Is there an international regulatory body for investigating UAV accidents? Does it exist on any national level?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! Are you asking if there are laws or regulations that apply to remotely piloted aircraft? It might help if you can be more specific, e.g. are you asking about one particular country or jurisdiction? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 20, 2018 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure the concept of UAV accident currently exists. Aviation investigations are usually related to aircraft with someone on board (either a crew member, another employee, or a passenger). $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jan 20, 2018 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... maybe that explains the guys with strange accents who showed up after I ran my Parrot into the tree branches one time too many? $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Jan 20, 2018 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ The FAA does require reporting of drone accidents. I doubt they investigate them unless someone does something stupid like rams a drone into a military chopper $\endgroup$
    – Noah Wood
    Jan 21, 2018 at 7:25
  • $\begingroup$ If the USAF loose a drone, they will often investigate it. Here's a report on a predator accident: af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/121250/…. But, the USAF is not an International Regulatory agency. $\endgroup$
    – Penguin
    Jan 22, 2018 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


This question is rather broad, and, as worded, does not admit to a good answer beyond "no" to the first part, and "yes" to the second. That said, the rest of this answer might be useful to you.

There is no international body to investigate UAV accidents, just as there is no international body to investigate ordinary aircraft accidents. There are a great many national bodies.

In the United States, the National Transportation Safety Board is responsible for accident investigations, however, in order to get involved they would have to both know about the accident, and consider it worth investigating. The FAA requires that pilots operating under Part 107 report any accidents involving serious injury, or property damage greater than $500 (excluding the UAV) to the FAA. Presumably they would do some form of investigation to assess the remote pilot's continued suitability to hold a license. Hobbyists don't fly under part 107, however.

Other countries have their own investigation groups, such as the Air Accidents Investigation Branch in the United Kingdom. Wikipedia has a list of organizations that investigate aircraft accidents and incidents, but I have no idea how complete it is, and you would have to check each one to know what their particular policies are.


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