What is a Flight Termination System (FTS) and when you need it?

Under the EASA Regulation (EU) 2019/945, for the UAS operations in the Specific Category under PDRA-S01 and PDRA-S02 scenarios you need to have to operate a C5 and C6 class respectively identified unmanned aircraft (UA). However, currently there are no class identified drones on the market. If an operator wants to use a drone without class identifier it needs to have accessories to comply with points in part 16 and part 17 respectively to the Annex to DE (EU) 2019/945. To summarise, unless the UAS is tethered it has a requirement to comply with the following and provide means for the remote pilot to terminate the flight of the drone, which shall:

  • for operations under PDRA-S01 and for drones without C5 class mark:
  1. Be reliable, predictable & independent from the automatic flight control & guidance system; this applies also to the activation of this means.
  2. After triggering the flight termination it must force the descent of the UA & prevent its powered horizontal displacement.
  3. The FTS must include means to reduce the effect of the UA impact dynamics. A parachute could be one of the examples of such means.
  • for operations under PDRA-S02 and for drones without C6 class mark:
  1. Be reliable, predictable & independent from the automatic flight control & guidance system & independent from the means to prevent the UA from breaching the horizontal & vertical limits (as required in point (4) of part 17); this applies also to the activation of this means.
  2. Force the descent of the UA & prevent its powered horizontal displacement.

Up until recently there was an active exemption from the Irish Aviation Authority for drones up to 2kg and operating away from certain geographical areas within Republic of Ireland. If you used this exemption to obtain your operational authorisation you need to update your operations manual and meet the set requirements for all the drones being used under the PDRA-S01 and PDRA-S02. Otherwise, your authorisation will be not valid anymore.

Remember - You need a Flight Termination System (FTS) equipped to your drone when you intend to operate in the Specific Category under Predefined Risk Assessment (PDRA).

Reach out to us to update your Ops manual here. At the moment we have custom rates for this service.

If you are not sure where to start drop us an email to train@avtrain.aero

Photo from Avtrain archives.

Disclaimer: This article aims to provide the most recent general information. However, it is your responsibility to refer to guidance, rules and regulations issued by the respective National Aviation Authority and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Avtrain will not be held responsible for any damages that could arise from using this website and acting upon the information that it contains.

May 2, 2022

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