When flying, one of the most important things (that directly affects your mental health too) is making sure your drone has stability up there. In the first 5 seconds of your aircraft’s flight, you must be confident enough that the wind won’t be a problem, and so you enjoy the flight too.
Remember that you should have fun! What’s the point of flying if you’re gonna be nervous and always at the risk of your aircraft losing control?
I remember being overseas having my Mavic Pro and even though I was on some Greek island with a terrific view that would not only look so good from above but also on my Instagram.
But, I decided not to go ahead with the flight because I knew the aircraft would not get ahead with the strong winds.
I know, part of being a pilot is taking those kinds of decisions when you need to evaluate the risk of flying, and if it’s worth taking it or not.
And that’s why I always recommend buying some drone insurance. That way you know that if something bad happens you’re always covered.
But that’s another topic.
The Mini 3 Pro is currently famous for being an ultralight aircraft, weighing less than 250 grams and offering a compact style, 34 to 47 minutes of flight time, as well as friendly advanced grade features that beginners to professional pilots find useful.
A lot of content creators, as well as vloggers, are buying this model since it’s the perfect tool to create content on the go.
Imagine yourself flying overseas, going through customs, and discovering new places while carrying a lightweight aircraft that will not only be friendly to your back but also help you capture amazing shots from the above.
Well, I bet that a lot of people will be skeptical about buying this drone just for one reason: will it be able to withstand strong winds?
Especially when you’re a beginner, one of the most terrifying things is the thought of your drone being blown away, so many people will prefer to stick with heavier DJI versions like the Mavic Pro or even the Mavic Air.
Honestly, it is a shame that we just make assumptions about the features of a new model, and in so doing we miss out on all that they can really offer us.
So, it’s my job to transparently inform you of the metrics and qualities that this drone has.
In this article, I will discuss the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s wind resistance and tell you all about how it is able to perform in high winds.
What is wind resistance?
First things first, wind resistance is the ability of an aircraft to stay steady when facing high wind speeds.
Typically, drone wind resistance levels are used to describe the ability of any drone out there to control its position versus strong wind. The higher the level, the better performance you will have up there, so you should always look for a bigger number in this metric.
Wind speed resistance ratings usually go from 0 to 12. You need to know what these levels mean.
DJI advertises that the Mini 3 drone has a level 5 wind resistance, so it’s able to handle a wind speed of 24 mph (10 m/s).
If you’re like me and you have no idea of what wind of 24 mph looks like, don’t worry, I got you.
Let’s say that in weather like this, small trees will move, leaves will rustle, and probably you’ll feel a breeze on your face. It’s commonly called a “Fresh breeze.”
Also, just to be clear, this level is before the one called “Strong breeze”, in which large branches are in continuous motion, whistling sounds are heard and umbrellas are used with difficulty.
If you find any of these hints before flying, just so you know, it may not be wise to fly your drone otherwise you will risk crashing or even losing your aircraft.
This doesn’t always mean that you can’t fly your drone, just that it probably will be a little riskier.
Below, you’ll find an example of the levels of miles per hour to have a better understanding and for comparing other models too.
What happens if I fly my drone in high wind?
There are several key points I need to mention to help you understand this, and it’s not only about crashing or losing control…
The average flight time of each DJI battery (depending on the model) is from 20 to 35 minutes. When you are facing strong winds, your drone will need to do extra work to be steady, so the motors will demand more and drain them faster.
To prevent this, you can fly in the direction of the wind and or try lower your altitude a little bit, go down, and fly near the ground. You should see a drastic difference in power consumption.
Remember you can always check your screen to see how much flying time you have and you can even configure an alarm when you’re running out of power.
This is kind of the thing that worries me the most, especially when I’m flying above people, buildings, or even cars.
The wind can produce unpredictable movements in any direction. To avoid this, remember to lower your altitude or land as soon as possible if you notice this happening.
Unsteady images and videos
What’s the point of flying if you’re not recording? You can always edit a shoot but is quite annoying to have the perfect shot and then see that it shook.
To avoid this, be careful when recording terrific content and be sure that the wind is not affecting the quality of your work.
Tip: An insider tip is to always take advantage of the DJI Mobile App, where you can have a quick look at the footage you took and watch out for visual details in your files so that you can decide whether you need to repeat the shot.
The gimble is supposed to work for this but in my experience, there are times in which it just happens (especially in windy conditions).
Risk of Sensors Not Responding
One of the coolest features that DJI offers is the tracking and following of certain objects and people, and that, of course, is thanks to the sensors.
With a strong wind, the drone’s ability to maintain its position might be compromised.
These are common situations that could happen when you’re fighting again unpredicted wind.
To avoid this, I recommend the following:
- Use the Beaufort scale chart (image above) to test and identify the possible threat of blowing winds without having to use a physical object.
- The first time you see a small tree moving fiercely, immediately land, or even better, do not take off if you’re still on the ground.
- Some advanced pilots like to use an anemometer (they sell it on Amazon) to be confident in knowing exactly how strong the wind is.
Even though DJI advertises level 5 wind resistance for the Mini 3 Pro, some pilots mention they have flown above 35% percent of the listed level with no major consequences at all.
Although this is not a recommendation for you to try it.
You might want to consider the max speed specification metric too. In this case, the DJI Mini 3 Pro can fly at a max speed of 36 mph (16 m/s) when it’s in sports mode, so it should be able to remain in place.
I should say that if you’re a beginner or you are still not used to fly, do not take off in these weather conditions.
To keep up with what we have discussed so far:
- DJI Mini 3 Pro official wind resistance level is 5 with a limit of 24 mph, or 10 m/s.
- With evidence of some brave pilots, the drone can fight as much as 36 mph, or 16 m/s. (It’s your decision if you try it or not).
- The higher you go, the windier it will get.
- If you fly at 100 ft the wind will be stronger than flying at the ground level.
- In perfect weather, the only force that will be exerted on your drone is gravity and the rotating propellers, but when flying with the wind, you’ll fight with external forces.
- Calibrate your drone to enhance the IMU and be able to detect these winds for the propellers to develop sufficient force against it.
- Give adequate maintenance so the IMU will continue working and calculating wind speeds and tilt angles in real-time.
To summarize, always remember to evaluate these aspects before ordering your Mini DJI 3 Pro or any model at all.
The Mini has proven to be an amazing and affordable option to create high-quality content and I believe it has a high-value offer for all the aspects it includes, like 4k video, follow me features, vertical video, etc.
You just need to evaluate what kind of flights you’ll be doing and how well you believe your aircraft will behave in the conditions you plan to use it in.
Thus, if you ever catch yourself in a situation where the wind gains power, just bring the drone down to a lower altitude and try to land as soon as possible in a calm way.