Drone Manufacturer: DJI
Drone Model: Matrice 210
Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Pilot Qualifications: Unknown Status
Pilot Flight Experience: 100 Hours
Link to External Information About This submission: https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/aaib-investigation-to-dji-matrice-210-uas-registration-n-a-11-june-2019
File Uploaded: dji_matrice_210_uas_registration_na_110619_0120
The DJI Matrice 210 quadcopter small unmanned aircraft (SUA) 1 was being operated by the Police over a congested2 area. It was fitted with optical and a thermal imaging cameras. The pilot had checked the weather and although very light rain was forecast, it was considered that the conditions were suitable as they were within the manufacturer’s parameters.
The takeoff and ascent to the operating height of 80 m (~260 ft) agl were normal and the aircraft remained static and stable for nearly 10 minutes; the battery level was 68%. The cameras then started to rotate and a ‘motor overload’ message was displayed. The aircraft then began to spin anticlockwise whilst rapidly descending. It subsequently crashed in an open space and was destroyed on impact. There was no damage to persons or property.
The pilot considered the accident was caused by either a motor or ESC failure and commented that the extra weight and position of the thermal camera away from the centre of gravity may have caused extra load on the propulsion system. He added that he thought restrictions on operating a UAS in congested areas should be reintroduced as he had one second’s warning of the failure before control of the aircraft was lost.
Refer to report on DJI Matrice 210 – EW/C2019/03/02 in this AAIB Bulletin 1/2020 for information on other accidents involving the DJI Matrice 210 and Safety Recommendations concerning the safe operation of a UAS near to people and congested areas.
The pilot considered the accident was caused by either a motor or ESC failure.