Delivery Drones Featured Safety

Poor airframe selection creates delivery drone incident in Scotland

I have sat on this incident gently seething but its time to have an opinion.

The full AAIB report mentions 10 hour inspections for propellers but in my opinion, should have concluded that this is the wrong airframe for the task and should not be used.

I hope the operator has learnt and the health authority will be more careful when choosing partners.

We can all see its a Skywalker X8 and a quad motor setup added, it’s flying PX4 because they mention quadchute in the incident report.

If you are flying something critical or over people then an eight-motor setup is what’s required. I wonder if they exist.

This is the sort of thing I would be using, the folks at Manna have clearly thought about what’s required for flights over people and redundancy.

If it’s your job to choose a platform, just stop and think about what you would like overhead your family.

The UA was hovering at between 50 m to 65 m agl during a demonstration flight, when a rhythmic, lower than normal sound was heard emanating from the UAS. It then dipped and spiralled downwards during which control could not be re-established.

The UA hit the ground and was severely damaged. A fatigue failure of a blade attachment bolt caused one of the lift propeller blades to detach in flight.

History of the flight

The UA was hovering during a demonstration flight and was being flown in various manual modes. After about three minutes in the hover, at between 50 m to 65 m agl, a rhythmic lower-than-normal sound was heard emanating from the UA. A few seconds later it dipped to the left and slowly spiralled downwards. Despite attempts to regain control and fly the UA back to the launch site, the UA was unresponsive and eventually hit the ground. The UA was severely damaged by the impact.

I suppose I was meant to title this, propeller blade falls off delivery drone crashes. But really Swiss cheese, the incident started before that.

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