If you’re an avid drone flyer, there are some cases where you might want to fly your drone in the rain for a variety of different reasons. While most electronics are not built to get wet, you might be thinking that your drone is different. So, can you fly your drone in the rain?
Consumer drones such as the ones that are popular among DJI drones are not meant to be flown in the rain because they are not waterproof. Only certain industrial drones that are meant for site mapping are built to be able to fly in the rain, as well as a few other specific waterproof drones.
As popular as DJI’s consumer drones may be, one weakness is that they are not meant to be flown during the rain. This is not just DJI drones either, as most consumer drones of any brand are not waterproof. However, if you really want to fly a drone in the rain, you can go for the more expensive industrial drones. Some of these can be flown for commercial and industrial purposes but are typically too expensive for casual recreational flying.
Can you fly a DJI drone in the rain?
The bad news here is that it is that DJI’s line of consumer drones such as the Inspire, Phantom, Spark, and Mavic lines are not meant to be flown in the rain. However, this does not come from the people behind DJI themselves because there is no official word as to whether or not these drones are waterproof or, at the very least, water-resistant.
In effect, what this means is that all of DJI’s consumer drones are meant for recreational flying, and are not meant to be flown during rainy conditions. They are designed in such a way that they do not have any protection in the small orifices and openings that rainwater can easily enter.
The moment water enters the drone through such openings, you very well might end up seeing your drone shorting out in the middle of the air and crash down. Of course, that’s because it is basic knowledge and common sense that water and electronics do not mix well together.
The fact that DJI even recommends that you should not land your drone on anything with water on it is further evidence that these drones are not meant to handle even minor amounts of water. Of course, other than water damage, there are also other factors you need to consider before you decide to fly your drone in the rain.
Often when it is raining, the rain is accompanied by winds that tend to be stronger than usual. Because of that, you may have trouble flying your drone in the air against stronger winds. Again, this is because most recreational DJI drones that are meant for recreational purposes are not designed to be flown in inclement weather conditions.
Of course, there is also the fact that the rainwater just simply makes everything more difficult for you and your drone. And if you want to take photos with your drone on a rainy day, expect the quality of the photos to be impacted, because the rain will leave drops and splatters on your drone’s camera. Just one more reason that there is no point in flying a recreational DJI drone on a rainy day unless you really are determined to tempt fate.
One possible exception where you might take a chance could be the DJI Mavic. This drone might be able to do better than most other recreational DJI drones because there seems to be little to no openings where water can enter if you indeed fly it in rainy conditions. Still, DJI has not given an IP rating to the Mavic which would indicate that it can be flown in the rain. That means that there is still a good chance that it could end up getting damaged if flown in the rain.
Which drones are waterproof?
|Drone model||Can it fly in the rain?|
|DJI Mini/Mini 2||No|
|DJI Phantom 3/Phantom 4||No|
|DJI Mavic Air 2||No|
|DJI Mavic Pro 2||No|
|DJI Matrice 200||Yes|
1. DJI Mini/Mini 2
The DJI Mavic Mini and Mini 2 are the smallest and lightest drones in DJI’s lineup, as they weigh under 250 grams and are not required under the law to be registered with the FAA. These drones are great for hobbyists who want to carry drones that are light and small enough to fit inside pockets and smaller bags. However, as small and as light as they may be, neither the Mini nor the Mini 2 should be flown in the rain.
2. DJI Spark
The DJI Spark is another one of DJI’s smaller drones as it weighs 300 grams and is just a tad heavier than the Mini. What makes the Spark stand out is that it comes with most of DJI’s signature features and technologies but comes in a package that is small and lightweight. It includes intelligent flight control and an amazing camera. However, just like the Mini, it was not meant to be flown in wet conditions.
3. DJI Phantom3/Phantom 4
The Phantom line of DJI drones is one of the more popular and more powerful recreational drone lines in DJI’s lineup. This is a drone that is a lot heavier than most other recreational drones on the market due to its size. But, because of how big it is, it has powerful rotors and has all of the neat features that you may be looking for from a DJI drone. Still, as big and as powerful as it might be, it does not have the durability of the bigger industrial drones and was not designed to be flown in the rain.
