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Can Drones Fly In Strong Winds?

There are many people that own drones here in the United States and along with many people owning them there are a lot of unanswered questions that people have. If you have ever flown a drone before you know that there is a lot of information that you need to know before you begin flying. Once you know the book of this information you are free to take your drone out and have fun with it. 

If you’ve ever flown your drone very much though you noticed that you come across another question that you may not know the answer to. This question has to do with flying your drone and strong winds. If you have ever taken your drone outside before and going to fly in someone told you that you could not fly it because it was too windy you may be wondering if they are telling you the truth. 

Although drones can fly in strong winds, it is not recommended as a strong wind gust can easily make your drone crash or make it fall out of the sky by disrupting the signal. This is why if you own a drone it is never smart to try and fly your drone in strong winds unless it is an emergency. 

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With the frequent changes in the world’s climatic conditions today, many manufacturers have designed their outdoor devices to adapt to these atmospheric variations. Drones actually come with a functional system that governs their use when being flown during outdoor activities like aerobatics, videography, photography, among others. The systems designed in these drones make them usable when in bad weather like mild to strong winds. This is because drone manufacturers want you to be able to purchase a drone and fly it whenever you want regardless of the weather conditions. 

What drones fly best in strong winds?

The best drone to fly in strong winds is actually a quadcopter. They are actually designed to fly in strong winds. Sometimes, the intensity of wind may be so high though that even the most powerful drones are swept away by the prevalent wind gusts. When a drone flies too high and loses connection with its controller in such a strong wind, its functionality features may fail. Because this is a possibility, it is not worth risking your quadcopter. Instead, it is best to simply wait for the wind to completely die down.

The intensity of wind matters

When you are flying the device in the wind, you will want to be sure that the speed of the wind does not exceed around 35 mph. You also ought to check your drone’s specifications before you fly your drone in the winds. The latest commercial drones can operate in an airstream between 10 and 30 mph. Every drone has a maximum speed that determines the wind speed in which it can fly. The aviation rule of thumb states that wind can be up to two-thirds of the device’s maximum speed. This means for example that if a device has a capacity of flying to up to 16 mph, the maximum wind speed that you should fly that drone in is 10 mph.

Types of wind encountered by drones

Wind refers to the movement of air. It results when the earth is unevenly heated by the sun and the earth’s rotation. The winds range from light intensity breezes to extremely strong winds such as tornadoes and hurricanes. As everyone knows, there are many different types of winds. Here, we will focus on those that drones often come into contact with. These are planetary winds that mostly blow during the year from one section of the earth’s atmosphere to another because of the different air pressures. These winds include:

  • Heat winds 

They are quite strong, and drone pilots are warned against taking flight in these winds. The heat winds are caused when warm air is heated by the sun from the ground.

  • Local winds 

Local winds are caused when there are differences in air and land temperature. The four types of local winds are cold, hot, convectional, and slope wind. You can fly your drone in this wind as they are somewhat gentle.

  • Constant wind 

This is the wind that occurs when there is a general weather situation. It can also happen when there is a gentle breeze on the land or on the sea, which is often constant and of the same frequency every day. You can fly your drones in these winds, especially if you have a high tech drone.

  • Thermal wind 

This is an updraft wind which is generated when warm air that is heated on the ground by the sun begins to rise. Thermal winds are sturdy and not very suitable for flying drones.

Things to Consider When Flying in Strong Winds

Always consider the direction of the wind when flying your drone. If you hover your drone in the course of strong winds, the quadcopter is likely to use lots of energy and, therefore, draining the battery significantly and reducing its flight time. Flying it in the direction of the wind also means that the drone can only travel a short distance before its battery will be drained.

You should also consider the mode of your drone. Drones either have the manual mode, GPS mode, sports mode, or ATTI mode. When using the GPS mode, the drone will have a definite flying speed, and you will be required to carefully read the instructions of the manual and learn how far the drone can fly. The sports mode will allow the drone to fly in mild winds.

Tips for Flying a Drone in Strong Winds

There are specific tips to consider when flying drones in strong winds. If followed with utmost caution, these tips will help you mitigate the risks that can happen to your drone. 

  • Ensure the batteries of the drone are fully charged before you take flight
  • Protect the drone during takeoffs by turning it to the side the wind is blowing and staying away from the device when it is taking off.
  • Stay away from people, trees, and buildings to avoid losing signal loss and encountering unexpected movements of the drone.
  • Fly a little lower as it becomes windier when you go higher. Maintain a height of roughly 40 to 50 meters to avoid being exposed to stronger winds.
  • Always fly in a vast and open area where it is easy to retrieve the drone if it crashes.
  • Make the drone face the direction of the wind when you are landing to avoid possible slipping and potential damages to the drone.


We now know that wind is a science on its own, and that is why there exist different complex types of winds. For this reason, any pilot should learn how to fly his/her drone in different windy conditions. Initially, it may seem like a very daunting task, however, after some consistent training, especially for commercial drones, your skills will be on another level.

Depending on your place of residence, your ability to fly the drone can be limited by the weather of the region. While everyone thinks that it is almost impossible to operate the device in the presence of strong winds, now that you know the limitations of the drones, you have a great advantage over other people.