3DR Solo – Accident – 2018-03-30

Drone Manufacturer: 3DR
Drone Model: Solo
Country: United States of America
Type: Accident
Date: 2018-03-30
Applies: Daytime
Pilot Qualifications: Unknown Status
Pilot Flight Experience: Unknown Hours
Link to External Information About This submission: https://www.safecom.gov/safecom/18-0184
File Uploaded: None


The UAS pilot had flown 4 successful Tower missions earlier in the day prior to this incident. Upon completion of the 4th Tower mission, once the aircraft had returned to the launch point and was on the ground, the UAS was powered down, the battery was swapped and the UAS was powered up. Upon initiating the preflight checklist, the controller reported a message regarding a magnetic interference with the GPS. There were two ½ ton pickups and a front end loader in the area approximately 10-15 meters away from the launch site. The aircraft was powered down and the launch point was moved approximately 5 meters away from the vehicles. The aircraft was then powered up at which time it was able to establish GPS signal. Utilizing the checklist for Tower with GoPro, the mission was uploaded to the aircraft and downloaded back to the controller. All systems were check at this point. Tower mission was initiated and the aircraft launched and proceeded toward the first waypoint. About 30 seconds into the flight the controller reported a loss of GPS and the aircraft began to waiver erratically. Approximately 5-7 seconds after reporting loss of GPS, the signal for GPS reported as established at which time the UAS pilot immediately initiated Fly Mode and regained control of the aircraft and began to maneuver the UAS aircraft to the launch site. As the aircraft began to descend it again began to act erratically, moving side to side very quickly, and then the aircraft began to fly away on a direct line {SE heading} from the launch area at which point there appeared to be no linked GPS signal to the aircraft. The pilot attempted to initiate the return to home protocol which had no effect on the aircraft. As the aircraft began to leave the area of operation, the operator was holding the collective stick back all the way in an attempt to bring the aircraft down and it began to descend at a very slow rate, although still on the same heading. The aircraft, still flying away from the AO, began to descend as it remained on a straight flight away from the AO {SE heading} where it crash landed approximately 100-120 meters away from the AO. The downed UAS aircraft was located and was lying on its back. The indicator lights were still operational and appeared normal, and the motors had stopped. The resulting damage was a broken rotor and an extension foot had popped off. The payload {gimble and camera} {Hero GoPro 4 Black} were fully intact and undamaged.

Reported Cause

Loss of control.