Parrot Anafi – Accident – 2020-06-11

Drone Manufacturer: Parrot
Drone Model: Anafi
Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Type: Accident
Date: 2020-06-11
Applies: Daytime
Pilot Qualifications: Unknown Status
Pilot Flight Experience: 113 Hours
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History of the flight

The operator was conducting training with the UAS for a pilot and observer. About 3 minutes after takeoff the UA was observed to be “twitching”. Despite attempts to regain control, it was observed to pitch, yaw and change height by approximately ± 20 ft, and the UA was flown to the emergency landing area. As the pilot descended the UA for landing it became less responsive. It then pitched down and flew away, without any input from the pilot, and did not respond to any subsequent inputs. The pilot selected the ‘return to home’ function, without effect, and announced “control lost” to the observer. The UA then collided with a tree about 420 ft from the landing area and 100 ft agl, sustaining damage to its gimbal and front right folding propeller. The operator believed that the flight characteristics and damage sustained indicated that the right front propeller failed in flight.

Reported Cause

The operator had been replacing the propellers on all its UAs every 20 hours of flight time. At the time of the accident the propellers had flown for just under 9 hours. The operator will now change all folding propellers after 5 hours flight time and has made this a scheduled item in its electronic flight and maintenance logging software.