Flying your DJI Mini 4 Pro in the Winter – Tips for Beginners

Estimated read time 7 min read

Good day, folks! Shawn here from Air Photography. The holiday season has come to an end, and some of you may have gotten a new drone. Now that things have slowed down, you might be wanting to go out for your very first flight.

Of course, in many places here in Canada and around the world, it’s the middle of winter, and you might be wondering whether you can fly your drone in cold temperatures, if there’s light snow, and in the middle of winter, just in general. The simple answer is yes, you can.

However, it’s a bit different from flying on a nice warm sunny day in the summertime. There are some extra precautions that you need to take, and in this video, we’re going to go over some of those precautions and a few tips to make sure you have a good and successful first flight if you are brand new to drones.

Beginner Tips for Flying Your DJI Mini 4 Pro in the Winter

Now, the first thing I recommend is picking up a landing pad because, with snow on the ground, you don’t want to put your drone down in the snow. Landing pads are fairly inexpensive, and you can get them on Amazon quite cheap.

There are also a lot of do-it-yourself methods as well if you want to make your own landing pad. Of course, you can always learn to hand launch and hand catch, but if you’re brand new to drones, that’s something I don’t recommend right away.

Even though something like the Mini 4 Pro here is pretty small and not as aggressive as maybe a larger drone, it still can do some damage, so I would recommend starting with a landing pad.

One thing to keep in mind with drones and a lot of tech in general is that for the batteries to work correctly, they need to be warm. If they’re frozen or really cold, you’re not going to get the same type of performance, and that’s a key factor when flying a drone in the winter. You want to keep your batteries warm.

Now, there are a couple of simple tips for that. The first thing you can do is just keep your drone batteries in an inside pocket of your jacket. Your body temperature will help keep them at a nice temperature. The other thing you can do is purchase one of those electronic hand warmers. I’ve used them in the past, and they work quite well.

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You can just put it on a low setting right inside your drone bag, and that will help keep everything at a nice temperature. The thing is, when drone batteries get cold, they can lose power very quickly, and that’s something you don’t want when the drone is up in the air.

The other important thing you have to be very careful with drones when flying in the winter is that there doesn’t even have to be any type of snow. If there’s a lot of moisture in the air and it’s hovering right around zero, you can actually get ice built up on your props.

Of course, that’s a dangerous situation, and you don’t want that. That’s something to keep in mind when you’re doing a flight: make sure you come back frequently to check your propellers, clean them off if need be. If you see that they’re getting an extreme amount of ice built up on them, it probably means it’s just not a good day to fly, and I wouldn’t personally risk it.

So that goes into my next point: if you’re going to be flying in cold temperatures and there’s perhaps light snow, I would recommend keeping your flight short, and I wouldn’t fly too far away. Just in case something does happen, you don’t want to have to go hiking miles away to try and find your drone.

Keep it in your general area. Of course, you’re always supposed to be flying within visual line of sight anyway, so that’s just something to keep in mind. But doing those small, frequent flights allows you to check your propellers in between flights. You can bring the drone home, land it, inspect it, and then continue your flight.

That’s something I highly recommend. Myself, I usually only fly for about 10 minutes at a time, and then I’ll bring the drone in, check it out, make sure everything is good. As mentioned, I also don’t fly very far. You know, in the summertime, especially here in Canada with a mini drone, we can fly beyond visual line of sight, but definitely in the winter, I don’t fly very far at all. In addition to that, I usually don’t fly as aggressively, just again, just to make sure I don’t have any issues.

The other thing you may want to consider is getting a good pair of drone gloves or photography gloves. Most of them are just nice, making it a little bit more comfortable to fly in these cold temperatures. Some gloves allow you to touch the screen with them, but myself, I like ones that I can actually remove the fingers.

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It just gives me a little bit more control on the joysticks. The other thing you can do is fly from your car. Of course, again, as mentioned, you’re supposed to keep it within visual line of sight, so make sure you’re flying out in front of you so you can see it through the windshield. But flying in a nice warm car can definitely make it more comfortable and make it a more enjoyable flight.

With today’s modern drones and the signal strength, being inside a car will not affect your signal at all. And of course, as mentioned, you’re not going to be flying very far away anyway, so there’s no issue there at all.

Another thing to keep in mind is sometimes the snow can really mess up the sensors, especially if it’s wet snow, and you start getting droplets formed on them. So again, keep them clean. Personally, myself, I don’t fly when it’s wet snow, only when it’s a little bit colder, and you know, that kind of snow just kind of blows away from the drone.

But when you have really wet snow, it can kind of stick to everything, and when you bring your drone back, it’s going to be dripping wet. So, you can perhaps risk damaging it. So myself, I’ll fly when it is snowing out but only if it’s light snow and it’s really dry snow, not when it’s wet snow.

So yeah, just a few tips for you if you’re going to be flying your drone in the wintertime. You can get some beautiful shots in the winter. It’s a great time to fly, just take those extra precautions, and you’re going to have a nice and safe flight.

I want to thank you for watching this video. Hopefully, you enjoyed it and got some value out of it. Give it a thumbs up if you did; it’s always greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot for watching, and we’ll see you in the next one.

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