|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : fhu.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Route In Use||approach : visual|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||pilot : multi engine|
pilot : atp
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 20|
flight time total : 2600
flight time type : 5
|Independent Detector||other other : 1|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : insufficient time|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
The uas is an experimental FAA registered unmanned airborne system in development by a major aerospace corp. There were four flts during this flight period. As is practice currently with our operations; takeoff and landing are controlled by the external (supplemental) pilot and the internal pilot (PIC) controls the aircraft once it is airborne and stable. The external pilot is not a licensed pilot but an experienced radio control pilot. The switch to transfer control between the external pilot and the internal pilot is on the control box in the hands of the external pilot. The internal pilot does not have an override function. The internal pilot does have display of aircraft status (including speed; altitude; heading; and attitude) as well as a live feed from video camera mounted under the left wing. Also; during takeoff and landing an automated voice is activated to call out airspeeds as reference for the external pilot. I was the PIC and internal pilot for these flts. The first three flts of the day were to determine fuel burn at various cruise settings. That being said the flts were quickly transitioned from manual takeoff to automatic flight under control of the autoplt (which is commanded by the internal pilot) for consistency. When the run was over the aircraft was returned to manual control for a quick landing by the external pilot to limit the non-consistent portion of the flight. The fourth flight was to check the top end speed and pitch stability. After this was completed; the aircraft was transitioned to manual flight for landing proficiency by the external pilot. On the fifth landing of this third flight; while watching the video from the wing camera I saw the aircraft pitch down a bit short of the approach end of the runway. This action started at an altitude of much less than 100 ft AGL. Before I could make a call over the intercom to the external pilot (to execute a go-around) the aircraft impacted the ground. I saw something fly by the video from right to left and then a moment later the aircraft pitched forward as the nose landing gear collapsed. I looked out the van in which I was seated and saw the aircraft stopped at the approach end of the runway; tail in the air. I shut down the engine and stopped the video recorder. I also completed the logs for the day. By this time the aircraft had been returned to the maintenance area next to the van by the ground crew. I exited the van and participated in the inspection of the aircraft. My initial examination noted a broken propeller and the nose gear bent back. There did not appear to be other damage to the aircraft.callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: the reporter stated that this test flight was conducted at 2000 ft and the uav was operating with an approved FAA transponder. The reporter stated that the internal pilot is located in a van without visual contact with the uav. The internal pilot's knowledge about uav performance is provided by a camera mounted on the uav wing and is supplemented by altitude/airspeed inputs. The external pilot is a pilot standing outside with the aircraft in sight. This pilot controls the uav visually. The reporter stated the reason for the pitch down and crash was that the internal pilot transferred control to the external pilot too early. In this case; the uav was out of the external pilot's radio control range and therefore not controlled by either pilot with the internal pilot terminated his control of the uav.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A TEST FLT UAV CRASHED DURING LNDG BECAUSE THE INTERNAL CTL PLT TRANSFERRED CTL TO THE EXTERNAL PLT PRIOR TO HIS ABILITY TO CTL IT. NOTE THAT NEITHER PLT IS ACTUALLY INSIDE THE VEHICLE. THE 'INTERNAL' PLT CTLS FROM A VAN.
