3DR Solo – Accident – 2019-08-27

Drone Manufacturer: 3DR
Drone Model: Solo
Country: United States of America
Type: Incident
Date: 2019-08-27
Applies: Daytime
Pilot Qualifications: Unknown Status
Pilot Flight Experience: Unknown Hours
Link to External Information About This submission: https://www.safecom.gov/safecom/19-0524
File Uploaded: None


About 1 minute into the second mission flight of the day, the battery charge dropped instantly from 96{{%}} to 25{{%}} and PIC received the haptic feedback from the GC unit suggesting low battery. The mission flight was over an active creek, at about 20’ AGL, so the PIC began to maneuver the UAS away from the creek to bring the UAS to a clear landing zone. After just a few seconds of the maneuver the battery suddenly dropped to 12{{%}}. A clear landing zone was about 30’ away and the UAS was at about 10’ AGL when the battery charge instantly dropped to 3{{%}} and the UAS began an automated RTL and initiated a climb to the predetermined RTL altitude of 200’ AGL. The RTL altitude was set to 200’ to avoid dense tree cover adjacent to the creek therefore, at 3{{%}} battery, the PIC made the call to utilize “AB Pause” maneuver on the GC unit and the UAS dropped from about 15’to 20` AGL, striking a small boulder. The resulting damage was: 3 broken rotors, a damaged GoPro Gimble,a fracture in the aircraft body at the front housing and a bent airframe.

Reported Cause

Loss of power.