3DR Solo – Incident – 2017-06-22

Drone Manufacturer: 3DR
Drone Model: Solo
Country: United States of America
Type: Incident
Date: 2017-06-22
Applies: Nighttime
Pilot Qualifications: Unknown Status
Pilot Flight Experience: Unknown Hours
Link to External Information About This submission: https://www.safecom.gov/safecom/17-0421
File Uploaded: None


UAS – FA3PRR7H4F was being flown for aerial photography of remote islands within Vermillion Lake in Northern Minnesota. Aviation sectionals were reviewed prior to missions and PASP was in place. Prior to the incident the aircraft {UAS} had been flown successfully for multiple days in the general region as well as within the immediate region that morning. On the sectional a notice of potential magnetic disturbance as much as 12 degrees was noted which improved with altitude. Aircraft took off successfully with 9 satellites from a interior island, take off and landing area was constrained by trees to the rear and sides and water to the front. This was discussed at length and comfortable for crew to operate in. Aircraft took off, performed 20 20 check and proceeded to orbit the island recording video at an altitude of 150 AGL. Systems were operating normal. Aircraft was brought directly in front of pilot and solo app was changed to take still photos. Pilot began orbit as before and at 3 o““clock position aircraft went into return home with full RSSI and 9 satellites. Aircraft descended into constrained landing area very quickly but was not responding to control inputs or FLY override nor was the gimble responding to controls. Aircraft came in very quickly at face level of VO and pilot, with constrained takeoff area they had no direction to go to avoid injury. Pilot grabbed aircraft out of air manually. VO attempted AB pause while pilot had grasp on aircraft. Aircraft would not respond to AB pause or any other controls. VO held left control down for approximately 20-30 seconds before aircraft responded and shut off. Aircraft was immediately grounded from further flights.

Reported Cause

Poor control over aircraft and erratic flight.