All I wanted was the last flight. I knew my time with dignity DJI Mini 3 Pro was limited and I was hoping to once again experience its easy handling, smooth flight and excellent camera. And I almost lost it from the gust of wind.
In my defense, the weather looked perfect for a drone flight. Clear blue sky dotted with high plump clouds. Additionally, I was encouraged by the DJI Mini 3 Pro and the new one DJI RC consoles incredible ease of use to run out and try.
Unfolding the drone and neatly placing it on a small glass table in my backyard, I turned on the remote control and the drone (they combine automatically) and pressed the start button on the screen.
The drone automatically rises about three meters from the ground. Pushing the right joystick forward, I sent it straight into the sky until it reached 300 feet.
Everything went smoothly when I pushed the right joystick to the left, sending the DJI Mini 3 Pro south.
The wind first hit me on the ground. There was actually a rush, and I thought, but only for a moment, “Oh, I wonder if it’s windy up there?” Now the drone was just a point above the horizon and I relied on the camera and fed the remote to navigate.
When the gust passed, I relaxed as a stronger and longer wind swept through my yard. Suddenly once a 3-axis stabilized camera abruptly stepped aside. The remote issued a wind warning and I realized I was losing control of the Mini 3 Pro.
To my horror, I saw that the wind began to carry a 249-gram drone. I was afraid he was moving aside and heading for a place where there was no going back.
If I had to guess, I would say that the gust, which quickly turned into a long wind, was about 20 miles per hour. However, at this height he could have been more powerful.
I remember flying DJI Spark. It was another tiny (300 grams) drone, but barely withstood the breeze. During my previous DJI Mini 3 Pro flights I found it so stable that I assumed it would handle a little wind. Of course, it could be more than a “little” wind.
I watched helplessly as the tiny dot that was my drone jumped around the gleaming blue sky. Then I looked at the DJI RC screen that showed video from the drone camera. The image bounced as if the drone was stuck in the fist of an over-excited kid. I tried not to panic, but found that using the controls to return the DJI Mini 3 Pro is impossible. I just couldn’t resist the wind.
Not knowing what to do, I decided to let my own robot-drone take control.
I pressed the “Home” button on the remote.
This action seemed to immediately stabilize the drone. He flew up to 400 feet and soon made his way through the wind and towards me.
When the drone was flying home, I knew its detection of obstacles would prevent it from crashing into anything, but I was still worried that another gust would overwhelm and blow up the drone into a neighbor’s house. As soon as I saw the drone almost overhead, I took control and started directing it back towards myself. This time the drone reacted.
Soon the DJI Mini 3 Pro was right over my head and I aimed it straight down. I continued to distract the right joystick, holding out my other hand. The drone sensors saw my palm and performed a perfect landing sequence right into my open hand.
The crisis is prevented.
Let my mistake be a lesson to you. DJI Mini 3 Pro is a fantastic professional drone that can fly very fast and stay in the air for more than 30 minutes. He takes amazing photos and videos (even vertical ones), but it’s still a tiny drone, and the strong wind just isn’t his friend. If the weather requires gusts or it is only after a strong thunderstorm, do not go on this flight.
As for me, this was my last flight with the DJI Mini 3 Pro, which is now safely back in DJI.