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How windy is too much?

Redd

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As a new pilot I am unsure how safe or stable my Mavic is in windy conditions.
It's winter here at the moment and reasonably windy. Everytime I fly i get get a high wind warning. Do I really need to pack up and go home, or am I reasonably safe?
 
The Mavic is very stable in high wind. The problem is that the wind is sometimes so strong that the Mavic is not able to make it back to the home point when flying into the wind. It'll either not be able to fly quickly enough to make it back before the battery reaches the critically low level (causing the Mavic to auto land at its current location) or make negative progress as its flying back.
 
That red box warning is set pretty low and can be safely ignored though don't expect perfect stability and give anything you might hit a wider berth.
At more serious wind speed you'll see a scrolling amber warning at the top of app screen.
If Obstacle Avoidance is turned on your top speed is much reduced and this also affects the ability to resist winds.

If the Mavic has to tilt excessively just to hold in place you might even see compass warnings.
 
As you gain experience you will better be able to judge how wind affects the performance. As stated, be very careful flying too far out.

The guy in this video is nuts to do this so close to the garage door, but it shows how the Mavic responds to strong wind gusts.

 
I was in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and visited the Fisherman's Wharf. It was windy, easily 15 to 20 mph constant gusts (which is probably why there were no helicopters flying tours that afternoon--but I didn't think of that at-the-time). My serious lack of experience let me think that it would cool to get some video flying near Alcatraz. So I launched from a small park west of the wharf.

I got within a few hundred yards of Alcatraz REALLY quickly because of the wind. That's when I started to realize how strong the wind was so I decided to fly back even though I had 80% charge left. I didn't know about using Sport mode (lack of experience) so when I noticed that the Mavic wouldn't fly west back to me--only south if I pointed the drone west, I got nervous. All I could see happening was that the Mavic would hit the water and I'd be out a LOT of money.

It took about fifteen tension filled minutes and all of my nerves to get the Mavic to land on the top level of a parking structure after like five attempts of the stupid drone trying to RTH when it lost signal as I was running towards it for three-quarters of a mile. Stupid drone finally emergency landed on the structure because it was at 8% charge.

My advice: don't ignore the high wind warnings. Just don't fly in high winds at all... I never will again.
 
9 days out of 10 are borderline windy for it here, you can still fly but don't go downwind and don't go too high as speeds can be 2x higher even just above trees and buildings.
With OA disabled 20mph is no problem and 30mph is no big deal.
The difficulty is knowing when that limit is close especially if where you start happens to be sheltered.
 
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As you gain experience you will better be able to judge how wind affects the performance. As stated, be very careful flying too far out.

The guy in this video is nuts to do this so close to the garage door, but it shows how the Mavic responds to strong wind gusts.


Interesting. I'm going to try that tomorrow with an industrial exhaust fan.
 
As a new pilot I am unsure how safe or stable my Mavic is in windy conditions.
It's winter here at the moment and reasonably windy. Everytime I fly i get get a high wind warning. Do I really need to pack up and go home, or am I reasonably safe?
I always try to fly into the prevailing wind, that way your bird 'glides' home effortlessly.
 
Really appreciate all the comments guys.
But can you please explain why having the drone in sports mode helps?
 
I was in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and visited the Fisherman's Wharf. It was windy, easily 15 to 20 mph constant gusts (which is probably why there were no helicopters flying tours that afternoon--but I didn't think of that at-the-time). My serious lack of experience let me think that it would cool to get some video flying near Alcatraz. So I launched from a small park west of the wharf.

I got within a few hundred yards of Alcatraz REALLY quickly because of the wind. That's when I started to realize how strong the wind was so I decided to fly back even though I had 80% charge left. I didn't know about using Sport mode (lack of experience) so when I noticed that the Mavic wouldn't fly west back to me--only south if I pointed the drone west, I got nervous. All I could see happening was that the Mavic would hit the water and I'd be out a LOT of money.

It took about fifteen tension filled minutes and all of my nerves to get the Mavic to land on the top level of a parking structure after like five attempts of the stupid drone trying to RTH when it lost signal as I was running towards it for three-quarters of a mile. Stupid drone finally emergency landed on the structure because it was at 8% charge.

My advice: don't ignore the high wind warnings. Just don't fly in high winds at all... I never will again.
Nearly always windy through the gates ... I would avoid (NEVER) fly out into the bay because even when it feels calm around Pier 29 ... get 100 yards into the bay and winds can pick up very quickly.
 
I was in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and visited the Fisherman's Wharf. It was windy, easily 15 to 20 mph constant gusts (which is probably why there were no helicopters flying tours that afternoon--but I didn't think of that at-the-time). My serious lack of experience let me think that it would cool to get some video flying near Alcatraz. So I launched from a small park west of the wharf.

