Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loss of operator control and collision with terrain, Inspire 2 (UAV), Darling Harbour NSW, on 15 January 2021

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating a loss of operator control and collision with terrain involving a DJI Inspire 2 remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) at Darling Harbour, NSW, on 15 January 2021.

While conducting aerial photography the RPA was flown to approximately 10 m above ground level when the pilot reportedly lost control of the aircraft. The RPA flew away laterally at high speed and subsequently collided with and broke the window of a building. An occupant of the building sustained minor injuries from the shattered glass. The RPA was destroyed.

The ATSB will interview the pilot, obtain and review recorded flight and controller data, and review the operator’s procedures as part of the investigation.

A report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation, however should a critical safety issue be identified the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate action can be taken

General details
Date: 15 January 2021   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 11:45 ESuT   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Sydney Aerodrome, 24.75° T 7Km (Darling Harbour)   Investigation phase: Final report: Approval  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Minor  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2022    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft model Inspire 2  
Serial number 09YDFAL004094 2  
Operator Sky Monkey Pty Ltd  
Sector Remotely piloted aircraft  
Departure point Darling Harbour, New South Wales  
Destination Darling Harbour, New South Wales  
Last update 20 January 2022