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 8 September 2018, at 0700 Central Standard Time, a Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) Inspire 2 remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) was conducting a test flight above Fort Hill Wharf, Northern Territory.
During the test flight, the operator flew the RPA near a cruise ship. The RPA lost signal and the operator initiated the return-to-home procedure. During this procedure, at a height of 120 feet above ground level, the RPA deviated from the return-to-home path and collided with the ship, resulting in the aircraft being destroyed.
The pilot speculated that the ship caused interference with the datalink signal, resulting in the RPA deviating off course and subsequently colliding with the ship.
This incident highlights the importance of ensuring that while operating RPAs, a sufficient distance is maintained from vehicles, ships, buildings and people at all times. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has published an extensive amount of information on flying drones/remotely piloted aircraft in Australia.
Further information about flying your RPA safely can be found on the ATSB website, under the news item: Know your drone and the rules to fly safely.
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:||08 September 2018||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||Near Darwin, NT (Fort Hill wharf)|
|Release Date:||04 January 2019||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft model||Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) Inspire 2 (RPA)|
|Type of operation||Aerial Work|
|Sector||Remotely piloted aircraft|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|
|Departure point||Fort Hill Wharf, near Darwin, NT|