Crashed Camcopter UAV recovery complicated by threat of unexploded munitions

Recovery of the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 that crashed on March 27 was expected to begin on Wednesday.

Accessing the crash site located in Beecroft Air Weapons Range is dependent on the area being clear of unexploded munitions, but the ‘all clear’ is anticipated to be given today, a Defence spokesperson told sister publication Australian Defence Business Review.

Meanwhile, the cause of the incident is being investigated by Schiebel Aircraft, which was the contracted operator and owner of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in question, Defence said.

The vertical takeoff and landing UAV was being operated by Schiebel flight instructors that were providing training for Royal Australian Navy (RAN) personnel from the Navy Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit.

A spokesperson for Schiebel in Austria told Australian Defence Business Review on March 31 that the incident is being investigated by the company and the Australian authorities, adding that no information regarding the incident would be provided until the investigation has been completed.

The Camcopter navigates automatically via preprogrammed GPS waypoints, or can be operated directly with a pilot control unit.