Narrative: THE UAS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL FAA REGISTERED UNMANNED AIRBORNE SYSTEM IN DEVELOPMENT BY A MAJOR AEROSPACE CORP. THERE WERE FOUR FLTS DURING THIS FLT PERIOD. AS IS PRACTICE CURRENTLY WITH OUR OPS; TAKEOFF AND LNDG ARE CONTROLLED BY THE EXTERNAL (SUPPLEMENTAL) PILOT AND THE INTERNAL PILOT (PIC) CTLS THE ACFT ONCE IT IS AIRBORNE AND STABLE. THE EXTERNAL PILOT IS NOT A LICENSED PILOT BUT AN EXPERIENCED RADIO CONTROL PILOT. THE SWITCH TO TRANSFER CTL BETWEEN THE EXTERNAL PILOT AND THE INTERNAL PILOT IS ON THE CTL BOX IN THE HANDS OF THE EXTERNAL PILOT. THE INTERNAL PILOT DOES NOT HAVE AN OVERRIDE FUNCTION. THE INTERNAL PILOT DOES HAVE DISPLAY OF ACFT STATUS (INCLUDING SPEED; ALTITUDE; HEADING; AND ATTITUDE) AS WELL AS A LIVE FEED FROM VIDEO CAMERA MOUNTED UNDER THE LEFT WING. ALSO; DURING TAKEOFF AND LNDG AN AUTOMATED VOICE IS ACTIVATED TO CALL OUT AIRSPEEDS AS REFERENCE FOR THE EXTERNAL PILOT. I WAS THE PIC AND INTERNAL PILOT FOR THESE FLTS. THE FIRST THREE FLTS OF THE DAY WERE TO DETERMINE FUEL BURN AT VARIOUS CRUISE SETTINGS. THAT BEING SAID THE FLTS WERE QUICKLY TRANSITIONED FROM MANUAL TAKEOFF TO AUTOMATIC FLT UNDER CONTROL OF THE AUTOPLT (WHICH IS COMMANDED BY THE INTERNAL PLT) FOR CONSISTENCY. WHEN THE RUN WAS OVER THE ACFT WAS RETURNED TO MANUAL CTL FOR A QUICK LNDG BY THE EXTERNAL PILOT TO LIMIT THE NON-CONSISTENT PORTION OF THE FLT. THE FOURTH FLT WAS TO CHK THE TOP END SPEED AND PITCH STABILITY. AFTER THIS WAS COMPLETED; THE ACFT WAS TRANSITIONED TO MANUAL FLT FOR LNDG PROFICIENCY BY THE EXTERNAL PILOT. ON THE FIFTH LNDG OF THIS THIRD FLT; WHILE WATCHING THE VIDEO FROM THE WING CAMERA I SAW THE ACFT PITCH DOWN A BIT SHORT OF THE APCH END OF THE RWY. THIS ACTION STARTED AT AN ALT OF MUCH LESS THAN 100 FT AGL. BEFORE I COULD MAKE A CALL OVER THE INTERCOM TO THE EXTERNAL PILOT (TO EXECUTE A GO-AROUND) THE ACFT IMPACTED THE GND. I SAW SOMETHING FLY BY THE VIDEO FROM R TO L AND THEN A MOMENT LATER THE ACFT PITCHED FORWARD AS THE NOSE LNDG GEAR COLLAPSED. I LOOKED OUT THE VAN IN WHICH I WAS SEATED AND SAW THE ACFT STOPPED AT THE APCH END OF THE RWY; TAIL IN THE AIR. I SHUT DOWN THE ENGINE AND STOPPED THE VIDEO RECORDER. I ALSO COMPLETED THE LOGS FOR THE DAY. BY THIS TIME THE ACFT HAD BEEN RETURNED TO THE MAINT AREA NEXT TO THE VAN BY THE GND CREW. I EXITED THE VAN AND PARTICIPATED IN THE INSPECTION OF THE ACFT. MY INITIAL EXAMINATION NOTED A BROKEN PROPELLER AND THE NOSE GEAR BENT BACK. THERE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE OTHER DAMAGE TO THE ACFT.CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE RPTR STATED THAT THIS TEST FLT WAS CONDUCTED AT 2000 FT AND THE UAV WAS OPERATING WITH AN APPROVED FAA XPONDER. THE RPTR STATED THAT THE INTERNAL PLT IS LOCATED IN A VAN WITHOUT VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE UAV. THE INTERNAL PLT'S KNOWLEDGE ABOUT UAV PERFORMANCE IS PROVIDED BY A CAMERA MOUNTED ON THE UAV WING AND IS SUPPLEMENTED BY ALT/AIRSPEED INPUTS. THE EXTERNAL PLT IS A PLT STANDING OUTSIDE WITH THE ACFT IN SIGHT. THIS PLT CONTROLS THE UAV VISUALLY. THE RPTR STATED THE REASON FOR THE PITCH DOWN AND CRASH WAS THAT THE INTERNAL PLT TRANSFERRED CONTROL TO THE EXTERNAL PLT TOO EARLY. IN THIS CASE; THE UAV WAS OUT OF THE EXTERNAL PLT'S RADIO CONTROL RANGE AND THEREFORE NOT CONTROLLED BY EITHER PLT WITH THE INTERNAL PLT TERMINATED HIS CONTROL OF THE UAV.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.