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Insights on Drone Floating Gear and Water Landing (2024)

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: October 12, 2023

As an ardent drone enthusiast, I’ve taken several deep dives into the world of these fascinating gadgets. One area that often leads to spirited debates among fellow drone enthusiasts and hobbyists revolves around “Drone Floating Gear and Water Landing.” This seemingly complex subject has sparked curiosity, intrigue, and even a bit of confusion among the drone community.

Have you ever dared to take your cherished flying companion over water? If you have even thought about it, then you’ve probably imagined the heart-stopping moment when your expensive toy lands on the water. It’s something like playing Russian roulette with your precious investment. This is where drone floating gear comes into play, turning this nerve-wracking nightmare into a walk in the park.

Through this blog post, let’s traverse this intriguing realm together. We’ll uncover how this technology works and guide you toward choosing the right gear for safe water landings. Hold onto your hats; it’s time for an adventure on life’s ‘droney’ side!

Exploring Drone Floating Gear

Regarding advanced drone navigation methods, drone floating gear often doesn’t get enough credit. Floating gear is a supplemental device designed to assist drones in making secure water landings. These devices are crucial components that open up myriad opportunities for drone pilots in environments where landing on rough ground or water surfaces would otherwise be impossible.

Exploring Drone Floating Gear

The use and importance of these gears cannot be understated, especially when you envision using a drone over bodies of water. Just like a life jacket would be for humans, these gears are lifesavers for drones around any expanse of water.

Firstly, Drone floating gears dramatically expand your flight options, seeing that unexpected weather changes or unanticipated emergencies no longer need to end with lost or wrecked drones. You can now fly your UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) around rivers or seas without fear, knowing you’re equipped with floating gear.

Secondly, if you’re wondering what type of tasks such gaers could facilitate, then you’ll not be disappointed:

  • Surveying: Architects and engineers will find drone floating gears handy while conducting topographical surveys on water bodies.
  • Rescue Missions: In life-saving missions requiring drops over water bodies, these gadgets provide the buoyancy to keep the drones from sinking.
  • Filmmaking: For cinematographers chasing the perfect over-water shot—whether it’s following surfers riding cresting waves off Malibu Beach or capturing Niagara Falls from an eagle’s-eye-view—drone float gears bestow an added layer of security against unplanned mishaps.

Incorporating a solid pair of drone floating gears into your equipment set increases safety and operational functionalities—a real game-changer! Considering all this information, I believe it’s clear why all adventurous pilots should invest in good quality floatation landing gear—Happy flying!

Also Read: Ultralight Airplanes: Everything You Need to Know

Buying Guide for Best Drone Landing Floating Gears

When you’re deciding to purchase the best drone landing floating gears, several factors could significantly enhance your drone flying experience.

First and foremost, you should prioritize durability. No one wants a piece of gear that breaks or wears out quickly. Thus, go for high-quality materials like ABS plastic for longevity. Typically, these gears endure a lot of beatings during landings and need to be robust enough to handle repeated impacts.

Next is the element of size and weight. Adding extra weight to your drone may affect its flying time. Therefore, select something lightweight yet strong enough for water landings and floatation. Always check the product’s weight before buying, as it varies with different models.

The drone’s compatibility is also crucial; ensure that the floating gear fits perfectly on your specific model of the drone without obstructing any pathways or sensors.

The installation process cannot be overlooked because who wants a complicated setup? The easier it is to attach and release these gears from your drone, the better it will prove in terms of convenience.

Additionally, your attention should be fixated on whether or not these floating equipment provides adequate safety features, such as:

  • Anti-Lost Ropes
  • Hook & Loop Fastening
  • Buoyancy Sticks

These features will help secure your drone even if it faces a hard landing on water.

Last but not least importantly, cost-effectiveness holds considerable gravity in decision-making criteria. More expensive doesn’t always mean better! Many budget-friendly options in the market offer equal qualities compared to top-tier brands.

I recommend PGYTECH Pad Holder, DJI Mavic Air 2S Landing Gear Extensions, and STARTRC SwellPro SplashDrone 3+ Waterproof Floating Landing Gear. They all offer excellent durability, are lightweight, and score high on compatibility and easy installation.

Plus, they provide the utmost safety features for a secure flight experience without breaking the bank. Remember these factors while shopping around for drone floating gears; ensure they meet your specific needs and fall within your budget.

Also Read: Mastering Drone Propeller Pitch: A Comprehensive Guide

How Does Drone Floating Gear Work?

Let’s pull the curtain back on the mystery of drone floating gears. At its core, the function of floating gear is two-fold: firstly, it provides a stable platform for your drone to land on water bodies. Secondly, should an unintended splash happen, it provides a lifeline for your drone to stay buoyant and not sink.

How Does Drone Floating Gear Work?

Let’s deconstruct its design elements and understand how it achieves this feat.

