Austral E190 at Buenos Aires on Dec 21st 2018, collision with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in flight
Last Update: December 17, 2019 / 18:03:34 GMT/Zulu time
Argentina's JIAAC reported during the approach the aircraft was impacted by an object, possibly a drone, on the left hand side of the fuselage. The aircraft sustained minor damage. The occurrence was rated an incident and is being investigated.
On Dec 17th 2019 the JIAAC released their final report in Spanish only (Editorial note: to serve the purpose of global prevention of the repeat of causes leading to an occurrence an additional timely release of all occurrence reports in the only world spanning aviation language English would be necessary, a Spanish only release does not achieve this purpose as set by ICAO annex 13 and just forces many aviators to waste much more time and effort each in trying to understand the circumstances leading to the occurrence. Aviators operating internationally are required to read/speak English besides their local language, investigators need to be able to read/write/speak English to communicate with their counterparts all around the globe).
The report concludes the probable cause of the incident was:
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was flying in an area restricted for its use.
It was not possible to determine whether the UAV complied with the regulations because no data were obtained from it or its operator.
The JIAAC reported the impact occurred at 4080 feet MSL just prior to beginning the final approach. Traces of an oily gel-like transparent material as well as fibers of other black material were found.
The fibers were sent for laboratory examination, its ingredients were found to be compatible with carbon fiber. The gel-like material was also sent for laboratory analysis and was found compatible with polymers of acrylic acid (esters) and ethylene polyoxides, which are present in batteries. Based on this analysis it was concluded the aircraft collided with an unmanned aerial vehicle.
The area around the impact, considering winds as well as height and speed of the aircraft, was searched, however, without finding anything. The UAV was operated in night conditions over populated area and over the final approach path into Aeroparque's runway 13 within the control zone of Aeroparque.
In Argentina a lot of drones capable of exceeding 4000 feet MSL are sold.
The JIAAC analysed the presence of a flight data and cockpit voice recorder on board of the E190 made it easier to determine the position and height of the collision. Samples of debris, that were found embedded in the fuselage at the point of impact made it possible to identify the device as UAV. Identification of the type of the UAV however was prevented due to no further remains of the UAV being found. Based on reports by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) it can be assumed that the UAV was sized middle or large.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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