwind. I got this sick sounding response from assistant saying "it's not coming back..." I took the controls, and sure enough, with full right stick forward I could see the home position receding. I quickly descended to about 75 feet, and tacked back and forth at 30 degrees from the wind, and safely back home. I praised my assistant for reacting quickly to a situation he was not prepared to deal with. Good learning experience...
Good job! You got to watch those numbers! They can tell you a lot about what is going on, or about to go on, with the drone in flight.
 
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#9
Good job! You got to watch those numbers! They can tell you a lot about what is going on, or about to go on, with the drone in flight.
I have flown my P4 in 20+ mph wind with gusts up to 30+/-. I only did it twice and is not something I would try unless I had to. In both cases I was in Maui and the trade winds around the Kapalua and Hana areas had picked up.

The first time, I was trying to get some video of a blow hole in the area. Once in a lifetime kinda thing as I had never been to the Island before and I didn’t want to waste the opportunity. Nerve wracking to the say the least. Once I was up and flying, the P4 fought like a champ. Very difficult to hold position and even more to bring it back when a gust of wind blew it off track, but with some patience I was able to get to where I wanted to be. Landing was the trick. No way it was going to land on a flat surface, would have just been blown over. Could have hand caught, but even that is hard when the thing and shifting all over the place. Ended up landing behind a rock that was blocking a good portion of the wind.

The second time was on the other side of the island, near Hana. It was blustery when I took off heading just off shore. Was getting some video of the waves coming in against the volcanic rock. It got really windy about 10 min into my flight. Trying to get it home scared the bejesus out of me. Full power against the wind and it barely moved, or even was pushed back. Waves starting climbing so I couldn’t bring it lower for fear of hitting a breaker, and higher up the winds were more consistent and stronger. I started working it side to side in hopes of catching a lull, which eventually I hit. Was able to get it back on shore and eventually into an area semi protected from the wind. Was sure I was going to lose it that second time.

Did get some good video, would in no way risk trying it a third time.

 
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#10
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is one tough little cookie. I have flown it in strong winds in Iceland, sometimes pushing the envelope a little too much for comfort. On one occasion, I was trying to launch it in fairly strong winds but no sooner had it taken off, a strong gust sucker-punched it to the ground. Luckily, the drone was no more than 2 feet off the ground and there was no damage done.

On the second occasion, I thought I had lost it. I was flying it close to a mountain cliff and suddenly it began to hurtle away. At this point I thought there was no hope and it wouldn't respond to the controls as it careened towards the mountain. Then miraculously, it responded to RTH and made it home slowly but surely. The lesson I learned was: be VERY careful near mountain slopes as a combination of strong gusts there and momentary loss of GPS can be deadly.

One thing to note is that there is a big difference between gusts and a constant strong wind. The former are far more likely to cause mishaps.
 
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#11
I had just such a scenario with my Mavic Pro this last spring. I had my assistant flying the Mavic as I was getting my Inspire 2 ready, and the wind suddenly increased dramatically. Mavic was at 300 feet, and downwind. I got this sick sounding response from assistant saying "it's not coming back..." I took the controls, and sure enough, with full right stick forward I could see the home position receding. I quickly descended to about 75 feet, and tacked back and forth at 30 degrees from the wind, and safely back home. I praised my assistant for reacting quickly to a situation he was not prepared to deal with. Good learning experience...
Lucky you didn’t have to get your chauffeur to take the car ahead of the flight trajectory to retrieve it from an autoland on critical battery. That’s the best story I have seen yet, apart from some of the guys on you tube hand catching after swimming for it. All happy endings are good ones.
 
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#12
My P4P 2.0 has a much tougher time navigating through high wind situations than my Mavic Air. The MA is a little more streamlined but it seems to have a bit more problems on ascent and descent than going forward, backwards or side to side in the wind.
 
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#13
I recently had a paid job to take photos of a hotel. My plan was to launch from the roof and ascend up a couple hundred feet before moving laterally to take the shots. All in all, nobody but the management would ever know I was even there. But the first day I went to do this, it was a bit windy and gusty for my liking as I am overly cautious and safety minded. I fly with liability insurance but really don't want any incidents or accidents. Everyone needs to develop their own personal safety limits that they are comfortable with. I believe dji has issued some guidelines for winds and I tend to add a little but of margin to those guidelines.
 
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#14
I have flown my P4 in 20+ mph wind with gusts up to 30+/-. I only did it twice and is not something I would try unless I had to. In both cases I was in Maui and the trade winds around the Kapalua and Hana areas had picked up.

The first time, I was trying to get some video of a blow hole in the area. Once in a lifetime kinda thing as I had never been to the Island before and I didn’t want to waste the opportunity. Nerve wracking to the say the least. Once I was up and flying, the P4 fought like a champ. Very difficult to hold position and even more to bring it back when a gust of wind blew it off track, but with some patience I was able to get to where I wanted to be. Landing was the trick. No way it was going to land on a flat surface, would have just been blown over. Could have hand caught, but even that is hard when the thing and shifting all over the place. Ended up landing behind a rock that was blocking a good portion of the wind.

The second time was on the other side of the island, near Hana. It was blustery when I took off heading just off shore. Was getting some video of the waves coming in against the volcanic rock. It got really windy about 10 min into my flight. Trying to get it home scared the bejesus out of me. Full power against the wind and it barely moved, or even was pushed back. Waves starting climbing so I couldn’t bring it lower for fear of hitting a breaker, and higher up the winds were more consistent and stronger. I started working it side to side in hopes of catching a lull, which eventually I hit. Was able to get it back on shore and eventually into an area semi protected from the wind. Was sure I was going to lose it that second time.

Did get some good video, would in no way risk trying it a third time.

That was good video, subbed you!
 
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#15
When it comes to "when or when not" to fly, whether the issue is weather, wind, darkness, too many people present, or any other reason, my preference is to come back to fly another day. Why not enjoy your flight time vs. endure a state of anxiety. Having said that, flying upwind first and remaining at a low altitude is a good idea if the wind is over 12 mph in my opinion.
 
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#16
You can buy a digital anemometer online for less than $20. Use the device to measure the wind speed and overtime learn where the boundary is.
 
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#17
You can buy a digital anemometer online for less than $20. Use the device to measure the wind speed and overtime learn where the boundary is.
When I got my first Phantom I started to buy one of those... until I realized winds aloft was of more concern than wind at ground level. Now I just use the UAV Forecast app as a general guideline to go by... but nothing beats good old on-site observations and common sense
 

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