Due to recent incidents involving the DJI Matrice 200 Series Aircraft in UK airspace, some DJI resellers are advising ‘temporary grounding’ of all DJI Matric 200 Series Aircraft, pending incident investigation.
DJI have been made aware of these incidents by multiple parties. Various Police forces have purchased the DJI Matrice 200 and invested heavily in equipment and training. It is understood that West Midland Police first noticed the problem
on a recent operation when the DJI Matrice 200 drone experienced an in-flight issue and landed on the roof of a commercial business unit. West Midlands Police immediately grounded the DJI Matrice 200 model and referred the matter directly to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
DJI resellers are writing to all of their customers to effectively ground all DJI Matrice 200 commercial flights until futher notice. This affects all companies with OSC’S Operating Safety Cases which allow flights within 50m and in some cases down to 10m.
Any used for OSCs are now not permitted.
For users of the DJI Matrice 200 series drone, we wanted to make sure you are aware of this safety notice. You should read it carefully and note how it applies to you.
There are four key points to be aware of:
- In accordance with Air Navigation Order article 257 and 257(2)(c), operators of a DJI Matrice 200 are hereby directed not to fly or permit any flight that involves overflight of any persons at any height until further notice.
- In accordance with Air Navigation Order article 253, any element of a permission based on an Operational Safety Case (OSC), issued by the CAA to an SUA operator which permits the operation of a DJI Matrice 200 series SUA to be operated:- within 50 metres of any persons;- within 50 metres of any, vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the SUA Operator or remote pilot of the SUA;- over or within 150 metres of an open air assembly of more than 1,000 persons;- using EVLOS is provisionally suspended until further notice.
- Firmware updates. The Safety notice mandates the updating of the battery firmware.We would recommend going further and ensuring ALL firmware relating to your drone be updated and kept up to date as this is best practice.
- Emergency services operators may continue to operate under General Exemption E 4506 (ORS4 No. 1233), but with additional consideration on the decision to proceed, especially where overflight of person(s) may be involved.
The CAA has advised that this notice will remain in force until further notice.
Here is the link to the CAA notice put out late last week.
It understood by Drone Photography Services that the issue relates to batteries dropping from high % to below flyable condition in seconds. Our understanding is that it has as only happened with the longer life TB55 batteries so far. It also seems to be happening on batteries that have been updated to the latest DJI firmware.
This problem could also affect the widely used DJI Inspire 2 drone which use the same batteries.
This is a very serious issue for commercial owners of DJI Matrice and Inspire 2 drones and DJI as a business. Lets see how DJI respond.
Here is Our previous article on DJI Matrice pricing in April 2018.