Drone Accidents NTSB Proposed Rulemaking

drone accidents
A new Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) seeks to revise the agency’s authority to investigate drone accidents.  In AUVSI’s formal comment, the largest unmanned systems advocacy organization asks if the change – which expands the agency’s reach to smaller drones – will really impact aviation safety.

Currently, the NTSB investigated manned aircraft or other major transportation accidents.  They are only authorized to investigate drone accidents based on a weight criteria of 300 pounds, limiting their sphere of influence to larger aircraft.  The NPRM would remove the current weight requirement entirely, replacing it with “an airworthiness certificate or airworthiness approval requirement.”

“The weight threshold is no longer an appropriate criterion because unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) under 300 lbs. are operating in high-risk environments, such as beyond line-of-sight and over populated areas. The…