Parrot Anafi USA – Accident – 2021-04-21

Drone Manufacturer: Parrot
Drone Model: Anafi USA
Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Type: Accident
Date: 2021-04-21
Applies: Daytime
Pilot Qualifications: Licensed or Certificated by Aviation Authority
Pilot Flight Experience: 6 Hours
Link to External Information About This submission:
File Uploaded: parrot_anafi_usa_uas_reg_na_0921

Description

The unmanned aircraft (UA) was operating at 60 m agl with an observer maintaining visual line of site and an operator controlling the aircraft and camera. The weather was overcast but with good visibility and low wind. The UA had been conducting a survey of nearby fields and woodland and had been flying for approximately 11 minutes. It was stable and hovering as the operator yawed the aircraft to pan the camera around. The controller suddenly lost connection with the UA and the tablet screen showing the camera picture displayed “white noise”. The operator noticed that the UA’s Wi-Fi signal had reduced from green to red but there was no other information displayed.

The observer watched as the UA pitched forwards and rapidly descended into the ground in nearby woodland. The aircraft was found 300 m away upside down. One rotor blade had snapped, a rotor arm had been dislodged, the rotor arms were unable to fold out and the battery had been released and was located next to the aircraft.

Parrot Anafi USA damage after inflight crash.

Reported Cause

The UA was recovered and sent to the manufacturer for examination. The manufacturer reported it was likely that during the component surface mounting process, an abnormal solder connection between the UA’s battery and the aircraft’s printed circuit board (PCB) power circuit caused the UA to lose power during flight.

The manufacturer has completed a check of every unit and PCB in its facility as well as their surface mounting technology process and equipment. A sample check of the UAs in storage awaiting sale, including their demonstration fleet and those units returned for after sales service, was also completed without finding any further abnormalities. There had been no previous reports of failures linked to abnormal soldering.