ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 269021
Last updated: 30 November 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Time:11:00 UTC
Type:DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Registration: ZT-UTG
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: 4km south of Robben Island -   South Africa
Phase: En route
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
A pilot was conducting aerial work using a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone with registration mark ZT-UTG, less than 2 nautical miles (about 4km) south of Robben Island when the accident occurred. The drone flight was a commercial operation.
After taking aerial pictures of a ship in the sea at around 1100Z, the drone was piloted back to base, however, it lost communication with the controller/pilot en route. According to the pilot, there were a lot of seagulls around the area that chased after the drone. He battled to keep sight of the drone as a result of the sun rays reflecting on the water surface, and thus, causing blinding glare to his vision (as he was facing the sun). The drone fell into the sea and was not recovered after it went under (submerged). No injuries were reported during this accident.
The cause of the accident: The pilot operated the drone in conditions which were not conducive to keeping sight of the drone (visually tracking the drone). As a result, he lost control of the drone due to sun rays reflecting on the water surface and, thus, causing blinding glare to his vision.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:


Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description