3DR Solo – Accident – 2017-12-06

Drone Manufacturer: 3DR
Drone Model: Solo
Country: United States of America
Type: Accident
Date: 2017-12-06
Applies: Daytime
Pilot Qualifications: Unknown Status
Pilot Flight Experience: Unknown Hours
Link to External Information About This submission: https://www.safecom.gov/safecom/18-0078
File Uploaded: None


Flying mission on freshly charged battery {mfg 08/2015}, 98{%} charge at start. Flying over area of heavy cedar trees, 800+ feet away and aprox 200+ altitude. Charge went from 70s to 50s to teens in seconds. Battery dropped so fast the drone did an auto return home. Battery charge continued to rapidly drop. I did not believe it would make it back and was going fall from the sky at over 150““. At about 6{%} I took over to get it as low to the ground as I could before failure. I believed it was seconds from dropping out of the sky. When it was in a clear spot, still 150 away from me I took to what I believed was 1-2““ off the ground and a steep slope. Battery had dropped to 3{%}. In an attempt to minimize damage I killed the motors hoping it would drop on the steep slope. I visual misjudged the location of the drone and the ground contours. In fell from about 20`. I cracked the upper body and broke two blades.

This is the third battery in two days with catastrophic charging failures. Batteries have manufacture dates of 08/2015 and 10/2015. These batteries will be taken out of service and no longer be used.

Reported Cause

Loss of power.