AeroViroment Vapor 55 – Accident – 2018-08-01

Drone Manufacturer: AeroViroment
Drone Model: Vapor 55
Country: United States of America
Type: Accident
Date: 2018-08-01
Applies: Daytime
Pilot Qualifications: Unknown Status
Pilot Flight Experience: Unknown Hours
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The UAS was performing transects over the Colorado River on a programmed flight plan: 400 ft AGL and 4 m/s. On the third transect {of 5 planned}, at 17 minutes 18 seconds, the aircraft““s throttle jumped from 67to 100. The mission operator {MO} informed the pilot in command {PIC}, as the PIC watched the aircraft begin autorotating. The PIC took manual control of the aircraft and yawed left to point the aircraft towards the shoreline while also applying forward pitch. The aircraft was unable to make it to shore and landed in the river, approximately 20 feet from the shore, in 2-3 feet of water. The aircraft was recovered from the river. The airframe sustained very minor damage. All onboard electronics are inoperable due to water damage. The aircraft passed all pre-flight checks. Battery voltages were recorded prior to flight and showed no abnormalities. Weather observations at time of flight were: 70 degrees F, Cloudy with light winds, DA 9000 ft: all are within normal operating ranges.

Reported Cause

Loss of power.