Can you fly the DJI Air 2S in rain?

There are times in the drone piloting world when you may be tempted to fly in adverse weather conditions. Some of the best photography may happen on moody days when it is threatening to rain.

You shouldn’t fly your DJI Air 2S in the rain. It can cause damage to the drone’s internal electrical components and cause corrosion and shorting. Avoid flying in the rain without extra protection from an aftermarket wetsuit.

I had flown my drone in the rain when I miscalculated how fast a storm front was moving to my location. Once the rain started, I landed my drone as soon as possible and took action to remove as much water as possible from the outside of the drone.

I then carefully removed the power from the drone and allowed it to dry fully in a warm environment before turning the drone on again.

This article will go through all of the problems that can occur if you fly your drone in the rain and how you can fly in the rain with an aftermarket wetsuit for your specific drone model – the DJI Air 2S.

Problems flying your Air 2S in the rain

Sometimes you cannot avoid flying your drone in the rain. Whether you have a tight deadline to capture footage or perform your flights, you have miscalculated how fast a weather front moves.

Nonetheless, it is always advisable to avoid flying in the rain. Many issues can arise if you are caught in a downpour that can damage your drone and complete failure of the unit.

Water ingress

Getting water in your drone isn’t necessarily fatal, but it can cause many issues with a drone. Water often brings a load of impurities that can build up and leave deposits on the circuit board and metallic contacts in the drone.

Water can penetrate almost every part of the drone.

Not only can direct contact with rain easily get into the drone’s body, but the propellers can also flick water into the sides and ventilation grills of the drone body.

People have often stated that they have flown in the rain with no issue – they are the lucky ones.

If there is any chance of rain for the day, I recommend avoiding flying until the weather is much better.

Rusting and corrosion

Any water left on or in the drone can cause deposits and rust.

The rusting, deposits, and corrosion in a drone can cause the drone to die completely. Any metallic components in the drone can become corroded and rusted. Screws and other connecting points can rust, and the metallic components can become corroded if the pH of the rain is just a little bit acidic.

The most damaging place for corrosion to happen is in the drone’s battery. The battery connectors need to pass electricity freely and easily between the battery and the drone with little resistance.

The more corrosion on the drone battery’s metallic contacts, the harder it is for the drone to keep up with its high energy demands.

Water in lens

Another important component of the drone is the camera. The camera lens can easily end up with water between glass filters or lenses.

Unfortunately, the water can be very hard to get out once inside the camera lens. The water inside the lens can cause it to become foggy and take blurry and hazy photographs.

There are several ways that condensation can build up in a lens, and you can remove it by using things such as:

  • silica gel beads
  • placing in a dry, warm area of the house
  • Place the drone in direct sunlight (high risk)
  • getting professional help

There are several risks associated with flying in the rain, and avoiding it at all costs is very important if you want your drone to last for another flight.

How to fly in the rain

Although flying in the rain is not advisable, there are some ways in which you can fly your drone with much more confidence in wet conditions.

Only very light rain, unless…

Firstly, if you fly in very light rain, you can continue to fly as long as it does not turn into a downpour. Typically, I have flown when the rain can be considered drizzle without any issue. However, I only do this when I have to, and the flight is more important than the risk of losing a drone.

For very wet flying conditions you can purchase a wetsuit for your drone. And you can fly the DJI Air 2S in rain.

Air 2S wetsuit

Phantom Rain wetsuits are available for the DJI Air 2S.

Air 2S in rain - wetsuit

This company produces weatherproofing aftermarket additions for a variety of modern drone models. The wetsuit comes with three battery covers and three power button seals in two colour designs.

Here is what the addition of a wetsuit can do for your DJI Air 2S.

If your drone gets wet without a wetsuit or other protection fitted, here are the steps that you can go through to make sure that your drone lives to fly another day.

What to do if your DJI Mavic Air 2S gets wet?

There are various reasons why your drone may end up getting wet. However, whatever the occurrence, the greatest thing you can do to prevent your drone from ever being harmed is to do your best to limit the amount of damage that is done as early as possible.

Rotate the drone

The first thing you should do is rotate the drone as many times as possible to remove any remaining water swiftly.

To dislodge any smaller droplets, gently shake the drone as it is spun into different orientations. Completely disassemble the drone if feasible to drain any remaining liquid and begin cleaning the inside components.

The most important thing to remember is to never put your drone in rice or silica!

Disconnect all power

The next thing you should do is turn off all of the power to the electronic components as soon as feasible. Please disconnect the power (remove the battery) and let the drone discharge its charge naturally.

Suppose the drone was submerged in water. It’s probably safe to conclude that the electronics were submerged in water for an extended period. Some drones may detect a short-circuit and turn themselves off if any major or considerable damage to the electronic components occurs.

Dry outside of drone

After you have disconnected the power source from the drone, I recommend drying the outside of the drone.

Using a dry rag or a small towel will be the best option.

You need to use a material that will suck and wick the water away from the drone rather than push it around.

Avoid blowing into areas that can drive the moisture deeper into the drone.

Isopropyl alcohol for contacts

For any obvious areas and metallic contacts, I recommend using isopropyl alcohol to remove any areas of moisture that cannot be reached with a small piece of material alone.

Isopropyl alcohol is a typical solvent used to ensure that electronic components do not contain water. Isopropyl alcohol is widely available and is commonly used to clean glasses and smartphone screens.

It has lower surface tension and evaporates significantly faster than water. The water evaporates completely because of the lower evaporation temperature, leaving no residue or salts behind.

Let the drone dry for five days

Before you turn the power on to your drone, you should let it sit in a warm and dry room for no less than five days. This amount of time is enough for the drone to dissipate the moisture completely.

Luckily, because the drone’s body has been designed for maximum ventilation and heat dissipation, the water should be able to escape the drone frame easily.

If you want to increase the chances of evaporation, you can place the drone in areas of direct sunlight, such as a warm windowsill or near a heating source.

Turn on power

Drone damage may also not be visible right away. Even if you’ve done everything correctly, you may have just gotten lucky — if it turns on. Connect the battery and restart your drone as usual to reactivate the power. This point is where you should pay close attention to all of the sounds, smells, and noises your drone makes.

If everything works according to plan and nothing unusual occurs, you can fly your drone and pray that nothing else goes wrong. However, if a small amount of water residue is left on the drone, it may corrode over time, resulting in a drone that does not survive as long.

Get it checked out by a professional

if you notice any changes to the drone, I recommend getting it checked out by a professional and authorised DJI repair centre.

Liquid damage indicators have been incorporated into portable electronic items to identify warranty abuse caused by water damage. So it’s not always as simple as claiming that anything else caused the problem and having it repaired under warranty.

However, these liquid damage indicators have certain flaws, as high humidity levels can cause them to show that the drones have come into contact with liquid, which is not the case.

The best alternative for you is, to be honest with your repairer and tell them exactly what happened to have all the information they need to repair your drone correctly.

Summary

This article has been over everything you need to know about flying your DJI air 2S in rain. Avoiding getting rain near your drone is the number one way of ensuring your drone will last much longer.

However, there are plenty of options for flying your drone in relatively high rain downpours by utilising aftermarket and third-party wetsuits and rain protection.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones. His favourite is still the DJI Mavic Air for the portability and functionality packed into a small and portable drone!