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8 Best Tips To Fly Drones Over Water Safely (June 2024)

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: February 28, 2022

Drones are becoming increasingly popular, and for a good reason – they’re a lot of fun, especially If you’re looking to capture some amazing footage of areas such as lakes and oceans. However, flying them over water can be a bit daunting and tricky. If you’re not careful, you could end up losing your drone.

Drones Over Water

Moreover, if you’re not familiar with the dos and don’ts of drone flying, you could end up ruining your drone or, worse – hurting someone. In this blog post, we will provide some tips for flying your drone safely over water. So whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned pro, read on to learn more!

8 Different Ways to Fly Drones Over Water

The eight various ways to fly your drone safely over water bodies are as follows:

1. Get Drone Insurance With Water Damage Coverage

If you’re going to fly your drone over water, make sure that it’s properly insured for any potential injuries or damage caused by the drone itself – not just from other people who may get injured as a result of irresponsible flying practices such as proximity warnings and no-fly zones.

Drones Over Water

The best way to do this is by getting a drone insurance policy that includes water damage coverage. By doing so, you can ensure that any damage to your drone is always replaceable or repaired without any expenses at your end!

This way, you’ll be fully protected in case of any accidents or incidents while flying your drone over water. Keep in mind that insurance policies might ask you to prove damage to your drone by requesting to see the machine. In case your drone is lost in water, try to know beforehand how it is possible to locate and retrieve it.

2. Do A Full Pre-Flight Check

If you’re flying your drone over water, it’s essential to do a full pre-flight check before taking off. This will ensure that everything is in perfect working order and there are no loose parts or wires which might cause problems while airborne!

Drones Over Water

The best way of doing this is by ensuring your drone has been calibrated correctly, checking for any obstructions like trees or other drones nearby which might pose a danger to your flight path, and ensuring that all batteries are fully charged so as not to run out of power mid-flight (this could also lead to some damage if they’re left unattended on land). Make sure to check how good your GPS signal is as well!

Many drones come with a home point feature, so make sure it is set before taking off. In case the drone flies too far away and loses signal, it will automatically return to its pre-set point on the map.

Lastly – don’t forget about wind speed! Make sure there are no gusts that could blow your drone out of control or cause damage if they’re strong enough – this could lead to potentially dangerous situations where people may get hurt as well.

A pre-flight check is an essential step in the drone piloting process, and it’s especially important when flying over water. By doing so, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable flight experience for both you and your drone!

Also Read: Top 5 Best Waterproof Drones

3. Don’t Rely On VPS

A key component that enables drones to carry out tasks like search and rescue operations is a VPS (Visual Positioning System). A VPS helps the drone maintain its position and navigate in difficult environments where GPS signals are unavailable or unreliable.

Drones Over Water

A VPS uses the drone’s camera to detect features in its environments, such as corners or edges. Then it compares these observed features with a model of the environment that was created by mapping and recognizing landmarks based on their visual appearance (e.g., colors).

By leveraging this comparison, a VPS can determine how far away from the landmark the drone is and its orientation with respect to that landmark.

This information is used to calculate the drone’s position relative to the starting point, which can then be used to navigate the drone.

Some VPS systems also incorporate inertial measurement units (IMUs) into their calculation of position. IMUs measure acceleration, rotation, and magnetic field direction, which can be used to further refine the drone’s position calculation.

VPS technology is becoming increasingly important for drones as they are being increasingly used in more complex applications. With a VPS, drones can safely navigate even in environments that are not easily mapped or lack GPS signals. A VPS can track devices even when they’re not in use or turned off.

Hence, some people may be tempted to rely on the drone’s VPS while flying over water. Do not do this! The sensor on a drone is not very accurate, and it can easily lose sight of the ground when there are large bodies of water in front or below it.

The water’s surface is also unreliable for any kind of readings and can easily confuse the VPS causing it to move in different directions. If you need to fly over water with a VPS enabled, do so only in open areas where there are no large bodies of it nearby!

A good rule of thumb is to always fly your drone at least 50 feet away from any body of water to ensure that you maintain a good view of the ground and don’t lose track of your drone. If you’re unsure about something, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

4. Watch Out For Waves, Boats, And Sea Spray

When flying a drone near or over water, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and the potential dangers that could come from them. One such danger is waves. Large waves can easily knock a drone out of the sky or push it towards the shore, where it may crash into rocks or other obstacles.

Boat traffic can also be a hazard when flying near water. Make sure to keep a safe distance from any boats and avoid passing over them, as the propellers on a drone can easily cause damage or injuries. Plus, it might offend some people on the boat to notice a drone passing over without their consent.

