A large-sized maritime drone of the Camcopter S-100 type of the company Schiebel crashed in Croatia at the end of August, resulting in a serious forest fire. The cause is still unknown. The drone was used by the Croatian Ministry of Maritime, Transport and Infrastructure to conduct inspections over a nearby strait.
The incident took place at the end of August near Brač airport, from where the drone took off. The airport is located in the vicinity of an important transit route for shipping. For this reason, drone flights are regularly carried out from this airport on behalf of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), among other things to check for illegal fishing and to measure the sulfur concentration in the exhaust gases of passing cargo ships.
The drone flights in question are carried out with a Camcopter S-100 from the Austrian unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer Schiebel. This is a fuel-powered single rotor drone. The drone has 60 liters of kerosene on board when it takes off and can fly for hours and travel tens of kilometers.
Shortly after take-off, however, something went wrong, causing the drone to crash on the southern hills of the island. The crash led to a forest fire that reduced at least 150 hectares of pine forest to ashes. Extinguishing was made more difficult because the site is impassable for fire-fighting vehicles.
No one was injured as a result of the incident.