Flying any drone over water presents some unique challenges, so we always advise using caution and common sense guidelines when flying near the water. Unlike solid ground, visual navigation is less reliable over water because of the constant changes in geometry and texture. Although it's not waterproof, Skydio 2 has the ability to safely fly over larger bodies of water and the Skydio 2 app adds additional safeguards to keep the drone securely tethered to your phone.

Pay attention to your battery level

When flying over water, keep an eye on your Skydio 2 battery level. The Skydio app will tell you that your Skydio 2 is getting low on battery and that it’s time to bring it back for landing, but it’s always best to be situationally aware.

If your Skydio 2 runs out of battery and has to make an emergency landing, you don’t want to touch down in the middle of a lake!

Pay attention to changing flight conditions

Wind and moisture can, at a minimum, result in less than stable footage, and can often introduce dangerous flying conditions. Keep an eye out for any changes to the flight conditions which could damage your Skydio 2 - check out this article for more details and tips: Where can I fly my Skydio 2?

Use caution around still, reflective surfaces

Still, calm water is especially unsafe to fly Skydio 2 over, as it can resemble a reflective, mirror-like surface that can confuse the drone's visual obstacle avoidance systems. We do not recommend flying Skydio 2 at lower altitudes over still, reflective water.

  • Low relative-altitude flight over bodies of water may degrade or impair autonomous flight performance. Ensure that you have a strong GPS signal on your controlling device.

Make sure you're not in motion when launching or landing Skydio 2

Always launch and land when you and your boat are not in motion. Hand launching is probably best if space is somewhat tight, like on the deck of a boat. If there isn’t enough room to safely land on the deck, hand landing is an option but requires extra caution and practice. Check out our related articles for more tips.

Use the Return to Home feature as needed

At any time during flight (either following a subject or flying manually), tapping the Return to Home icon within the Skydio app instantly directs Skydio 2 to return to your phone’s last-known GPS location. See this article for more: How does Skydio 2 use GPS?

Check out our related articles for more information.

Was this article helpful?