3DR Solo – Accident – 2018-07-19

Drone Manufacturer: 3DR
Drone Model: Solo
Country: United States of America
Type: Accident
Date: 2018-07-19
Applies: Daytime
Pilot Qualifications: Unknown Status
Pilot Flight Experience: Unknown Hours
Link to External Information About This submission: https://www.safecom.gov/safecom/18-0557
File Uploaded: None


Flying Tower mission for aerial photography for an road easement. Had run 4 previous tower missions. 3DR Solo had lost GPS lock on one temporarily for no apparent reason and than regained GPS. Missions were completed without incident. Last mission which was a short mission to finish out aerial photography for section of road that was not able to finish with previous missions. Everything normal on takeoff and first waypoint and aircraft had turned and was traveling to second waypoint when it descended suddenly and began to fly erratic changing speed and direction continually. PIC tried to fly manually but aircraft did not respond and appeared to have lost GPS also. Tower was closed in effort to clear program and reopened without any response. Thought aircraft control was regained at one point to return but it continued to travel in different direction again. Aircraft did reacquire GPS and went into return to launch however aircraft was too low on battery and had to make an emergency landing before making back to launch site. PIC and observer lost visual on aircraft in process, aircraft telemetry on Tower application showed aircraft to descend to make landing during low battery.

Reported Cause

Loss of control.