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ATSB: In-flight collision at Parafield, Australia concluded as wildlife strike, not a drone
21 July 2017

On 11 July 2017, a SOCATA TB-10 Tobago aircraft collided with an object at approximately 6.30pm during its final approach at Parafield Airport in South Australia.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) commenced an investigation as initial information suggested that they aircraft may have hit a drone.  Swabs were taken of the damaged area on the leading edge of the right wing. Those swabs were tested for DNA by the Australian Museum, and the results have established that the object struck was a grey-headed flying fox.

This finding is consistent with the known behaviours of flying foxes, who can travel up to 50 kilometres from their roosts to feed at night.  Adult grey-headed flying foxes have an average wingspan up to 1 m (3.3 ft) and can weigh up to 1 kg (2.2 lb).

As a result of this evidence, the ATSB is discontinuing its investigation, concluding the cause of the incident was wildlife strike.

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