  • Buoyancy Aids: This crucial feature is achieved through buoyancy aids. These are materials that displace large amounts of water relative to their weight and, hence, float on water. Some common examples that you might have seen in life vests or fishing bobbers include lightweight foam or even plastic hollow tubes.
  • Design & Material: The design follows simple physics principles – size matters for stability, and any extra weight can hamper flight performance. Hence, these gears are lightweight yet large enough to prevent tipping over during unsteady water landings.
  • Attachment To The Drone: Floating gears are typically attached to a pistol grip under each rotor arm of the drone with strong velcro straps that loop around them.
  • Loading Capacity: There is an obvious limit to how much additional weight they can support before losing their effectiveness at keeping the drone afloat.

Now come practical considerations when using these gears:

  • Every added accessory implies a trade-off with flight performance and battery life—more weight equals shorter flights.
  • Given the larger footprint in the landing area due to added width from floating gears, users need caution during takeoff and landing – especially in areas with obstacles.

While it might appear as simple add-ons at first glance, there is considerable thought behind how these floating gears work effectively, minimizing the risk posed by impromptu water landing situations without compromising too much on flight capabilities!

Also Read: 8 Best Tips To Fly Drones Over Water Safely

Can You Land Your Drone on Water?

One of the lingering myths in drone technology is the ability to land a drone on water. Some people might tell you it’s a straight-up impossibility, while others may argue it’s possible but risky. Honestly, both opinions bear grains of truth.

The reality is, yes, you can land your drone on the water – if it’s equipped with the right gear. Regular, off-the-shelf drones aren’t built for water landing or takeoff. If you try to land one without specific gear designed for floating or water landing, chances are high that your expensive gizmo could sink like a stone.

However, thanks to recent advancements in drone accessories and aftermarket modifications, numerous designs of specialized floating gears are available in the market today. When appropriately attached to your flying device, such drone floats make it feasible and safe for your drone to land or take off smoothly from a calm water surface.

Consider these gadgets as mini lifejackets for drones. When properly secured onto your unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), they provide enough buoyancy to keep them afloat on any puddle or body of water.

  • Myth: Drones can naturally float and maneuver over bodies of water.
  • Reality: Most regular drones aren’t inherently designed to float over bodies of water; additional gears called ‘drone floats’ are required for this task.

Yet even though these floating devices have opened up new possibilities – capturing intriguing underwater shots while ensuring safety – some cautionary notes should also be heeded. While these gadgets ensure that our winged robots don’t end up as ridiculous ‘drunken submarines,’ underlying challenges remain present due to their lightness, often resulting in vulnerability against strong winds and currents.

Four Steps to Safely Land Your Drone on Water

STEP 1 – Planning your route

Just like any journey, landing your drone on the water starts with planning the route. You’ll want to predict the best possible path that avoids obstacles and minimizes the risks of accidents. Here are a few tips:

  • Choose a clear path with minimal obstacles.
  • Consider wind direction. Always land the drone facing into the wind.
  • Fully charge your drone before taking it out for flight.

The better your preparation, the smoother and safer your flight will be.

STEP 2 – Disabling Vision Positioning System (VPS)

Most drones have a VPS feature that helps them maintain their position when flying low to the ground or indoors. However, when landing on water, this feature should be disabled. That’s because VPS uses optical sensors that can interpret water’s movement as the actual motion of the drone, causing instability during landing. Here’s how you can disable it:

  • Refer to your user manual for step-by-step instructions.
  • Make sure you’re at an adequate height above the water surface before disabling VPS.

Once disabled, control becomes exclusively manual – something to consider if you’re new to drones.

STEP 3 – Attaching The Floating Landing Gear

Your safety gear comes in various styles, but its main purpose remains universally consistent: keeping your precious drone from sinking! Here’s how you properly mount them:

  • Ensure they’re perfectly balanced on both sides for optimal stability.
  • Double-check they’re securely fastened before each takeoff.

Remember that mounting floating gear does not make your drone waterproof! So try avoiding any direct contact with water.

STEP 4 – Updating Home Point

Lastly, update the home point on your controller, which is crucial in case of an unexpected disconnection between it and your drone. The updated home point allows your device to know its return destination accurately.

  • You can use your controller or the associated mobile app to update the home point for some drone models.
  • Always ensure your home point is updated at a safe location.

Following these steps will increase the chances of successfully landing your drone on water, but remember – practice makes perfect! Don’t be afraid to familiarize yourself with these steps in a safe environment before actually attempting water landings.

DJI Drones & Water Landing

Landing DJI Mini 2 On Water

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent hours watching your DJI Mini 2 drone hovering above the sky, mesmerized by how such a compact piece in your hands can explore vast expanses with breathtaking precision.

But when it comes to water landing, the story takes a bit of a twist. While the Mini 2 is an impressive gadget equipped with fantastic contemporary tech features, it’s not explicitly designed for water landing. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that it’s an impossible task.

With the assistance of a drone skid float kit universally compatible with drones of its size and weight capacity, you can safely land your DJI Mini 2 on water bodies. The first thing to note is that when attaching these landing pads or skids:

  • Ensure they are centered and balanced.
  • Properly mount them before each flight.
  • Check for damage before taking off.

