A Newbie, A Mavic Mini and how the "Wind Issue" caused a Crysis of Confidence

I first flew my Mavic Mini just before Christmas 2019 and during those first few flights really enjoyed the drone and its stability. As it does at this time of year, the weather closed in and one way or another it was into January before I got another chance to fly.

During this intermission I poured over videos and commentary about the Mavic Mini and, without realizing it, became more and more fixated on its less than stellar relationship with windy conditions. Without realizing it and with each passing video or article or comment, I became more and more reluctant to fly my Mavic Mini.

The fear of “What If” had set in.

In the past couple of days I found myself taking little drives out just to see if I could spot a good location to fly from. Every time I also looked for the least possible reason not to fly, not to take the chance that I would loose my new drone to the wind.

Today I found myself doing the same thing. Taking a leisurely drive out into the country, with my Mavic Mini charged and ready by my side. Again I found myself looking at the bushes and watching how much they were affected by today’s (moderate) wind conditions. Then I would look at the tops of the surrounding trees to see how much difference I could make out, hoping that this would match the movement I saw at ground level thereby convincing myself that flying conditions were safe.

I recognized my pattern for finding a reason not to fly and realized that I had a decision to make. I could either realize that there was always going to be risks involved and that the best I could do was see the risk, judge whether it was acceptable and use that as my decider of whether to fly or not. Or I could get back in my car, drive home and put my new drone in the cupboard and admit defeat.

This was a new flyer confidence thing.

Knowledge is a good thing, but too much knowledge can start to gnaw away at you.

So I found a perfect pull-over spot near a forest and stopped the car. I made some rules for myself and then I got out of the car and performed my preflight checks. Fresh battery, fresh controller charge, good GPS signal, not warnings in the app. It said “Good to fly” so I initiated the launch and up I went.

I think my rules will change on a flight by flight basis, maybe that’s as it should be, but today I settled on the following.

  1. Hover for a while. Watch the drone, see how it behaves. Look for signs that suggest it is struggling to hold it’s position.

  2. Set my “Max Height” low. I was surrounded by trees and was aware that (a) I had to avoid hitting them, (b) understand that if I went above the max height of the trees I could expect the wind to pick up considerably. On this flight I set my “Max Height” to 50ft and my “Max Distance” to a little over 1000ft.

  3. Keep one eye on the App to watch for any warnings, but keep the other on the drone. Don’t just focus on my phone screen.

  4. Perform regular fly-overs and pay attention to whether the motors are struggling to hold position.

  5. Have a backup plan. Where would I put her down if I had problems, could I get to that location easily. Have a plan for what to do if I started to loose confidence that it was me in control, rather than the surrounding environment.

So I flew for about 15 minutes. I did regular fly-pasts and only once heard the motors struggle to hold position. I played with flying in Cinematic mode. I practiced how quickly I could orient and get back to home (using manual control). I tested and reset my “Home Location” a couple of times. Oh, and I remembered to turn on the video recorder.

I really enjoyed myself.

I also got an Anemometer delivered today. That way I can check my apprehension against what’s actually happening.

This has been a rather long and rambling report of my third flight, I’m sorry about that. But hopefully any other newbie flyers who might be questioning their choice of the Mavic Mini as their first drone can take some comfort from the fact that you are not alone. This is as much about building your confidence as it is about learning the rules. Understand the issues relating the the Mavic Mini and it’s dislike of wind, but don’t let it put you off flying your drone.

It’s actually loads of fun.


Nice write up. You can take comfort in knowing that virtually every pilot has gone through similar thoughts, and with each new craft, tend to be a bit cautious. It’s only with hours of flight time that you are less and less cautious.
Enjoy your flights you are doing well.


We have all been there @B0M0A0K

Getting insurance on your aircraft helps but I sm still apprehensive every time I fly. Your cautious approach is ideal, confidence in your aircraft’s capabilities and understanding of its limits will grow. I’m fairly certain that the reports of Mini “flyaways” are mainly due to people not bothering to RTFM before going out to play whatever the weather.

Sign up for the free Airdata UAV service. It will allow you to minutely analyze your flights, your aircraft and betteries and the state of the weather. It also acts as a log allowing you to relive flights - you can export a *.kml file and “fly” in Google Earth.

