How not to drown a drone while flying over water

For the most part, flights direct­ly over the water sur­face have a num­ber of prob­lems. This is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to col­lide with birds or boats, as well as lose con­trol of the copter due to a strong gust of wind. How­ev­er, true pro­fes­sion­als know how to catch a good shot, even if they have to send a drone into a field over an open body of water. The arti­cle below pro­vides tips on how to take good pho­tos with a quad­copter with­out los­ing expen­sive equip­ment.



Fly­ing over the sur­face of the water is not an activ­i­ty for begin­ners, but for expe­ri­enced pilots who have a cer­tain knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence base that will help in man­ag­ing in an extreme sit­u­a­tion. If there is lit­tle expe­ri­ence, but you want to try, then it is bet­ter to first mas­ter the tech­nique of flight con­trol over the ground. With enough time to fly the drone in a nor­mal envi­ron­ment, the basis for fur­ther suc­cess­ful appli­ca­tions of the equip­ment is being devel­oped. Regard­less of the sur­face over which the device flies.


Flights strictly without VPS

Each DJI quad­copter is equipped with the Vision Posi­tion­ing Sys­tem, which trans­lates as “Visu­al Posi­tion­ing Sys­tem”. It is designed to ori­ent the air­craft in space. How­ev­er, in the case of fly­ing over water, the VPS can read the spec­u­lar reflec­tion from the water sur­face, and inter­pret it incor­rect­ly. There­fore, if the drone is planned to descend to a height of less than two meters, then the visu­al posi­tion­ing sys­tem must be turned off. So you save the device from a sharp change in flight direc­tion and a pos­si­ble emer­gency.


Prepare a photography plan

If we take into account in advance the pos­si­ble prob­lems asso­ci­at­ed with the shoot­ing process, then the prob­a­bil­i­ty of a quadro­copter falling into the water will be neg­li­gi­ble. Imag­ine the goal you want to achieve dur­ing the pho­to ses­sion and think about the options to achieve it. Spend­ing a few min­utes adjust­ing the cam­era angle and adjust­ing oth­er set­tings will great­ly improve the qual­i­ty of your final pho­tos.

How not to drown a drone while flying over water

Con­sid­er­ably mov­ing away from the air­craft, you seem to get sec­ond eyes. Impres­sions are inex­press­ible, but it is desir­able to always visu­al­ly observe the posi­tion of the drone in space. Once you’ve set the goal of cap­tur­ing a panora­ma of the coast, set the air­craft’s max­i­mum dis­tance using the GO4 app. To do this, select the “Enable Max Dis­tance” item and enter the para­me­ter val­ue. The main rule: nev­er set the remote­ness of the device more than the range of the con­trol pan­el.


How to start flying

A drone can be launched over water either from the shore or from a boat. The sec­ond option will be less dan­ger­ous if the boat is sta­tion­ary dur­ing the launch. If the boat con­tin­ues to move, then you can start the copter, but you need to do it more slow­ly.

How not to drown a drone while flying over water

When tak­ing off from the coastal zone, the air­craft auto­mat­i­cal­ly marks the start­ing posi­tion. For ori­en­ta­tion in space, a built-in com­pass and a GPS sys­tem are used. How­ev­er, set­ting a home point may cause an acci­dent if the air­craft is launched from a ship. Dur­ing the flight, the boat can change coor­di­nates, and the quad­copter will land right into the water. To change the home point, you need to go to the “left” OSD menu and set the val­ue to “Home Point: Me”. The same val­ue can be select­ed through the “Main Con­troller Set­tings” sec­tion in the main menu.

Possible objects on the flight path

How not to drown a drone while flying over water

The main items that may inter­fere with falling into the water include the fol­low­ing:

  • Fre­quen­cy inter­fer­ence. These are large cell tow­ers, Wi-Fi points and oth­ers. Their sig­nal can mis­lead the nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems of the device.
  • Items. More­over, both nat­ur­al (trees, bush­es, hills) and liv­ing (birds).
  • Water. Waves and splash­es of water at a suf­fi­cient­ly low flight alti­tude can lead to a fall.
  • mov­ing objects. Boats and boats can cause col­li­sion and loss of con­trol of the air­craft. It is rec­om­mend­ed to gain high alti­tude when approach­ing a float­ing craft.


When such inter­fer­ence occurs, you need to be extreme­ly care­ful dur­ing flight con­trol. If pos­si­ble, it is bet­ter to refuse pho­tog­ra­phy until the onset of a favor­able sit­u­a­tion.


Automatic flight modes

How not to drown a drone while flying over water

For fly­ing over water, there is a unique appli­ca­tion “Course Lock”. With it, you can get beau­ti­ful pho­tos with­out addi­tion­al dif­fi­cul­ties.


Wind is the enemy of a quadcopter

Gusts of wind not only change the tra­jec­to­ry of the air­craft, but also con­tribute to the rapid dis­charge of the bat­tery. If the wind is too strong, then it is bet­ter to aban­don the flight until the wind sub­sides. If it is not pos­si­ble to delay the launch, then be extreme­ly care­ful not to descend too low, and also take into account the direc­tion of the air cur­rents.


By Yara