What would you do if you were on vacation planning to fly your Mavic Air and it was windy every day?
Would you fly it anyways?
Or would you play it safe and keep it grounded?
That is exactly what happened to me on a recent week long vacation.
Everyday was windy and I was nervous to fly in case something happened to the drone.
As the vacation progressed, I kept passing up beautiful opportunities until finally I couldn’t take it anymore.
I picked a really open area to see how well it could handle the wind.
As the Mavic took off from the ground, it shifted position a couple of feet before stabilizing. A wind warning appeared on the screen, but the Mavic Air was maintaining its position pretty well.
So, naturally, I decided to fly it around to see how the footage would turn out.
For the most part, the Mavic Air flew well. Occasionally, the drone jumped a couple of inches from due to gusts of wind, but it quickly went back to being stable.
Flying next to a rock outcrop, it became more apparent that even though the Mavic Air was mostly stable and the image on the app screen looked stable, whenever the wind picked up speed, the drone would tend to drift.
The Mavic Air performed best facing into the wind or directly away from the wind. Fly sideways against the wind exposed more surface area and the drone became less stable.
On one occasion, the wind became much stronger and a second but different warning appeared, instructing me to return to home ASAP.
As I turned to return to home perpendicular to the wind, a strong gust of wind hit for a couple of seconds. The Mavic Air did not flip over but it did spin almost 360 degrees before regaining stability.
The flight home was mostly stable. I had to deal with a little drift, but the drone managed it well and it was still easy to bring the drone the rest of the way home.
So how did the footage turn out?
To my surprise, the gimbal did an amazing job.
There were occasional blips, some bounciness when I flew sideways and the time it spun out.
Fortunately, most of the footage was fine. I could tell that there was wind due to the vegetation blowing, but the footage was smooth.
As a result, I would not feel too concerned with flying it in a light breeze. Though it handled stronger winds pretty well, I will not push my luck when the wind warning comes on as the spinout did get me a bit nervous.
It also seemed like my battery did not last as long in the wind. I did not look at the exact length of the flight, but it felt shorter, which would make sense as the drone would have to work harder to remain stable.
If it is windy, I would plan on cutting the flight short to not run out of battery, but that should not be much of a problem if you are flying line of sight anyways.