The UK Civil Aviation Authority has just released a new update on DJI TB50 and TB55 battery failures which lead to the damage of aircraft. They have expanded their warning to Matrice Series and Inspire 2 aircraft.
This is a follow-up post to this and this.
But First a Crash Debrief
One of our awesome readers has sent in a post-crash analysis and photos. You can find it below.
- Relatively low time aircraft and batteries. (Less than 6 months old, a couple of hours a week put on a/c).
- Preflight unremarkable, firmware up to date.
- Third flight of the day, new set of batteries.
All systems in the green at take off, batteries showing 99%
Batteries approximately 83% at the time of power loss. Never received warning of any problem.
First indication of problem was XT2 gimbal tumbling and VO observing a/c drop from 300’ AGL.
Class G airspace, VFR, winds light and variable, clear, visibility >10, open air (no obstructions, no interference, GPS signal strong)
Post flight pics showed no damage to left rear prop, all other props appeared to be spinning/broken with terrain contact. Left rear motor was no longer catching magnets, all others were the same as preflight.
My assessment was failure of the left rear motor, but I suppose it could have been a complete power loss- DJI never made a statement on findings. Just that it would be replaced.
If you have a crash debrief to share, contact me using the form at the bottom of this post.
Inspire Battery Failure
Another reader just told me, “We had a single TB50 on an Inspire 2 fail during a damage assessment flight yesterday. Thankfully, he was able to land the craft without incident, but it definitely seems that there are issues across the TB50 and TB55 series batteries.”
UK CAA Alert 10-31-2018
This Safety Notice contains recommendations regarding operational safety.
Recipients must ensure that this Notice is copied to all members of their staff who need to take appropriate action or who may have an interest in the information (including any ‘in-house’ or contracted maintenance organisations and relevant outside contractors).
This Safety Notice supersedes and revokes Safety Notice SN–2018/008.
1.2 This Safety Notice applies to operators of multi-rotor small unmanned aircraft utilising DJI battery model TB50 or TB55, including all DJI Matrice 200 series (which includes the 200, 210 and 210 RTK platforms) and the DJI Inspire 2 (the “Affected SUA”).
1.3 A small number of incidents have been recently reported where the aircraft has suffered a complete loss of power during flight, despite indications that there was sufficient battery time still remaining. In each case, this resulted in the aircraft falling directly to the ground due to the immediate loss of lift with the remote pilot unable to control its subsequent flight path. The small unmanned aircraft were damaged upon impact, but the CAA has not received any reports of injuries to people or other property.
1.4 Investigation by the manufacturer has confirmed that this issue is not confined to any specific firmware version and is thought to be related to the batteries TB50 and TB55. The full details of the occurrences are still being investigated.
1.5 The purpose of this Safety Notice is to highlight the requirement for the SUA operator and/or remote pilot to be reasonably satisfied that the flight can be safely made (Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO) article 94(2)), restrict overflight of persons at any height and to temporarily limit the scope of any operational authorisations issued to operators of the Affected SUA.
This Safety Notice requires the following actions to be taken:
a) Provisional Suspension of Operations
i) In accordance with Air Navigation Order article 257 and 257(2)(c) operators of Affected SUA are hereby directed not to permit any flight that involves overflight of any persons at any height until further notice.
ii) In accordance with Air Navigation Order article 253, any element of a permission based on an Operational Safety Case (OSC), issued by the CAA to an SUA operator which permits the operation of an Affected SUA to be operated:
• over or within 150 metres of any congested area;
• within 50 metres of any persons;
• within 50 metres of any, vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the SUA Operator or remote pilot of the SUA;
• over or within 150 metres of an open air assembly of more than 1,000 persons; or
• using EVLOS
is provisionally suspended until further notice.
iii) These limitations will be subject to regular review. As soon as further updates have been obtained from the manufacturer, and the CAA is satisfied that this has been addressed in a satisfactory manner, the CAA will then issue a further update via the SkyWise alerts portal on the CAA website.
b) Emergency Services Operations
i) Due to the unique nature of emergency services operations, the privileges contained within General Exemption E 4506 (ORS4 No. 1233) may continue to be exercised whilst using the Affected SUA, provided that the potential risks highlighted in this Safety Notice have been considered within the decision to proceed and the overflight of uninvolved persons is minimised. – Source
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