The DJI mini 2 is known by many as the king of drones under 250 grams. The sheer amount of features packed in this tiny marvel of drone technology is still peerless across the drone technology.
Drones like the mini 2 make you want to test its limits, and we’ve all wondered at least once whether we can fly our drone in the pouring rain or in a desert’s scorching heat…
Which brings us to the topic of this article. In which environments is it safe to fly your DJI Mini 2, and where is it not.
We’ll discuss whether you can fly it in the snow, the rain, the scorching sun and even places where you can’t fly according to the U.S. drone regulations. This article will be packed so stick around.
This question may seem out of the blue, especially as a starting point. But trust me, if you’re planning to test whether you can fly your drone in the pouring rain, it’s best you know just how far you can go without it crashing.
The DJI Mini 2 has a maximum range of 10km. Meaning that the drone will be able to transmit HD live footage to your phone up until the 10km mark.
However, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll actually be able to fly your DJI mini 2 at that range. Not to mention the fact that it’s completely illegal, there are many factors that influence your drone’s flight range, which may cause it to crash if you fly too far.
For instance, if you’re flying in a forest or mountainous area, that can mess with your dji mini 2’s transmission and get it to crash if you fly too far. The same can be said for flying in the rain or snow, or in a city with many skyscrapers.
I’ve actually gone super in-depth about this in a previous article and I invite you to check it out before continuing this one.
Let’s talk about the DJI mini 2’s specs first. We all know its weight comes to about 249 grams. Some argue that the light weight of the DJI mini 2makes it more aerodynamic and less prone to be driven off course by heavy wind, while others argue the opposite. That it being that light makes it easy to fly away during a windy day.
It has a battery life of 31 minutes, an important factor to test a drone's durability. Honestly, 31 minutes is amazing seeing how small DJI Mini 2 is.
Another factor when it comes to a drone’s durability is its transmission system.
The DJI mini 2 runs on the OcuSynC 2.0, which is the same transmission system used by the Mavic 2 & 3, as well as basically all the newer DJI drones.
A transmission system, if you didn’t know, is how the signal gets sent from your remote controller to your drone, and how your drone processes said signal (and how well it does it). OcuSync 2.0 is DJI’s transmission technology that they’ve incorporated into the DJI Mini 2.
The reason why the OcuSync 2.0 is more advanced than its predecessors is the fact that it can automatically switch transmission frequency between 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. Don’t worry though, I won’t bore you with the technical details of that, though you can check an article about it here.
All this means that the DJI Mini 2 is a cut above the rest of its predecessors when it comes to how well it can maintain a signal even in unfavorable conditions, like storms, snow, and city buildings.
Ah, the question that most drone pilots have at least once in their drone flying journey. While most electronics are not built to get wet, you might be thinking that your drone is different.
DJI themselves specifically say not to fly a DJI Mini 2 in the rain. Because it’s not waterproof, nothing can protect the motors, bearings and shafts of the drone.
It's not just the DJI Mini 2, consumer drones are just not meant to be flown in the rain because the cost to make them waterproof and still sell them at a “consumer” range is simply not worth it for manufacturers. Only some 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.
Whether you’re flying in the snow or in the rain is actually the same because both scenarios will end up getting the drone’s motors and propellers wet. It can fly for a while, but it’ll crash sooner or later.
You can’t fly a DJI mini 2 in snow. Some manufacturers recommend avoiding temperatures below 14°F (-10°C), while others caution against any temperature below freezing (32°F or 0°C). Extreme cold weather can cause an unexpected power drop, or even cause batteries to fail completely. Cold weather can also dull a drone’s sensors, which may lead to a slower response from the control input.
That heavily depends on the speed of the wind you’re flying in. The DJI mini 2 has a wind resistance for winds with a max speed of 23 mph.
You can’t fly a DJI Mini 2 in winds with speeds that are more than 23-24 mph. It’ll set the drone off course and will likely cause it to crash or fly away.
You see, even among the most popular drones, few are equipped to fly above 24 mph winds. The Mavic 2 Pro for example can be flown in max wind speeds of 24 mph, but the Mavic Mini can only withstand up to 18 mph winds (making the Mini 2 with a 23mph wind resistance amazing in its own right).
Always check the max wind speed of your drone, but it’s likely safe to assume wind speeds of 25 mph and above are too dangerous to fly in and can lead to crashing.
Not only is snow and cold weather devastating for your drone, but flying during a really hot day can also mess with your DJI mini 2.
In many cases, DJI recommends avoiding high temperatures above 104°F (40°C). Prolonged exposure for your DJI mini 2 to high heat will reduce the life of your battery. You also risk melting the internal wires and plastic which is as you’ve guessed, bad.
One thing to note is that hot weather is accompanied by high humidity sometimes, which can damage your drone’s motor, camera, or gimbal. Always check the temperature and humidity before flying and ensure you wipe down your drone before and after flights.
But really, if the temperature is over 100F, just take that day to chill indoors and stay hydrated, instead of flying your drone.
Flying any door in doors is always a risk as there is heavy magnetic interference which can cause your drone to go haywire. However, the DJI Mini 2′ pre-flight procedures, flight modes, and app settings make it one of the best drones for indoor flying.
The DJI Mini 2 can hover precisely indoors and outdoors thanks to a downward vision sensor and GPS functionality. So you can fly it indoors safely for the most part. Just make sure you don’t have too many electronics in your location.
We’ve talked about places and environments where flying your dji mini 2 will have bad effects on the drones and might even cause it to crash. Let’s now talk about places where technically don’t cause harm to your drone, but are illegal to fly in nonetheless.
I’ve written a detailed article about drone laws in the U.S. which you can find here but we’ll brush up on them here.
Before we list the different no-drone zones in the U.S. we first have to define what they are first.
According to the FAA, "No Drone Zone" is a term used to help people identify areas where they cannot operate a drone. The operating restrictions for a No Drone Zone are specific to a particular location.
That’s basically the gist of it. Flying your drone in a no-drone zone can result in some repercussions, whether they’re just a slap on the wrist or serious will depend on the actual area where you flew your drone.
Restricted airspace (airports)
All around the USA, airports are a strictly no-fly zone. Flying over an airport, or even close to it by 5 miles will result in some serious repercussions and could get you in trouble.
Airports are classified under restricted airspace, I’ve already gone in-depth about that in my previous article.
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs)
According to the FAA, Temporary Flight Restrictions define an airspace where air travel is limited for a specific period of time (hence why it’s called “temporary”).
This is usually done because of some major sporting event, a presidential movement or some security threat.
Most, if not all national parks in the U.S. are off limits from drone pilots. The FAA takes this seriously and you’ll most likely get in trouble if you fly your drone over a national park and a park ranger spots it/you.
Pretty much most if not all schools in the U.S. ban flying drones over them, unless it’s a school project or something sanctioned by the school. For obvious reasons…
Flying your drone within 15 miles of the white is not only strictly prohibited, but also a one-way ticket to jail. Homeland security takes this as a very serious offense, and the reasons for that are probably obvious.
Prison & Correctional Facilities
Drones have been used before to drop contraband into prisons and other correctional facilities. So now they’re banned.
Military bases are also no-fly zones. There are some bases where drones aren’t prohibited but to stay on the safe side, just don’t fly over military areas.
Testing the limits of your drone is alluring. Especially for a drone as small and advanced as the DJI mini 2. You just can’t help but take it for a flight and see what kind of abuse it can take.
Just be moderate about it. Careless flying can be fun after all, just not to your wallet.