4. DJI Mavic Air 2
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is one of the best drones in DJI’s recreational lineup precisely because of how amazing it is at capturing photos and videos. This drone can be folded and is quite light so that it is easy to carry around. And while the Mavic Air 2 is not meant to be flown in the rain, it may be able to handle a little bit of light rain better than some of the other DJI drones since it doesn’t have a lot of openings where rainwater can easily enter.
5. DJI Mavic Pro
The DJI Mavic Pro is the more advanced version of the Mavic line in DJI’s roster of recreational drones or prosumer drones. It is one of the best drones when it comes to a perfect balance of flight capabilities and camera performance. And just like the Mavic Air line, it can withstand a slight amount of wet conditions better than most drones can – but that doesn’t make it waterproof or even water-resistant.
6. DJI Matrice 200
Now, if we are talking about DJI drones that are meant for commercial or industrial purposes, the DJI Matrice 200 was meant to handle tough weather conditions. This means it can be used for whatever job it is supposed to handle regardless of how tough the weather may be. As such, it can withstand rain and snow due to its IP43 water-resistant rating. So, if you’re prepared to pay extra for a larger and more powerful industrial drone that will be able to fly in the rain, then the DJI Matrice should be a good choice.
7. DJI Agras
Like the Matrice, the DJI Agras is another industrial drone that can also be flown in the rain. This drone comes with eight rotors making it very powerful and also very expensive. That’s why it is usually only used by those who are willing to shell out some serious money for its high price tag or for those who are going to use it for industrial purposes.
How to waterproof your drone
Even though none of DJI’s recreational drones are meant to be flown in the rain, you don’t have to worry because there is a way for you to make your drone a bit more water-resistant. That’s not to say that they can match the water resistance of the Matrice and Agras lines, but you can up the durability of a standard DJI consumer drone with a few tricks.
The best way for you to make your DJI drones resistant to water (but not exactly waterproof) is to use a silicone conformal coating that is meant to cover all of the electrical components that water can damage. This is to prevent water from possibly invading your drone and damaging the electrical components that aren’t protected.
If you want to make your drone water-resistant, here is how you do it:
- Buy these two things: a silicone conformal coating. The conformal coating is supposed to cover the sensitive parts of your drone.
- Remove the coverings and heat shrinks from the drone’s circuit board.
- Clean the circuit board very well using a soft brush or a dry cloth. Remove all of the dirt so that you can apply the conformal coating to a nice, clean surface that is easy for it to adhere to.
- Apply the silicone conformal coating by brushing a thin layer of it over all of the electronic components except for the buttons, sensors, and connection ports.
- Allow the silicone conformal coating to dry. Use a black light to check if you missed any spots that should be covered. You only need one coat of the conformal coating as long as you covered all of the electrical components.
How to get water out of your drone
What if you made the mistake of flying your drone in the rain even though it isn’t waterproof? Or what if you landed it on the water by mistake? How can you get the water out of your drone to minimize the water damage, or prevent it from further damaging the drone? Here are some things you can try:
- Remove the drone from the water or the rain and switch it off immediately to prevent electricity from flowing through the drone.
- Remove the battery from the drone. If the drone was submerged in water, the battery is likely ruined and should be replaced.
- Use distilled water to flush out as much water as possible from the drone. This might sound counterproductive but the purpose of doing so is to remove water that can cause corrosion. Distilled water is less likely to be as corrosive as rainwater or saltwater.
- Take the top cover off your drone and allow the drone to sit in a tub or bucket that is full of raw rice.
- Allow the rice to absorb the distilled water from your drone.
- Take your drone out and wipe it clean with a damp towel.
- Don’t attempt to turn your drone on unless it is completely dry.
- Try turning it on with the top cover removed. If there is any smoke, make sure to switch it off completely because that means that a component may have short-circuited. If not, then there is a good chance that your drone was not damaged by the water.
- If damaged, try to find out which parts are damaged. Bring the drone to a nearby DJI repair service center as soon as possible. Do not turn the drone on before it gets repaired.