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Snow flying

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Now that we are getting closer to the snow flying, are there any tips and tricks for flying in the snow ?
 
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- Hands get very cold on sticks quite quickly when it's snowy. Thin cycling gloves are a good compromise between stick feel and warmth, or you can get proper 'transmitter gloves'.
- Put your batteries in your pockets to keep them warm (mitigates the shorter flight times you get in the cold).
- Take sunglasses with you - if the sun is out, there will be nowhere to look that isn't too bright if you forget them !
- Use a landing pad so you don't flick wet snow up into your gimbal on launch / landing
- Be extra careful what you are standing on as you move about. Don't want to be falling over holding that controller...
- Enjoy the relatively rare situation where the sky is roughly the same exposure as the ground !
 
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Steve Carr

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so you don't get a fogging lens.
Agree with all of that except for the fogging. A cold lens will fog when brought into a warm room. A warm lens taken outside into the cold will not fog.
If it's snowing you may want to find a place to keep the ST16 dry. Once the screen gets wet the touchscreen functions won't work. I cut the fingertip off of one glove to fly when it gets really cold. As AeroJ points out, your hands will freeze holding the controller. Don't try to do any precision flying in cold weather. It's much more cumbersome to maneuver and things may feel sluggish so stay well away from any obstacles. Expect flight times around 10 min even with warm batteries.
 
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A couple of winter fly techniques that I've learned-by-doing:Screenshot (27).pngScreenshot 2018-01-11 22.49.22.png9 F in MI looks like this 2018-01-11.png
  • I keep the batteries at room temp and put each batt in a spare glove to keep it from getting too chilled.
  • I have shooters gloves, with flip off fingertips so I keep the majority of my hand warm. Flip the fingertips back over when not flying.
  • When I'm ready to fly, I'll boot up the ST16 and then the H, finally starting the motors ASAP and letting them idle for up to 2 minutes while the batteries warm-up and the electronics stabilize.
  • I take off and climb out at max power levels to heat up the batts, then back off to the "half-rabbit" speed setting.
  • On really cold days, I will often get "Low Voltage" warnings just a couple minutes into the flight.
  • If I back down to full "Turtle" mode and maneuver gently, the battery voltage will rise back up and no further low-volt warnings even with subsequent hi-current maneuvers.
  • I've flown often on winter days with temps around 7 to 9 degrees F. Letting the electronics warm up and stabilize seems to produce better flight characteristics.
  • I avoid flying in rain, although sometimes a light mist condition is unavoidable.
  • I've flown in snowfall, even heavy, without a moisture problem. I let the airframe (without batteries) cool off in the garage so the camera lens doesn't melt snow to droplets.
  • On bright sunny days with 100% snow cover on the ground, I set the camera EV on the ST16 to overexpose by 1.0 or more F-stops. Depends on whether subject is on ground or blue sky. ND filters, UV filter, and Polarizing filter provide a wide range of good results.
 

Steve Carr

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All good tips. I preheat the batteries to about 85° to 95° F and put them in an insulated bag.
 

NorWiscPilot

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Nice list and very nice pics!

I often fly when temps are in the single digits. More confidence is obtained when the water under one’s feet and in the landing zone is solid in nature!

Just have to ask (tongue in cheek)... how can it be that “...sometimes flying in mist is unavoidable”?

Pilot either flies the craft or doesn’t. Unless a sudden onslaught arrives unexpectedly, flying conditions are always “avoidable”.

Just sayin’. 🤣

Looking forward to more beautiful images from the coming season.

Jeff
 
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Steve Carr

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I have one just like that I set up for the Q500. Made a wire cage to fit inside so it doesn't interfere with the sticks.
 
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A couple of winter fly techniques that I've learned-by-doing:View attachment 19117View attachment 19118View attachment 19119
  • I keep the batteries at room temp and put each batt in a spare glove to keep it from getting too chilled.
  • I have shooters gloves, with flip off fingertips so I keep the majority of my hand warm. Flip the fingertips back over when not flying.
  • When I'm ready to fly, I'll boot up the ST16 and then the H, finally starting the motors ASAP and letting them idle for up to 2 minutes while the batteries warm-up and the electronics stabilize.
  • I take off and climb out at max power levels to heat up the batts, then back off to the "half-rabbit" speed setting.
  • On really cold days, I will often get "Low Voltage" warnings just a couple minutes into the flight.
  • If I back down to full "Turtle" mode and maneuver gently, the battery voltage will rise back up and no further low-volt warnings even with subsequent hi-current maneuvers.
  • I've flown often on winter days with temps around 7 to 9 degrees F. Letting the electronics warm up and stabilize seems to produce better flight characteristics.
  • I avoid flying in rain, although sometimes a light mist condition is unavoidable.
  • I've flown in snowfall, even heavy, without a moisture problem. I let the airframe (without batteries) cool off in the garage so the camera lens doesn't melt snow to droplets.
  • On bright sunny days with 100% snow cover on the ground, I set the camera EV on the ST16 to overexpose by 1.0 or more F-stops. Depends on whether subject is on ground or blue sky. ND filters, UV filter, and Polarizing filter provide a wide range of good results.
Can you fly the mantis Q in the snow
 

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