Drone manufacturer Spirit Aerosystems (SA) has released a statement saying that a drone produced by the company was responsible for a large wildfire in the Attica suburb of Glyka Nera this past Wednesday, according to a report at TO VIMA.

The drone experienced what the company calls a “serious and unforeseeable malfunction”, but Spirit says that a more thorough investigation is required to determine exactly what went wrong.

The Details

It appears that the drone exhibited “flight instability”, resulting in the operator of the drone losing control of the device and crashing, which could be caused by a number of factors.

Upon crashing, the battery detached and ignited, resulting in a spark that ignited nearby brush, said the TO VIMA report.

Spirit explains that while it does its best to design safe products, it is impossible to remove all possible risk.

It elaborated further that the drone was licensed, and that its operators followed all required safety protocols, which include flying it on a day considered to be “low risk” for fires.

Spirit said, “The personnel tried to immediately contain the ignition using a fire extinguisher and any other means available, even by stomping. Meanwhile, a team member immediately notified the Fire Service.”

Contrary to several media reports at the time which cited four persons fleeing the scene, Spirit argues that “The entire company’s team (4 people), including the crew and the next arrivals for support, remained present on the field and voluntarily offered their services to the authorities for the necessary procedures.”

The ensuing fire needed 100 firefighters, 25 vehicles, and 16 water-dropping aircraft to control and extinguish the blaze.

About Spirit Aerosystems

On its website, Spirit Aerosystems says it is the world’s largest tier-one manufacturer of aerostructures used for commercial and defense purposes.

Its drones have a wide-range of capacities and uses, including weapon firings, which is conducted in military firing ranges.

Spirit announced on July 1 that it will be acquired by Boeing and that Airbus will assume ownership of certain Spirit operations.