Drone accidents mostly caused by technical problems

Drone accidents mostly caused by technical problems

Drone accidents mostly caused by technical problems, not operator error, research shows

The World Today
By Bridget Brennan

Photo: Dr Wild says a crashing drone is capable of killing a person. (Supplied: Anthony Hoy)

Most small drones accidents are caused by faulty equipment rather than operator error, according to a world-first study looking at the causes of civil drone accidents.
KEY POINTS:

  • Technical problems are behind most civilian drone incidents
  • Current air safety regulations need to be reviewed, researchers say
  • Drones expected to be used often for deliveries, surveying, firefighting

The research found technical problems were the cause of 64 per cent of civilian incidents which occurred between 2006 and 2016.

The researchers said current air safety regulations would need to be reviewed because drones were likely be increasingly used for deliveries, surveying and firefighting.

Dr Wild, from RMIT University's School of Engineering where the research was published, has looked into 150 drone related reported accidents around the world in the past decade.

He said if a drone pilot lost radio connection with a drone and did not manage to recover the link quickly, it was likely to crash.

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