How to Kill a Drone

The marine environment will kill your drone eventually. Either it will die a slow death from corrosion, or a quick death from a splash landing. It will happen, and then you will have to buy your drone again!

One of the easiest ways to kill your drone is to fly your drone from your boat while you are sailing. Drones have a nifty feature where if they get disconnected from the controller, they will automatically “Return to Home”. The idea is, you are standing right where the drone took off and as it returns, the signal will be restored and you can regain flight control once more. If you don’t reconnect, the drone will automatically land where it took off.

This is a great feature when flying your drone from land, because it means that it will return to the same spot for recovery should it get disconnected. Now, picture this: You launch your drone while sailing at 6 knots to get some awesome shots of you on a broad reach! The waves are spraying as your bow slices through the seas. Everything is AWESOME!

Then you get an alert on your screen saying that the drone has lost signal and will return to home. You would hope that the drone would return to the controller, but instead it will return to where it launched, way WAY back there in your wake. Now you have to quick circle around and get there fast because the drone is flying straight back to where you launched it and if you want to save your drone, you better be under it when it auto lands! Truth is, drones fly home at speeds of around 6-10 miles per hour, and you have to come about and tack upwind to get back there. The drone is going to win this race and then lose everything.

That’s right, all will be lost because drones don’t float, and they will sink with your SD card and all the cool footage you had captured. All lost to the depths of the ocean!

Long story short, if you want to prolong the marine environment caused death of your drone, never launch it from your sailboat. Always launch your drone from shore.

It is fine to fly your drone over water and get great shots of the anchorage, because should it get disconnected, it will return to the beach and land safely on a flat, dry surface.