Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving Airbus Zephyr unmanned aerial vehicle, near Wyndham Airport, Western Australia on 28 September 2019

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress
Phase: Final report: External review Read more information on this investigation phase


The ATSB is investigating a collision with terrain involving an Airbus Zephyr unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), near Wyndham Airport, Western Australia on 28 September 2019.

The UAV departed Wyndham Airport for flight trials. During climb, at about 8,500 ft, the UAV encountered turbulence. Shortly after, the UAV departed controlled flight and subsequently collided with terrain. There were no injuries to persons on the ground or damage to infrastructure.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview crew, examine technical documentation, and analyse recorded flight data.

A report will be released at the end of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant stakeholders so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 28 September 2019   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 2321 WST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Wyndham Aerodrome   Investigation phase: Final report: External review  
State: Western Australia    
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending    
Anticipated completion: 4th Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus  
Aircraft model Zephyr  
Operator Airbus  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Remotely piloted aircraft  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Wyndham, Western Australia  
Destination Wyndham, Western Australia  
Last update 07 August 2020