Drones have been grounded by some police forces after a warning was issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The police had reported the issues to the CAA and so were expecting the warning. The drones are used by the police forces for search and rescue missions, large infrastructure projects and inspecting structures, such as bridges and wind turbines, according to the manufacturer, DJI.
A few DJI Matrice 200 series drones suffered power failures which caused the drones to crash. The machines encountered total loss of power even when they had adequately charged batteries. So far, there have been some damaged drones but no injuries or damage of property have been reported. Owners of drones that were affected by the malfunction have been asked to update their drones’ software.
The National Police Chief Council lead for drones, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, said all forces were expected to have the drones grounded due to safety reasons until further appropriate guidance is given. Other forces who have reportedly grounded the Matrice 200 series drones include, Greater Manchester Police, Derbyshire Police and Devon and Cornwall Police.
Flights that pilots are not in control of are not allowed within 50 metres of people, structures or vehicles until further notice.
A statement from DJI read: “Flight safety and product reliability are our top priorities. Our engineers are thoroughly reviewing each customer case and working to address this matter urgently.”