Flight operation for the reconnaissance drone system (ADS 15) resumed

Bern, 23.05.2023 - The Federal Office for Defence Procurement armasuisse has rectified the malfunction with a drone from the reconnaissance drone system (ADS 15) and clarified the cause. Flight operation at the Emmen Military Air Base has thus been resumed.

On 4 April 2023, the responsible Swiss Military Aviation Authority (MAA) issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) due to an incident with a drone from the reconnaissance drone system (ADS 15). The reason for the Airworthiness Directive was that the incident could not immediately be conclusively clarified. This resulted in the fact that, as a precautionary measure, flight operation for the ADS 15 system already present in Switzerland could not be continued until further notice.

Flights resumed

Clarification regarding the origin of the incident has in the meantime been concluded. The malfunction was due to a defective point in the connection between the turbocharger and the intake socket of the power unit. This malfunction led to a loss in power in the power unit. The loss in power was apprehended by the pilot, who initiated a landing.
The malfunction was rectified on the drone that was in use during this incident. In addition, a precautionary follow-up inspection was carried out on all other drones.
In the event of incidents, all aspects are taken into consideration in the post-examination, which requires appropriate effort and time. Once the cause had been clarified and the malfunction rectified, the first flight after the incident could take place. As soon as the final work is concluded, the Airworthiness Directive issued by the Military Aviation Authority will be revoked.

Address for enquiries

Kaj-Gunnar Sievert
Head of Communications armasuisse
+41 58 464 62 47



General Secretariat DDPS