DroneXL.co
RCMP drone flew at wrong altitude when it collided with helicopter

RCMP drone flew at wrong altitude when it collided with helicopter

The collision between the RCMP drone and helicopter, we reported on recently was caused by the drone flying at the wrong altitude. The FLIR SkyRanger R60 surveillance drone was operated measuring its altitude in meters instead of feet when it collided with the RCMP Air Services AS350 B3 helicopter on February 6th.

RCMP drone flew at wrong altitude when it collided with helicopter

The RCMP drone flew at 355 feet or 108 meters above ground level (AGL) when the collision took place. The helicopter was flying below 500 feet AGL.

The RCMP said that using the metric system to measure the drone’s altitude “was a contributing factor to the incident,” according to Vertical.

The RCMP drone and helicopter were on a joint mission policing activities during the Wet’suwet’en protests against the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The mid-air collision took place southwest of Houston, B.C. in Canada.

The collision did not show up in the Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) until June 3.

The drone was obliterated as a result of the collision while the helicopter did incur damage to its rotor nd tail section it was able to land safely and all three crew members were uninjured.

“Maintenance staff found damage primarily to the [helicopter’s] main rotor blades along with superficial damage on the tail boom and tail rotor,” the CADORS report states. “The affected components were removed as per the maintenance manual for repairs or overhaul as required. The RPAS [remotely piloted aircraft system, or drone] was destroyed.”

The RCMP has confirmed in an email to Vertical that the damaged helicopter has been airlifted by a Super Puma helicopter. The cost of the operation was more than $83,000 CAD. The AS350 helicopter is out of commission for repairs.

To prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future, the RCMP stated that “updated pre-flight checklists have been provided to RCMP RPAS pilots to confirm altitude display settings on their systems. Updated guidance was provided directing that RCMP RPAS will not be in the air at the same time as an RCMP aircraft.”

In those cases were both manned and unmanned aircraft are needed, the drones will stay below 300 feet AGL and the manned aircraft will remain above 500 feet AGL, the RCMP said.

Flying drones as a career?

If you want to turn your hobby into your career, practice how to fly your drone safely, and learn what it takes to get your Part 107, be sure to check out the excellent training modules from The Drone U.

DroneU Marketing Banner Ad 1

 

Stay in touch!

If you’d like to stay up to date with all the latest drone news, scoops, rumors, and reviews, then follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or…

Subscribe to our Daily Drone News email.*


 

Submit tips If you have information or tips that you would like to share with us, feel free to submit them hereSupport DroneXL.co: You can support DroneXL.co by using these links when you make your next drone purchase: Adorama, Amazon, B&H, BestBuy, eBay, DJI, Parrot, and Yuneec. We make a small commission when you do so at no additional expense to you. Thank you for helping DroneXL grow! FTC: DroneXL.co uses affiliate links that generate income.

* We do not sell, share, rent out or spam your email, ever. Our email goes out on weekdays around 5:30 p.m.

Photo credit: Clayton Little/Global News Photo

Haye Kesteloo

Add comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.