Published On: Mon, Aug 12th, 2019

Ministry of defence news: Military drone crash lands into a tree next to a primary school | UK | News

The Watchkeeper WK050 – which cost £6million – crash landed on June 13 2018 less than a mile from a primary school in a small village in Aberporth, Wales, according to the BBC. Pupils at Penparc school were apparently taking part in a sports day when the drone crashed. Five drones which were bought from a French company called Thales have so far crashed in Wales.

The MoD have said they are taking action to address the problems.

The report was revealed following a Freedom of Information request and said that the drone had “landed long” of its touchdown point before flying to the right.

A computer system failed to register it had landed and so “auto-aborted as it approached the end of the runway”.

The engine then powered up and the drone “climbed away”.

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When it was 40ft above the ground, the pilot cut the engine which then caused the crash.

The report said: “The pressing of the engine cut was the cause of the accident”.

After the engine was cut, the drone then “glided over the road and crashed into a tree, approximately 900m beyond” the landing point.

The report added: ”Had no action been taken by the crew the AV (aerial vehicle) would have completed its automatic go-around, from which it could have been commanded to conduct a further approach.”

The drone was being tested at West Wales Airport at Aberporth, Ceredigion.

A MoD spokesman said action was now being taken to address the problems.

A Thales spokesman said it had “already addressed the vast majority of the recommendations”.

He said: “Unmanned aircraft systems like Watchkeeper are designed to keep our service people out of hostile environments.”

“Our ability to rigorously test their capabilities and meet the highest standards of testing and certification demanded of the UK’s military aviation authorities means that we are ultimately able to deliver a safe system when deployed in operational situations.”

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