West Midlands Police in the UK has grounded their DJI Matrice 200 drone after the aircraft had suffered an unexpected power failure causing the drone to fall from the sky. DJI has now come out with a statement urging people to fly with caution when using TB50 and TB55 batteries that are found in the Matrice 200 and Inspire 2 drones, while the company is working on a firmware update.
Matrice 200 fell out of the sky
Last week, West Midlands Police had contacted the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to report that one of their drones had fallen out of the sky, according to the BBC. The drone was immediately grounded and the CAA issued a warning:
“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 (SUA) were damaged upon impact, but the CAA has not received any reports of injuries to people or property.”
The agency Issued a safety notice and also advised on the steps to be taken, such as updating the batteries to the latest firmware And nuts to fly over any people anymore until further notice.
DJI’s official response
DJI immediately responded that the company was investigating the matter. Today they have released an official statement urging customers to fly with caution when they are using TB50 and TB55 batteries in their drones. TB55 batteries are used to power the matrice 200 drones where TB50 batteries can be found in both the Matrice 200 as well as the Inspire 2 drones.
In their statement DJI said:
“DJI is investigating reports that a small number of TB50 and TB55 batteries have shown incorrect power levels that have led to loss of power mid-flight. Flight safety and product reliability are our top priorities, and we are advising customers to fly with caution when operating their drones equipped with these batteries. In addition, DJI is working on a firmware update that will provide improvements to flight safety for the affected drones.”
The Chinese drone maker also pointed out that drone pilots should strictly adhere to both the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regulations that prohibit flying drones over people and property and the UK Civil Aviation Authority that requires any drone to stay away from people and property.
Fly with caution while DJI works on solution
DJI has promised to keep its customers up-to-date with regards to the battery failing issue while it’s working on a firmware update. the company also gorgeous customers who believe may have a battery related power problem to contact DJI customer support.
*Instructions before and during flight:
- Fully charge the battery according to the indicator on the charger, not the indicator on the battery itself
- Insert the battery in the drone, power on and check in the app that the voltage is above 4.25V (fully charged)
- During flight, continue to monitor the voltage of the battery in the battery submenu of the app at all times and ensure it is above 3.7V
- Plan your flight so as to end the operation and land with at least 3.7V indicated (approximately 30% of full charge)
- Reminder: Keep the flight within visual line of sight (VLOS) to support a safe return to home
- Do not fly over people, moving vehicles, or other property that is susceptible to damage
Click here for DJI’s official statement.
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