The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a new report on the structural failure which caused the crash landing of Facebook's solar-powered drone Aquila's first test flight. The crash took place on June 28, outside Yuma, Arizona.
According to the NTSB's report, the crash landing of the Aquila drone's first test flight was caused by the failure of its right wing. The report also said that the drone was struck by a strong, hot gust of wind from below, five seconds before landing.
The NTSB further explained in its report that the Aquila drone was flying too fast as it approached the ground because the design of the drone generated too little drag to ensure the slowing down of the drone after it was knocked off course by the strong gust of wind.
The report said that the Aquila drone struck the ground "at an approximately wings-level attitude" at below 30 miles per hour, and "the aircraft sustained substantial damage as a result of the impact and wing failure."
The NTSB also added that an airbrake or spoiler would have allowed the drone to dip its nose without leading to any unsafe increase in air speed.