Flying mini quad in or around snow, words to the wise (weather stripping)


New member
So when I first started flying nano and micro quads, flying in the winter was no big deal, they didn't go into the snow very deeply if you crashed, and they had a plastic shell covering electronics. They were cheap to repair as well. They do not generate much heat on 1S batteries, so you can usually just shake it off and fly if you crash in the snow.

Fast forward 1 year, now I'm flying 100-200 class FPV mini quads and 350 class camera quads. I don't crash that often anymore, and I was waiting on a clear day, but I got impatient. I wasn't going to let a little snow fall get in the way of running down battery packs anymore (which I needed to do anyway, fully charged going on two days, didn't want to discharge batteries with charger and waste the fun, so ...)

I can tell you first hand that a brushless mini quad does not skate on top of the snow like a tiny nano quad.

It burrows underneath the snow like a pissed off badger.

A snowflake must have deposited on the PDB in the wrong spot, because the quad fell out of the air like a brick. When I took of the goggles (which were still working) and ran through the snow to the quad, it was completely buried in snow. I immediately grabbed it and unplugged the battery and shook out as much snow off as I could.

I was fortunate. Everything survived except for the VTX. Lesson learned, that fresh snow is very light and will go through every crevice on a crash, and that hot circuit boards, wires, motors melt snow, water conducts electricity. Holes on the bottom plate are less than ideal, and the open sides on the mini quad allow snow to go everywhere also.

I gave my quad "snow boots and pants" with clear weather stripping and electrical tape.

snowpants(1st-attempt).jpg boots(bottom_plate).jpg

The VTX or ESCs as well....


First snow proofing attempt survived snow crash without losing anything.

I still had to take it all apart and dry it out before flying again. Snow packed into the openings between the top and bottom plates around the taped parts.

Second snow proofing attempt has been working for awhile now. I took clear electrical tape and ran it around the four posts between carbon fiber top and bottom plates, sealed to the bottom plate, leaving it open at the back. I would not leave it this way in summer, I can probably only get away with this because it's cold outside.


I also let the quad sit outside without the battery for a bit to cool down so it doesn't melt snow and make it stick as much. Now I can just shake it off if I land in the snow and keep flying. Another added benefit of tape on bottom plate is that the quad slides really well on top of harder snow or ice, just like a plastic sled.

I realize Corrosion X is a safer solution, I just don't want to have to deal with removing it and reapplying considering changing parts and soldering.