Skydio 2 is designed to be easy and fun to operate, and using a few common-sense guidelines should help you to find an appropriate and safe place to launch and fly.
When choosing a time and a place to operate your Skydio 2, please follow these general guidelines and suggestions, and be sure to check out our related articles for even more detail.
Follow the law
In the US, it’s illegal to fly drones within 5 miles of an airport. 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 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. Because it needs to see clearly to navigate past these obstacles effectively, Skydio 2 can only fly in normal daylight conditions. Its advanced computer vision won’t 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 Skydio 2 cameras depending on the angle of flight. Note that your Skydio 2 may be cautious or jerky when flying into the direct sun.
Be cautious around water
Skydio 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 this article and video for more tips on flying over the water: Flying Your Skydio 2 Near Water
- We recommend having a strong GPS signal when flying over bodies of water.
Skydio 2 should not be flown in rain, falling snow, or fog. Use these guidelines when flying in the snow (or in cold temps).
Avoid thin structures & reflective surfaces
Also, be extra careful when flying in environments that contain thin branches, telephone or power lines, ropes, netting, wires, chainlink 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 2 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 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. Use the above clearance guidelines when flying Skydio 2.
See our related articles for more info and tutorials.
Watch out for high winds
Fly with caution on windy days. Your Skydio 2 performs best on days when wind speeds are under 25 mph. While in flight, the Skydio app will warn you if it's too windy, but in very windy conditions it's best not to fly at all. Before you fly, if in doubt, you can use your favorite weather or drone app to check the wind speed in your location beforehand.
Be especially cautious when hand launching in the wind. It’s best to have the wind at your back when hand launching, and if it’s particularly windy, or if the wind is changing direction rapidly, don’t attempt to launch by hand (or at all).
Never fly on public roads when using Car Follow
Car Follow is ONLY for use while off-road or on a closed course. Check out this article for more information: Using the Car Follow skill.
Check out our related articles for more information.
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