Skydio 2/2+ is designed to be easy and fun to operate. Following FAA guidelines, reading the Skydio 2/2+ Operator Manual, and using a few common-sense guidelines will help you find an appropriate and safe place to fly.
Follow the law
In the US, it is illegal to fly drones within five miles of an airport (without LAANC authorization). Always follow FAA guidelines for drone piloting and check out helpful resources like knowbeforeyoufly.org or apps like b4ufly - those are easy and quick methods to help quickly determine if a particular area is safe and legal for flight.
Fly when your drone can see clearly
Your Skydio 2/2+ navigates using 45 megapixels of visual sensing from six 200 degree color cameras, building a 3D map of its surroundings that includes trees, people, buildings and more. It needs to see clearly to navigate past these obstacles effectively, so your drone can only fly in normal daylight conditions. Its advanced computer vision does not work at night or in other low-light conditions. The Skydio app will warn you of low-light conditions and may suggest you land if there isn’t enough light to fly safely.
When low on the horizon, the sun can temporarily blind the cameras on the drone depending on the angle of flight. Note that your Skydio 2/2+ may be cautious or jerky when flying into direct sunlight.
Be cautious around water
Skydio 2/2+ is not waterproof. Use caution and common sense guidelines when flying at low altitudes over bodies of water wider than 30 feet across, especially when the water is still and mirror-like. Check out Flying your Skydio 2/2+ near water for more tips on flying over water.
[warning text="Failure to acquire a GPS lock prior to flight over water may result in erratic flight and/or emergency landing. We recommend having a strong GPS signal when flying over bodies of water."]
[caution]Skydio 2/2+ should not be flown in rain, falling snow, or fog. Read the Safety and Operating Guide for more information.[/caution]
Avoid thin structures & reflective surfaces
Be extra cautious when flying in environments that contain thin branches, telephone or power lines, ropes, netting, wires, chain link fencing, transparent surfaces like windows, or smooth, reflective surfaces like mirrors or still water.
Make sure you have enough clear space to take off
When launching from the ground, Skydio should have at least 20 feet of clearance in every direction (including above), meaning the launch area should be clear and free of obstacles.
[note] While Skydio 2/2+ is designed for use outdoors, it can be flown indoors in certain environments with caution. Only fly indoors in large, open areas with good lighting, like large warehouses, gymnasiums, or similar spaces. If you fly indoors, avoid flying near glass, mirrors, solid textureless walls, or polished, reflective flooring. Always use the above clearance guidelines when flying Skydio 2/2+. [/note]
See our related articles for more info and tutorials.
Watch out for high winds
Fly with caution on windy days. Your Skydio 2/2+ performs best on days when wind speeds are under 25 mph. While in flight, the Skydio app will warn you if wind speeds are too high. Before you fly, if in doubt, you can use your favorite weather or drone app to check the wind speed in your location beforehand. Avoid windy weather conditions, or gusts above 25 mph (40 km/h).
Be especially cautious when hand launching in the wind. It is best to have the wind at your back when hand launching, and if it is particularly windy, or if the wind is changing direction rapidly, do not attempt to launch by hand (or at all).
Never fly on public roads when using Motion Track to follow a car
Following a vehicle is ONLY for use while off-road or on a closed course.
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