Altitude is another important consideration when flying near water. Many drones are limited to an altitude of 400 feet, and if you’re flying close to the shore, that may not be high enough to avoid obstacles. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure to stay well above any potential hazards.

Lastly, beware of sea spray! A little bit of saltwater in the air can quickly corrode electronic components, so it’s best to avoid flying your drone in these conditions whenever possible.

Also Read: 10 Best Professional Drones

5. Use A Landing Pad

When flying a drone near or over water, it’s important to have a landing pad handy in case of an emergency. This will help you land the drone safely and prevent it from crashing into the water.

Drones Over Water

A good landing pad for drones is made out of soft materials, such as cloth or foam, so that it can cushion the impact if your drone falls into the water. It also helps if it has some sort of waterproofing, such as a rubberized coating on top or bottom.

It’s best to keep your landing pad near you while flying so that you can reach out quickly if necessary. You can even attach it to your belt loop with string or rope! Just make sure that it’s always within reach in case of an emergency.

Also, remember that if you take your drone to the beach for 4k photography, then a landing pad will come into use then as well. The sand can easily damage the blades and motors of a drone, so it’s best to have some protection from that. Remember to clean off any sand that has been collected on your landing pad before using it again.

When flying a drone near or over water, always be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe flight. By following these tips, you can enjoy your time flying drones without having to worry about accidents happening.

6. Watch Out For Birds

Birds can be a big problem for drone flyers who want to take photos of the ocean. First, they might fly into your path and cause damage to the camera or other parts of the drone.

Drones Over Water

Second, if you’re flying over water, then birds are likely to congregate around it since there isn’t much else to do in this area (especially if you’re out at sea).

If birds are flying near your drone, then do what you can to avoid them. One way is by making sudden movements with the controller, which will make it more difficult for a bird to fly through when trying to attack from above or below.

Another option would be raising elevation so that they have no chance of getting close to the drone. You can also try and scare them away by making loud noises or throwing something in their direction (but be careful not to hit your drone!). If all else fails, you might just have to wait until they fly away on their own.

No matter what, always keep an eye on the birds when flying near the water. It’s best not to take risks with them as they can easily cause damage or even death if they collide with anything moving at high speeds, like drones that are capable of traveling up to 15 miles per hour (24 km/h).

Also Read: 10 Best Commercial Drones

7. Turn Around Way Before You Actually Need To Come Back

There is nothing more frustrating than flying a drone for an hour or so only to find out that you’re running out of battery life and have no way to get back. This is why it’s important to turn around much before you actually need to come back.

If you start seeing the warning signs that your drone is about to lose power, don’t just wait until it happens! Turn around and head back to where you started, or try landing somewhere nearby.

By doing this, you can avoid crashing into the water and having an expensive repair bill on your hands. It also ensures that all of those photos/videos taken during your flight will be saved with no loss in quality.

8. Plan Your Flight

If you’re flying a drone over water, then there are some things that need to be taken into consideration before taking off.

Drones Over Water

First, make sure the weather will allow for safe flying conditions by checking local forecasts and making adjustments accordingly. Light winds or foggy skies might not seem like much, but they can both affect how well your drone performs.

Second, always plan your route before taking off and make sure there is plenty of open space ahead of you in case you need to turn around or land quickly. This includes knowing the distance between you and any obstacles (such as other boats) that might be in your way.

By following this, you’ll avoid any last-minute surprises that could cause problems during your flight.

Third, spend as little time as possible on your drone when you’re flying over water. This means having everything ready to go before takeoff and then taking off as soon as possible after landing so that there is less of a chance for something going wrong.

Also, make sure not to spend too much time hovering in one spot because this could cause damage due to overheating if done repeatedly throughout a flight.

If you follow these rules, then hopefully, nothing will happen, and everyone around you can enjoy their time on the boat without having to worry about crashing into something or getting lost due to poor planning!

Also Read: Top 3 High Altitude Drones With Best Camera

Final Thoughts

Guaranteed, photos taken over water are the most scenic, and keeping this in mind, we curated a list of helpful tips to ensure that enjoyable sights are witnessed while flying drones over water.

Flying over water is not for everyone. It requires some knowledge of drones and weather patterns along with a certain amount of skill.

If you’re not ready to take on this challenge, then don’t worry; there are plenty of other places where drones can be safely used without any risk. You just have to find them!

Hopefully, these tips will help make your next trip over water a successful one and allow everyone around you to enjoy their time out at sea, knowing that your drone is under control.

Now that you know how to fly a drone safely over water, it’s time to put these tips into practice and capture some amazing drone footage! Whether you’re on a boat or just relaxing by the shore, make sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity and record some memories that will last a lifetime. Happy flying!

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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