Accident Insitu ScanEagle X200 AV616, Wednesday 9 January 2019
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Date:Wednesday 9 January 2019
Type:Insitu ScanEagle X200
Owner/operator:Insitu Pacific
Registration: AV616
MSN: 08-616
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Woleebee Creek, QLD -   Australia
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Woleebee Creek area
Destination airport:Woleebee Creek area
Investigating agency: ATSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
At about 0825 Eastern Standard Time on 9 January 2019, an Insitu ScanEagle X200 (X200) unmanned aircraft system was launched to conduct ‘beyond visual line of sight’ aerial survey work of gas field infrastructure in the Woleebee Creek area of Queensland. The flight crew consisted of two pilots and two ground crew.

Shortly after launchfrom the Shell / QGC gas compression station, one of the ground crew observed the X200 pitch up and then enter an aerodynamic stall. The flying pilot commenced the emergency procedures for a stall-spin, however the X200 self-recovered before the checklist was completed. At about the same time the pilots received an alert indicating an airspeed sensor failure and initiated the associated emergency procedure checklist.
Before visual sight was lost, the ground crew observed the X200 oscillating in pitch as it continued to fly to the programmed first waypoint. While the flying pilot was executing the emergency procedures checklist, the X200 entered a second aerodynamic stall. Following self‑recovery from a low height above terrain, the X200 commenced a climbing orbit. Shortly after, the X200 entered a third aerodynamic stall, this time from a height that was insufficient for recovery, and collided with terrain. There was no post-impact fire and the X200 was destroyed. There were no reported injuries to people or damage to infrastructure.

The investigation found that the blockage in the pitot-static system resulted in unreliable airspeed data being supplied to the autopilot. Unreliable airspeed data led to the X200 entering an aerodynamic stall at a height that was insufficient for recovery.
During the pre-flight checks, there were opportunities for the erroneous airspeed indications to be identified. However, they were not recognised by the crew or flagged by the ground control station.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Report number: AO-2019-004
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 7 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:

15-Aug-2019 18:56 harro Added
09-Jan-2021 10:57 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Phase, Embed code, Narrative, Plane category, Accident report]
11-Jan-2021 18:11 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code, Narrative, Accident report]
24-Dec-2021 17:52 harro Updated [Accident report]

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