A drone belonging to a Swiss Post medical deliveries programme crashed on Thursday morning in a Zurich forest – the second crash in four months. It was not carrying any supplies but the national postal service has decided to suspend all drone flights.
The Zurich city police reported that the drone, weighing 10kg but not carrying any deliveries, had crashed just before 11am on Thursday.
Swiss Post technicians and the police were able to recover the badly damaged device which was flying from the University of Zurich to the University Hospital in the city.
For safety reasons, Swiss Post has decided to suspend all drone delivery flights for the University Hospital of Zurich and the Hospital of Lugano.
This is the second such incident in the last four months. On January 25, a Swiss Post drone carrying a blood sample malfunctioned and fell into Lake Zurich. Nobody was hurt, and the drone was later recovered by city of Zurich police.
All drone flights on the test scheme were stopped temporarily in Zurich and Lugano. The accident was found to have been caused by an electrical short circuit. The manufacturer modified the drones and obtained the necessary green light from the Federal Office of Civil Aviationexternal link. Flights resumed on April 15.
“Postal drones” have already carried out several thousand flights without accident in Lugano, Zurich and Bern.
Two hospitals in Lugano were the first to start using drones in 2017 to exchange lab samples. They say it saves them a lot of time, which can be vital in a case where, for example, a patient under anaesthetic needs a blood sample analysed quickly.