Investigation concludes drone not involved in aircraft incident

The flying fox struck the leading edge of the right wing. (ATSB)

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has ended an investigation into a possible collision between an aircraft and drone near Parafield Airport in Adelaide after concluding the incident involved a flying fox.

The incident took place on July 11, when a single-engine Socata Tobago TB-10 VH-YTG was on final approach to runway 03L at Parafield Airport at about 1830 Central Standard Time and suffered minor damage to the right wing.

A close-up look at the point of impact. (ATSB)
A close-up look at the point of impact. (ATSB)

The ATSB said swabs taken of the damaged area on the leading edge of the right wing found the aircraft struck a flying fox.

“The subsequent DNA test results indicated the sample was most consistent with that of a grey-headed flying-fox, from the bat family,” the ATSB said.

“This finding is consistent with the known behaviours of flying foxes, who can travel up to 50 kilometres from their roosts to feed at night.”

The ATSB has discontinued its investigation.

The registered operator of VH-YTG is Flight Training Adelaide Pty Ltd.

ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood thanked the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics at the Australian Museum in analysing the samples.

Hood said there were 1,954 incidents involving collision with wildlife reported to the ATSB in 2016.


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