One thing to be aware of which I learnt when parachuting. The first few jumps have a heightened risk of injury. The training and disciplines are there to reduce risk to the minimum but people new to the sport are more prone to brain-fade and to panic. Once the first few jumps have been accomplished injury rates decrease until around 100 jumps have been completed then they rise. Complacency has set in and more complex jumps are attempted. Injury rates drop again until the next 1000 jump milestone …

So don’t get too complacent or you may find yourself emulating me dumping your newly acquired Inspire into the sea … :frowning:


It’s like a brand new car driver - you can spot them despite the giveaway of being ultra clean and the new number plates … They are very cautious as they get to know their new ‘toy’ but after a while most of us just adapt (aka learn) and treat them as we did our older vehicles.

Good on you for overcoming the fear build up and just keep on keeping on.

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This is the AirData log for today’s flight.

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well done nice write up
I took three drones down to Bexhill today and put the mini up one thing i noticed since the last update is the attitude seems steeper, flew it out over the sea seamed to cope fine only thing i will say Gulls became very interested in it think i might make it red instead of light grey


LOL, funnily enough I spotted a couple of birds of prey at that location today, I was on the watch for anything that seemed to take an interest. :owl:

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when i had a mavic pro i used to fly it near a lot of gulls near a landfill and a couple of times they took a swipe at it I put a bright orange skin on it and they seemed to leave it alone after


That’s both funny and interesting at the same time. Worth noting as I have been toying with the idea of skinning my Mini. :clap:

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yeh i don’t know if it was just coincidence or it worked but when you think most dangerous or poisonous
things are brightly coloured

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Oh, is that why Mr Trump is orange? :innocent:


You totally summed up my worries when I first began to fly my mini. But, because all early issues were caused by yours truly, I am now starting to trust myself a little more and also the mini. :sweat_smile:
There’s still that wind, according to AD today at gusts of 14mph, that still makes me nervous :astonished:


Just flew the mini for a bit. Thought about this as Air Data gave me gusts at 120m of 13mph. Thankfully I kept it close by as I experienced gusts of up to 25mph. When I packed up, standing by the car there were gusts 30+. Been sailing all my life and well able to judge wind strength. Another boring video coming up shortly

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Ha Ha, you might not think that if you saw the video footage from my flight yesterday. I swear it was worse because I put the Mini into “CineSmooth” mode.


Cinesmooth is my saviour, tried S mode for the first time today. Thought my MM declared war on its owner :mask::mask::mask:

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Sport mode? Not tried that yet. Thought I might get a few hours of “normal” before I decided to live on the raggedy edge :dizzy_face:


I went out for a couple of flights this morning, first time I’ve had a chance for a week (thanks Storm Brendan). Its windy today, so much so that I got my first two “High Wind Warning” messages along with one that tells me what to do next (Lower your altitude immediately and land) - I didn’t know it would advise a course of action. Not sure if that’s a new thing or whether it’s been added.

Anyway, whilst staying low and flying cautious circuits I think I came to a conclusion. Most bikers don’t like riding in the rain and are nervous of the increased risks. Other bikers just don’t go out in anything other than perfect weather.

My argument to that has always been “If you don’t ride in bad weather how are going to learn how to deal with it when it catches you out”. I think I am going to (cautiously) apply the same mentality to flying my Mavic Mini. I need to learn how to deal with the Wind and not be overly scared by it.

So I will go out more when the wind is manageable and try and get used to it. I will apply caution at all times and manage the risk, but I am going to try and learn how to deal with it.


Just signed up for a paid account at Airdata. I was curious to see what the drone was measuring re: wind and Wind gusts. I am happy that I was so overly cautious based on this;


Hope you took advantage of our exclusive GADC members discount offer with AirData?

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Actually, there’s a reason for that. I was noting elsewhere in the forum another member grumbling about the quality of the photos the Mini takes. It made me realize that, in my mad dash to become proficient with video, I was ignoring the ability to take photos. So when I was out today I tried to take some photos so I could take a look and see what I thought. However, I find that I am not that much of a photographic expert and they seem fine to me.

I just love having the ability to choose what I want to take, photo or video. Photos should be at least as good as my Pixel 3A so I’m happy with that.

This one made me laugh out loud (with glee) because it was taken by the Mini whilst in a hover and fighting todays gusts. Believe me, the Mini looked like it was having a seizure while hovering but you couldn’t tell from the photo :laughing:

For my next trick I am seriously considering taking on the role of “Looking like a prat” but wearing a GoPro head mount and filming the Mavic Mini antics from a ground observer’s perspective.