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A report that DPReview picked up from Engadget says that the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority has banned a number of DJI drones from engaging in flight over humans until an investigation into the alleged malfunction can be completed by the agency. The ban applies to Matrice 200 series and Inspire 2 drones. As the UK Civil Aviation Authority cautions the number of reported incidents is quite low given the popularity of the models so there is no need for panic.
The agency said of the flight failures, “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.”
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The failure of the drones while in flight is suspected to be the result of a loss of power but DJI and the UK CAA aren't sure what's going on yet and every possibility is being explored. These two drone models use the DJI TB50 and TB55 battery packs which are under scrutiny in the Civil Aviation Authority’s review according to DPReview.
DJI, for its part, is advising its customers with models that use the above battery packs to “fly with caution” as the packs apparently do not give an accurate readout of the unit’s power level. DJI is also working on a software update that should help solve the problem. In the meantime, they are also advising pilots to follow the UK CAA’s guidance on the matter.
Drones can’t help but make headlines on almost a daily basis but rarely for mechanical malfunction. That must be a testament to the build quality of many manufacturers’ drones, especially given the number sold each year. Still, it is nice to see the UK government and DJI working hand in hand to resolve this matter as quickly as possible. If you'd like to read up on some of our other drone-related stories you can do so by clicking here.