Realize, though, that fitting these floats will somewhat impair the drone’s aerodynamics and agility owing to the added weight and imbalance.

Landing DJI Air 2S On Water

The hard truth about attempting to land your DJI Air 2S on the water without proper gear is akin to watching an expensive investment slowly sinking into a watery grave – heartrending! Don’t despair, though; I’ve found a way around this. Similar to the Mini 2s scenario but with unique characteristics.

For starters:

  • The Air 2S carries more weight, meaning sturdier floats are required.
  • Different waterproof/floating accessories designed specifically for larger drones offer safety from inadvertent splashdowns or intentional water landings.

Now, while adding these special floating skids might offer maneuvering challenges due to changed Pre-flight checks, we must now factor in the following:

  • Assuring all attachment points are securely fastened (no loosening can be tolerated!)
  • Your drown might see reduced hovering time due to extra weight, something to be conscious of.

Landing DJI Phantom 4 On Water

As for the DJI Phantom 4, well, let’s just say water landing is a different ball game. This powerhouse demands the respect it deserves in terms of specially designed drone float kits that can accommodate its weighty presence.

Unlike the Mini 2 and Air 2S, which essentially share similar floating constituents with minor variances, the Phantom 4 necessitates heavier-duty kits that resist water entry and carry additional equipment such as fishing baits or payload release devices.

To such floats:

  • Ensure they are live vests type stable and skillfully attached (double-check all bolts and brackets).
  • Heavier loads demand greater attention on pre-flight drills, no overlooking.
  • Award adequate recovery time for your drone between flights due to the extra stress involved.

So there you have it; each DJI model bears its unique challenges when contemplating landing them on water. But with the right gear, proper preparations, and cautions heightened a notch higher – sure, it can’t get more adventurous! Remember, always put safety first!

Tips And Ideas To Make Your Drone Float On Water

Hovering a drone over a picturesque body of water to capture unmatched aerial views can be exhilarating. However, the looming risk of accidentally plummeting your pricey gadget into aquatic depths is often daunting.

This struggle between adventurous excitement and practical caution is one that every drone enthusiast understands too well. Well, worry not – the following are some unique hacks to land your drone safely on the water by making it float.

Pre-Landing Checks: Pre-flight inspections aren’t just for commercial pilots. Fire up your drone and make sure everything looks good on the screen before taking off. Check battery percentages and signal strength.

Equip Your Drone with Floating Landing Gear: Leading firms are now manufacturing custom floating landing gear for specific drone models. Ranging from expandable struts to inflatable attachments, these innovative devices enable drones to touch down smoothly on water surfaces without risking any damage.

Operate with Caution: Never attempt a water landing with low batteries or in turbulent weather conditions. While wind gusts can easily destabilize flight paths, sudden power depletion can mean an unwelcome dive straight into the water.

Test It Out First: After attaching a new floating gear, perform test flights over solid ground before heading out over water bodies. This will allow you to gauge whether your drone carries it comfortably or struggles under its weight.

Explore DIY Options: For those willing to take up a fun project at home, several inventive homemade solutions could work just as effectively as store-bought options: foam balls attached together with string may serve the purpose excellently!

Remember, while these tips uplift safety aspects considerably, no measure guarantees 100% protection against accidents. So ensure you’re adequately insured if you frequently embark upon such risky endeavors.


Can any drone land on water with floats?

In essence, yes. Most drones can land on water using floating gear, which adds a safety measure for unexpected mishaps over bodies of water. However, not all drones are compatible with all types of floats.

Does adding floats affect a drone’s aerodynamics?

Absolutely! Adding floats to your drone will alter its balance and handling somewhat. They may even exert some drag depending on their size and positioning.

Are drone floating gears expensive?

The cost of floating gear can vary widely based on brand, quality, and design features. Generally speaking, though, they aren’t usually prohibitively expensive.

Can I construct my own floating gear at home?

With some creativity and a bit of engineering know-how, it’s possible to make DIY floating gear at home! But remember to test them thoroughly before relying on them to save your expensive hardware from a watery grave.

How often should floats be replaced?

There’s no definitive answer, as it depends on usage frequency and wear & tear. It’s important, however, to regularly check the condition of your flotation devices — if they show any sign of deterioration or damage, replace them immediately.


The world of drone floating gear is both fascinating and essential for anyone involved in drone operations, particularly over bodies of water. Whether you’re a photographer capturing shots over the ocean or a hobbyist who enjoys flying drones near lakes, floating gear can be your best friend.

They help with successful and safe water landings and add an extra layer of protection to your valuable devices from unexpected accidents. Additionally, understanding how different drone models integrate with floating gears adds a remarkable dimension to this field.

However, buying quality gear from trusted brands or even venturing into creating homemade ones should always be accompanied by regular wear and tear checks for optimum performance. After all, keeping up with advancements is part of being a victorious sailor in the ocean of drones!

Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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