The first one is pure common reasoning. A drones can stay in the air as long as the battery has juice. Once the battery drains out, the propellers can’t rotate and the drones will come down crashing. Modern drones have a protection mechanism. When the battery level falls below a threshold, typically 30% or as set by the user, it starts flashed and beeping warning on the controller. Even otherwise, when drones senses that it has just enough power to return back to base, it initiated RTH or Return-to-Home. Sometimes, in sport mode or otherwise, one can override safety controls. In such cases, RTH is not activated. But if drones has very little battery left, it will attempt to land wherever it is (it can be water body also). Entry level drones lacking safety features will come crashing down.
The second one is lack or loss of GPS signal. Modern drones rely on GPS for positioning, flight path, home detection, etc. As many as 10–20 GPS satellites are used for guidance. If the drones loses GPS, it will attempt to retrace the path where it found the last GPS. If there is complete GPS loss, it will attempt to return home. If it can’t, it will continue flying till there is battery and above conditions will apply.
The third is WiFi connectivity to the controller unit. Under loss of WiFi signal, the drones will behave similarly as to loss of GPS.
There’s nothing more frustrating than spotting a perfect angle for a drones shot, getting it lined up just, almost, right… and the low battery light starts flashing. You just got it up there, and barely had a chance to look around, so how could the battery already be running out? Is it just me, or does the battery always run low way before the manufacturer posted possible flight time? No, it’s not just me. The actual flight time is usually shorter than they claim it could be.
With a high-quality consumer drones, you can expect to see a posted flight time of around 30 minutes, while lower quality toy drones will have published flight times of 5-15 minutes. The reality is that actual flight times will usually be a bit less than claimed for a number of reasons.
A lot of factors contribute to the flight time of any given drones on any given flight. Some of these factors are the drones itself, the batteries it uses, the type of motors it has, how much it weighs, etc. Other factors that contribute to actual flight times include external factors such as weather conditions and how you’re using the drones.
Average Flight Times by Type of drones.
The biggest factor influencing the overall flight time of a drones is the type of drones that it is. There are several different ways to think of drones types, but for our purposes we’ll break the standard off-the-shelf options into three basic categories: toy drones, mid-level, and high-end drones.