Forensic Engineering Analysis of Quadcopter Drone Personal Injury


  • Robert O. Peruzzi



Forensic engineering, unmanned aircraft system, unmanned aerial vehicle, UAS, sUAS, UAV, sUAV, remote-controlled aircraft, hobbyist, quadcopter, drone, wireless remote control, safety


A hobbyist/owner was using her remote-control model quadcopter drone for the first time when it descended and collided with a bystander. The owner believed there was a malfunction. The retaining insurance adjuster requested a review of the owner’s manual and user’s guide, photos and diagrams of the scene, e-mail communications, police report, and a forensic investigation of the quadcopter to determine if there was a malfunction. This paper introduces unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) for hobbyists, describes the UAS involved in this incident, outlines the planned investigation steps, and describes the sequence of events of the incident as well as resolution of the investigation. The initial activity for this case (reading manuals) prompted a question to the owner, the answer to which exposed her lack of aircraft and operating knowledge. The author convinced her that continuing the case might be embarrassing as well as costly. The planned investigation was never executed.




How to Cite

Peruzzi, Robert O. 2017. “Forensic Engineering Analysis of Quadcopter Drone Personal Injury”. Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers 34 (2).