Can a Drone Fly in Strong Winds? (With Flight Tips)


It’s a bit windy out there at the moment, but you’re wondering if you can still get out the drone and take it for a flight. How windy is too windy? Will the drone be able to handle a bit of a stiff breeze without veering out of control and crashing? Is it worth risking a drone flight on a windy day?

Many drones can fly in strong winds, but it depends on the specifications of your drone. As a rule of thumb, drones can fly in winds that are two-thirds of their maximum speed. If the wind is stronger than two-thirds of the drone’s max speed, then the drone probably won’t be able to fly well.

There are different kinds of drones that all have their own specifications regarding how fast they can go and how well they can fly in certain types of conditions. That said, drones can indeed fly in strong winds but it really depends on how capable the drone is. This is the reason why you need to know your drone’s specifications the next time you want to try to fly one during a particularly windy day.

At What Wind Speed Can a Drone Fly?

One of the things you need to take into consideration whenever you are flying a drone is that drones have their limits. That means that, no matter how expensive or how advanced your drone is, it still is a limited piece of technology that won’t be able to fly in all types of conditions. In simple terms, you probably won’t be able to fly your drone when the wind is too strong.

Before we get there, let us first look at what kind of wind conditions a drone is capable of flying. After all, not all drones are made equal in the sense that there are some drones that are capable of flying in stronger winds while others are merely capable of flying in light to normal wind conditions.

To be more specific, most commercial drones can fly at wind speeds of somewhere between 10 and 30 miles per hour (mph). Larger drones that are more expensive and have better and bigger propellers inherently have more stable flight capabilities and will more than likely still fly well in wind speeds of 30 mph or even more than that. Meanwhile, smaller drones are better off flying at normal wind speeds, or whenever the weather isn’t very windy at all.

Whatever the case may be, it is best to make sure that you do not fly your drones at wind speeds that are higher than approximately 35 mph. You may be able to go beyond 30 if you are really expert at controlling your drone but you shouldn’t try to risk losing your drone when the winds are stronger than 35 mph.

How to know what wind conditions your drone can handle

So, how can you tell whether or not your drone can fly in certain wind conditions? After all, as we mentioned, drones are not made to equal in that there are drones that are more capable of braving stronger winds while some are better off flying in normal wind conditions.

Well, the best way for you to estimate the top wind speeds that your drone can handle is to know what your drone’s maximum speed is. That’s because a drone that is stronger and faster can naturally fight off strong winds, having more powerful motors and bigger thrust, while drones that aren’t very fast won’t have the power and speed to fly through sub-optimal wind conditions.

The rule of thumb to remember when you are flying your drone is that it should only be flying when the wind conditions are two-thirds or less of the drone’s maximum speed. There is no exact science behind this rule but this is what most drone enthusiasts and experts follow to be on the safe side whenever they are flying their drones.

For example, if your drone can fly at maximum speeds of 30 mph, then your drone will probably be able to handle wind speeds of 20 mph at the maximum. You can probably fly it in slightly faster wind speeds at the expense of having complete control over the drone but, to be on the safe side, you should follow the two-thirds rule so that you won’t ever have to risk losing your drone to winds that are too strong for it.

What Will Happen If I Fly My Drone in Strong Winds?

If you do want to brave the strong winds and fly your drone in the middle of a particularly windy day even though your drone isn’t rated to fly in such strong winds, you might be wondering what’s the worst that could happen to it.

Danger at Take Off

First off, the take-off segment is potentially the most dangerous part especially when the winds are too strong. That’s because it is still trying to gain elevation and the propellers haven’t picked up speed yet. At this point, the drone can easily get displaced by the strong winds as soon as it takes off. This can easily destroy the drone or cause it to crash into someone.

Hovering Difficulty

Second, when the drone is hovering, it won’t be able to stay horizontally leveled if the winds are too strong. It will try to compensate for it by flying against the direction of the wind so that it will be able to keep itself leveled horizontally. However, that will force its motors to work harder, which can easily overheat the drone and even end up damaging its motors and propellers in the process.

Loss of Control

Then there is also the possibility of losing control over the drone while it is in the air. The winds might be so strong that your drone will be carried by them. In this situation, you won’t be able to properly control where you want the drone to go, and it will probably go where you don’t want it to!

Danger at Landing

Lastly, the landing part can be just as difficult as the take-off. While landing your drone, it can easily get dislodged by the wind and cause it to get damaged when it hits something or cause injury when it crashes into someone.

All those scenarios point to how you probably shouldn’t try to fly your drone when the winds are too strong for it. You would only be risking damage to your drone or even injury to someone or yourself in the process of trying to make it fly in windy conditions.

How Do You Fly a Drone in Windy Weather?

Whenever you do decide to fly your drone during windy weather because you simply want to or because you have to (such as when you need to take a photo of the skyline for an urgent deadline), then here are some tips to take into consideration to make it possible for you to fly your drone well regardless of how strong the winds might be:

  • During take-off and landing, stand between the wind and the drone so that it will be easier for it to take off and land without the wind bothering it while it is still picking up speed or while it is beginning to slow down as it lands.
  • While the drone is in the air, try to find spots where the wind gets blocked by a tall structure such as a tree or a building. This will make it easier for you to keep the wind from interfering with the drone’s flight.
  • Don’t try to take the drone too high up in the sky where the winds are stronger. Doing so will only make it more difficult for you to control the drone.
  • If you can, use a drone that is fast and strong enough that it can fly in strong winds. Avoid using smaller drones that are not capable of flying in strong winds because they will easily get blown away when the wind gets too strong.
  • Keep in mind that windy conditions are guaranteed to drain the battery faster, so expect a shorter than usual flight time, and plan your photography needs and flight plan accordingly.

What Is the Best Drone for Windy Conditions?

If you are looking for the best drone that can fly in the middle of a particularly windy day, we recommend that you use the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. This drone is often considered to be the best commercial drone available on the market today because of how fast it is and how it can withstand strong winds. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can fly at speeds of about 45 mph, which will allow it to fly at wind speeds of 30 mph. As such, this is a beast that has become legendary in the commercial drone world today.

And for those who want only the best camera for their drones, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can record videos at 4K resolution and can live stream at 1080p. This makes it a strong drone with some of the best video and photography capabilities. You can learn more about the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 here and decide whether it’s the right drone for you.

Elizabeth Ciobanu

Editor-in-Chief. Elizabeth is a full-time (homeschooling!) mom of four, and serial entrepreneur in a variety of enterprises, one of which is producing content for Droneblog. If free time existed, she would love to spend more time on hobbies such as flying a drone.

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