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NTBS Accident Investigation


Staff member
May 9, 2014
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And from another thread started..

The RPIC Attempted To Remove The Drone Batteries When A Propeller Blade Struck His Right Hand Several Times

Location: Young Harris, GA Accident Number: CEN21LA224
Date & Time: May 6, 2021, 11:00 Local Registration: FA3HW43WTF
Aircraft: DJI Matrice Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 107: Small UAS


On May 6, 2021, about 1100 eastern daylight time, a Dà-Jiang Innovations (DJI) Matrice 300 RTK small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS, commonly known as a drone), registration FA3HW43WTF, was involved in an accident near Young Harris, Georgia. The remote pilot in command (RPIC) sustained serious injuries. The flight was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 107 demonstration flight.

The purpose of the flight was to demonstrate the drone capabilities for a potential customer with a payload that consisted of a Zenmuse H20T camera and a Wingsland Z15 spotlight. The flight location was very close to a DJI GEO Zone designated as a “Restricted Zone.” According to DJI, in Restricted Zones, which appear red the DJI GO application, users will be prompted with a warning and flight is prevented. GEO Zones that prohibit flight are implemented around locations such as airports, power plants, and prisons.


After the accident, the RPIC stated that he was initially unaware of the Restricted Zone and never saw a notification on the remote controller during the flight. He added that he only discovered the Restricted Zone after a discussion with the NTSB. The RPIC stated that he performed a normal takeoff and flew the drone to the west over a wooded area about 393 ft above ground level (agl). He stated that during the spotlight demonstration the drone was unresponsive to control inputs, so he utilized the return-to-home (RTH) function. During the RTH descent toward the home point the drone hovered about 7 ft agl over a vehicle in the parking lot and was still unresponsive to any control inputs. When the drone would not land, the RPIC grabbed onto the landing gear and attempted to physically move the drone away from the vehicle. The drone resisted the physical displacement and maintained its position over the vehicle. The RPIC requested assistance from a demonstration attendee and handed him the remote controller. With guidance from the RPIC, he attempted several times to shut down the motors while RPIC held onto the landing gear with both hands. Finally, the RPIC attempted to remove the drone batteries when a propeller blade struck his right hand several times, which caused tendon and nerve damage.

After the injury was sustained, the RPIC continued to hold onto the drone for several minutes until the batteries were exhausted and the motors stopped.

The accident flight logs and data were retrieved from the drone and will be analyzed. A preliminary review of the flight logs showed that the RTH function was initiated about 7 minutes into the flight at 393 ft agl. A Restricted Zone notification was issued two times on the remote controller during the RTH procedure.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

Oct 10, 2020
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Smithfield, VA
Here is some information that is relevant that I posted on other forums.

So on a previous thread Here some people were talking about issues recovering an aircraft when flying near DJI no fly zones, there was also another thread that I cannot find with someone that lost an aircraft over a cliff that eventually hit Critical Battery Level and landed into the ocean. I ran into this issue and upon investigating this we were able to get to the cause of this and I posted on the thread why this issue exists and the lack of Documentation.

Recently there was an accident on June 2, 2021 with a Matrice 300 that caused bodily injury and was reported to the NTSB. Here is the info on this M300 Accident and here is a link to Pilot Institute video on this. I decided this is important enough to put a Video together to help people become educated on it and possible help others.

I hope this helps keep others from loosing their drone or getting injured!


Florida Drone Supply

Approved Vendor
Dec 8, 2016
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This is the downside of the DJI Fly safe system. Sadly they have no intention of fixing this. DJI maintains its own library of where you can and cannot fly. Which sadly do not correlate to FAA or NSA SSI rules here in the US. But we must all be aware of these. Don't be afraid to request a custom unlock for your drone if you are going to be operating near one of these areas. If you need help doing the custom unlock or you are unsuccessful and need support reach out to us at Florida Drone Supply or reach out to Air Operations Inc and they will help you through the process.

Personal Opinion of:

Michael W. den Hartog
Retail Manager Florida Drone Supply
and SWFL FAA Safety Team Drone Pro
[email protected]

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