Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.
On 20 November 2018, a Yamaha RMAX remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) was conducting an air work flight in a paddock near Muswellbrook, New South Wales. A ground support officer and navigator/spotter aided the RPA pilot.
The pilot climbed the RPA to provide ample clearance above trees and put the RPA into a hover. The pilot then moved to position himself better for the area of operation. The pilot unknowingly stepped over an electric fence. He received an electric shock, dropping the controller as a result. In the process of dropping the controller, the throttle moved to full negative. The pilot quickly picked up the controller and increased the throttle. The RPA’s descent reduced as a result but not enough to avoid contacting trees. The RPA subsequently collided with the ground resulting in substantial damage. The pilot and support personnel positioned at a safe distance from the accident were not injured.
As a result of this occurrence, the operator has made changes to the way electrical fencing is identified and labelled. Crews will also carry an electric fence testing meter to be used at relevant sites.
Electric fences along with other distractions and trip hazards need consideration when operating an RPA. Any operation that requires the operator to reposition themselves while operating an RPA increases the risk of trip hazards.
About this report
Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.
|Date:||20 November 2018||Investigation status:||Completed|
|State:||New South Wales|
|Release Date:||21 December 2018||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft model||RMAX Type IIG|
|Type of operation||Aerial Work|
|Sector||Remotely piloted aircraft|
|Damage to aircraft||Substantial|