After doing all that research, putting your money together, learning how to fly your new drone, wouldn’t it just suck if you went out crashed it on your very first flight?
Even if you are very anxious to lift off and start learning to fly your new drone, you must cultivate the discipline to know when and when not to fly.
There are some conditions that even master drone operators couldn’t prevent a drone crash. Under those conditions, a beginning drone pilot would have zero chance of not destroying your unit.
Best conditions to fly drones
Let us begin with the best times to fly your drone. In fact, I would recommend that you wait for these time slots to occur when starting out. Doesn’t it just make sense to learn under perfect conditions?
Afternoons and mornings. Most drone operators recommend flying in the mornings and afternoons. There are a few solid reasons for this.
Number one is that the sun is not directly overhead. Midday suns can be harsh and adversely affect your vision. It is not a good idea to fly your drone ‘silhouette’ around the sky. Your vision will eventually fail you and you’ll lose track of its location.
And if you are heavy into drone photography, you will not get the best shots under a midday sun.
Secondly, winds tend to be gentler during those times of the day – generally speaking. And this is where we segue into the next condition.
Zero or very gentle winds. As you might expect, winds can be viewed as a drone’s kryptonite. The obvious reason is that your drone is relatively light, so it will be no contest for a strong or gusting wind.
A more subtle reason for not flying in the wind as a newbie is that you are prone to develop bad flying habits. When you are learning a new skill, your brain and body are trying to develop new muscle memory. It’s just not a good idea to set your muscle memory ‘baseline’ for flying drones under adverse conditions. I hope that makes sense.
Worst times to fly drones
As a pure beginner, you should wait for the best times to fly your drone. After your flying skills have advanced, this will change somewhat because you no longer need to wait for those ideal conditions.
Instead, you will now need to focus on the worst times to fly drones. These are the times when you could demolish your drone, or damage someone else’s property resulting in a major lawsuit.
Winds, winds, winds. Once again, we have to address those gusting winds. You must learn to avoid these at all costs. Gusting winds will not only destroy your drone, they can crash your unit into someone’s property. Never forget that the Lipo batteries in your drone can be a serious fire hazard.
Rain. Most of us know better than to fly our drones in the rain. This is because our drones contain lots of instrumentation that could be destroyed by water.
However, what could happen to even the most cautious drone pilot is that the rain starts after your drone is in the air. You simply can’t avoid getting some moisture under these circumstances.
Your first step is to retrieve your drone immediately. Then move it to a dry place and disconnect your battery first thing. Let the unit and battery dry out thoroughly before trying to fly again.
Hot and humid. Hot and humid days aren’t the best conditions to fly your drone, but in some locations, you really don’t have much choice. If this is you, remember to store your drone in a dry environment and always disconnect your battery right after flying. Give your battery time to dry before recharging.
Cold weather. The biggest issue under cold weather conditions is how it affects your battery. As a general rule, cold weather is very hard on them.
When flying in these conditions, understand that your battery’s charge will be shorter and you will not be able to fly as long.
As you read over these best and worst conditions to fly your drone, you probably said to yourself, “That’s just common sense!”
And you would be exactly right. Most of the time, you will face combinations of the conditions we discussed, and it will be a judgment call on your part. There are very few clear-cut decisions out there.
If there you have any doubt at all, always seek the counsel of authorized dealers and/or manufacturers. They are drone professionals who have access to the specifications and the test data that supports them.