Setting Sail: Top 5 Tips for Flying Drones Over Water
Updated: Jul 7
Have you ever seen the sunset behind the Taj Mahal? According to many guides, this is the best sunset in the world. The combination of color change set against the white marble dome of the Taj Mahal is amazing.
To capture this on camera using a drone would be awesome!
However, to catch some of the best shots, your drone would have to fly over the Yamuna river.
Besides the Taj Mahal, there are dozens of reasons why you would want to fly your drone over water.
For example, you may want to catch an amazing island sunset and also look back at the gorgeous landscape.
Flying drones over water can help make an awesome travel video.
Is flying drones over water the same as flying over land? Find out.
Here are 5 top tips to flying your drone over water that you cannot afford not to know!
1. VPS - What's Your Position?
VPS or the visual positioning system is a vital part of your drone technology.
However, there are good reasons to turn it off when you are flying over water. Why?
The VPS Sensors of a DJI Phantom 4 Series Drone (Photo: DJI)
One important reason is that VPS relies on a stable surface.
Water is a moving surface and this can disorientate your drone.
That said, whether you decide to turn off the system or not also depends on the height you intend to fly.
If you are flying over (approx.) 30 ft, then the drone is high enough not to be affected by a moving surface below.
So this depends on what you plan to do with your drone when in the air.
2. Don't Get Distracted
It almost goes without saying that you need to concentrate 100% when flying your drone.
However, be careful not to allow your drone to become distracted by other obstacles that could interfere with the compass (like light houses or big cruise ships) or signal.
3. Learn from the Surfers
If you know anyone that loves surfing, nothing brings them greater pleasure than getting the surf report before they hit the beach. You should do the same.
Make sure you know how high the waves are breaking and don't fly too low.
Remember your view of the waves through your drone may give you the idea they are further away than they really are.
4. Don't Play Angry Birds
As a general rule, try to stay away from birds.
You might think it is cool watching birds in mid-flight but it won't be so cool when they start following your drone or worse still, they start attacking it. And some of them do!
5. Remember the Wind
Of course, you can encounter strong winds over land as well as the sea.
However, depending on your previous flight experience, flying over water, especially the sea will expose your drone to strong winds.
In itself that is no reason not to fly
Just remember, strong winds require more power and that means your battery will drain faster.
So don't get caught out. Give yourself plenty of time to bring fly your drone back to the landing point.
Watch this video for more hints on how to fly your drone safely over water:
Flying Drones - the Skies the Limit
If you've got the know-how to flying drones over land and water you will have great fun and capture some amazing images.
If you fly safely over land you will fly safely over water but just remember these five top tips and all will be well.
Check out these other helpful guides here.