AAIB Record-only UAS investigations reviewed: June – July 2023


This section provides details of accidents and incidents which were not subject to a Field or full Correspondence Investigation. They are wholly, or largely, based on information provided by the aircraft commander at the time of reporting and in some cases additional information from other sources. The accuracy of the information provided cannot be assured.

Event DateAircraft Type (Primary Aircraft) (Aircraft)Location NameRecord Only Occurrence Text

19 Mar 2023Model Aircraft Clipped Wing CubOver Norton, OxfordshireA radio controlled aircraft towing a radio controlled glider took off in turbulent conditions. Control of the aircraft was lost and it struck a car, damaging the vehicle’s bonnet, but the glider landed safely.

17 Apr 2023Ghost HybridTwinwood Farm, BedfordshireFollowing standard procedure for the type, after a successful transition from vertical to forward flight the UAS controller mode was changed to ‘fixed wing.’ The aircraft initially turned left as expected toward its default loiter location but then continued rolling left and entered a spiral dive from which it could not be recovered. The accident was thought to have been the result of a transient fault in the UAS’s electronic control system.

03 May 2023WingtraOne Gen 2Denham Aerodrome, HertfordshireWhilst conducting an aerial survey the UA departed from controlled flight and struck a tree before falling to the ground. The operator has shared the flight logs with the manufacturer who determined that the right wing flaperon servo failed rendering the aircraft uncontrollable. Subsequent inspection revealed a cold solder joint on a sensor which led to the intermittent failure of the servo.

16 May 2023Sensus M8-XPLode, CambrideghireThe remote pilot misjudged the aircraft’s flightpath, and the UA flew into a tree and dropped to the ground. There was damage to eight propellers, all four legs and the camera.

17 May 2023DJI Mini 2Barrow-in-Furness, CumbriaThe remote pilot was operating the 249g UA at a height of about 30 m above a private property to take video of some classic cars located there. He was not aware that he was flying in a Flight Restricted Zone of a nearby airfield because the UA manufacturer’s app did not show it and he had not checked an official source. From the video feed he saw a person at the property taking pictures of his UA and talking on the phone. The person then walked away but came back with a shotgun and shot at the UA causing it to fall to the ground. The event was the subject of a police investigation.

23 May 2023DJI M300 RTKClywedog Reservoir, PowysThe UA hit a wall during a surveying flight and fell to the ground.

24 May 2023Yuneec 520eSouthamptonThe UA was being operated from an unoccupied car park close to a railway line. After entering a hover at a height of approximately 5 m the UA began to drift rearwards, accelerating and gradually descending. The UA failed to respond to the remote pilot’s corrective control inputs and struck the ground 15 m from the takeoff point.

25 May 2023Model Aircraft CatalinaUpottery Airfield, DevonAt about 50 feet, the right motor stopped. The remote pilot made the decision to land the model aircraft on the grass but was unable to stop it before it hit a fence.

07 Jun 2023DJI Mini 2King George Dry Dock, SouthamptonDuring a training flight, the UA was blown into a crane by the wind and then fell to the ground.

10 Jun 2023DJI Matrice 30TOadby, LeicestershireBefore a takeoff at night, the UAS operator shone a torch upwards to see if there were any obstacles in the way but saw none. During the takeoff, the UA lifted and collided with an overhead telephone cable. The UA dropped onto the operator’s hand causing a minor injury. The UAS was damaged beyond repair.

11 Jun 2023Model Aircraft RiotWinterton, LincolnshireFollowing a reported battery error the model aircraft disappeared from view and was not recovered. When recovered two weeks later it was found to have sustained damage to the nose.

13 Jun 2023Model Aircraft CondorSolent Airport, HampshireOn a maintenance flight, the control signal to the UA was lost. The model aircraft rolled and nose dived into the airfield.

22 Jun 2023Model Aircraft 1911 Deperdussin MonoplaneWinterton, LincolnshireThe engine stopped during flight and the remote pilot carried out a forced landing into a field, during which the model flipped over damaging the fuselage.

22 Jun 2023DJI M300BristolWhen the pilot noticed the UA heading towards some trees, he tried to get the UA to climb but it did not respond and subsequently hit a tree.

24 Jun 2023Model Aircraft Model GliderCaerwys, North WalesThe remote pilot lost control and sight of the model glider which has not been recovered.

24 Jun 2023Model Aircraft Robey Sirocco 4 gliderForton (Montford Bridge) Airfield, ShropshireFollowing a loss of elevator control the model glider fell into the garden of a neighbouring property. The model glider was destroyed.

29 Jun 2023DJI Mini 3 ProBootle, LiverpoolWhile taking aerial photographs, the remote pilot became distracted and the UA struck a building. The UA fell to the ground and was destroyed.

12 Jul 2023DJI M300 RTKSwinton, SalfordA gust of wind caused the UA to collide with bushes and the UAS carry case. Propellers were damaged and a piece of blade impaled the pilot’s right hand.

12 Jul 2023Mavic IIIBrent Charlie Platform, North SeaThe UA was returning to land on a rig having been used for filming in ‘sports’ mode. It was inadvertently left in sports mode during the approach, which caused it to remain at high speed and the approach to be misjudged, and it struck a handrail before falling to the platform surface.

13 Jul 2023Applied Aeronautics AlbatrossPortland Harbour, DorsetAfter launch, the UA reported a fault and tried to ‘Return to Home’. On approach to land, the UA commenced a sudden steep descent. The standby remote pilot switched to ‘Stabilize’ mode on his controller and tried to gain control, but the UA continued its descent and entered the sea. It was recovered a few days later.

25 Jul 2023Model Aircraft Bristol BulldogWinterton, LincolnshireWhile the model aircraft was flying back towards the runway, the left wing detached and the aircraft fell into a wheat field.

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