Drones used by UK police forces are falling out of the sky when it rains, a report by the country’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch has found. Last year, 16 “Matrice 200” series drones produced by Chinese manufacturer DJI crashed due to “technical failures,” the report, released Thursday, found. It notes that in some instances the drones were being used by UK police forces and emergency services at the time of the crashes.
In one incident, a DJI Matrice 210 drone being operated by police in Leicester, England “started to spin rapidly and fell to the ground” after earlier ascending 90 meters (295 feet) in the air during a spell of rain, the report noted. In the report, the AAIB has recommended that the Civil Aviation Authority — the UK’s aviation regulator — notify users of Matrice 200 series drones of “the possibility of moisture entering the aircraft when operating in rain and that this could result in a sudden loss of control of the aircraft.” According to its website, DJI supplies drones to several policing divisions in the UK and elsewhere. Drones are used by law enforcement all over the world, and can be used in emergency response and firefighting.