I got within a few hundred yards of Alcatraz REALLY quickly because of the wind. That's when I started to realize how strong the wind was so I decided to fly back even though I had 80% charge left. I didn't know about using Sport mode (lack of experience) so when I noticed that the Mavic wouldn't fly west back to me--only south if I pointed the drone west, I got nervous. All I could see happening was that the Mavic would hit the water and I'd be out a LOT of money.

It took about fifteen tension filled minutes and all of my nerves to get the Mavic to land on the top level of a parking structure after like five attempts of the stupid drone trying to RTH when it lost signal as I was running towards it for three-quarters of a mile. Stupid drone finally emergency landed on the structure because it was at 8% charge.

My advice: don't ignore the high wind warnings. Just don't fly in high winds at all... I never will again.
I can imagine how stressful that was, but calling your Mavic stupid is uncalled for... LOL [emoji12]
 
Really appreciate all the comments guys.
But can you please explain why having the drone in sports mode helps?
In sports mode you get a lot more speed and power BUT be careful it also gets a lot more responsive to the sticks!
 
I've just spent 3 weeks kiting in Madagascar, where i obviously brought the Mavic.

Now, the wind for 2 weeks was blowing in the 45kn range, and obviously i didn't even think to take it out in those extreme conditions, i was having a hard time myself surviving that type of wind...

Finally we got a week of more relaxed wind, in the 25-30kn range (which, believe me, is a lot when you are in the water, when you miss a trick you really risk hurting yourself) , and i decided to take it out, fully knowing that it was very, very risky. The results:

1- Overall it performed wonderfully.
2- You have to fly it in Sports mode, forget about flying it normally. Without sports mode it would drift away in a heartbeat.
3- I was smart enough to ALWAYS take off downwind and send it upwind to film, the rationale is obvious: it will always be possible (and very, very fast) to fly back downwind, while you'll never know if and in how much time you'll be able to fly back upwind.
4- It was obviously quite tough to keep up with the kite, upwind speed was understandably very, very low.
5- I naturally could only film my wife, who is a relaxed beginner, and for obvious reasons couldn't have the Mavic film myself...i so wish for DJI to enter in the sports market with a tracker.

I haven't yet worked on the original footage but just did a quick edit in the app for my wife (exceptional app BTW), link is below. Please bear in mind that i'm a beginner drone pilot, i have a total of 4h experience.

I think in the hand of a serious pilot with a serious kiteboarder this thing could really make for some uber cool footage.

 
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smart way to fly! Into the wind when leaving home point , coast back on return. Nice video by the way! :)
 
If any of you guys have ever sailed you will know about tacking. That's where you go into the wind in a zigzag motion going off at 45 to 50° angles to the left of the direct wind and then coming back and doing the same thing to the right alone the straight-line of the wind that you're trying to go into. It's house sailboat sail straight into the wind.
 
wh
I was in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and visited the Fisherman's Wharf. It was windy, easily 15 to 20 mph constant gusts (which is probably why there were no helicopters flying tours that afternoon--but I didn't think of that at-the-time). My serious lack of experience let me think that it would cool to get some video flying near Alcatraz. So I launched from a small park west of the wharf.

I got within a few hundred yards of Alcatraz REALLY quickly because of the wind. That's when I started to realize how strong the wind was so I decided to fly back even though I had 80% charge left. I didn't know about using Sport mode (lack of experience) so when I noticed that the Mavic wouldn't fly west back to me--only south if I pointed the drone west, I got nervous. All I could see happening was that the Mavic would hit the water and I'd be out a LOT of money.

It took about fifteen tension filled minutes and all of my nerves to get the Mavic to land on the top level of a parking structure after like five attempts of the stupid drone trying to RTH when it lost signal as I was running towards it for three-quarters of a mile. Stupid drone finally emergency landed on the structure because it was at 8% charge.

My advice: don't ignore the high wind warnings. Just don't fly in high winds at all... I never will again.

Why do you keep calling thew drone stupid?
 
If any of you guys have ever sailed you will know about tacking. That's where you go into the wind in a zigzag motion going off at 45 to 50° angles to the left of the direct wind and then coming back and doing the same thing to the right alone the straight-line of the wind that you're trying to go into. It's how sailboats sail straight into the wind.

Please, no, no , no!

It doesn't work that way in aviation. If you have flown downwind from your home point, then the fastest way back is a straight line.
 
Please, no, no , no!

It doesn't work that way in aviation. If you have flown downwind from your home point, then the fastest way back is a straight line.

Ha ha no kidding. As a skydiver sometimes we get a bad spot. We never ever fly side to side. It's a straight shot in. It would just burn up altitude.
 
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