DEFENCE has revealed a drone which crashed at the Beecroft Weapons Range, east of Nowra causing a small bushfire, was a Schiebel S-100 Camcopter.
At around 9:54am Monday, a contractor-provided Schiebel S-100 Camcopter, unmanned aerial system experienced a control failure while conducting flying conversion training for navy personnel at weapons range near Currarong.
A defence statement said the contracted crew immediately initiated appropriate procedures in an attempt to recover the aircraft but the drone crash landed in an unpopulated bushland area resulting in a bushfire which burnt out two hectares.
Defence had earlier dismissed social media reports that a plane had crashed, saying it was an unmanned aerial system and no personnel were injured in the incident.
An assessment into the cause of the incident is underway but Schiebel and navy would not speculate on the cause of the incident until the assessment is finalised.
The Schiebel S100 will be operated by navy for evaluation purposes in order to build experience in contemporary unmanned aerial system technology to ensure navy is an informed customer for future capability acquisition projects.
The bushfire in heathland, burnt in a south easterly direction towards in the coast, in a section of the range which has previously been burnt out.
The blaze was fought by crews from Fire and Rescue NSW Nowra, three Rural Fire Service crews and defence personnel and was brought under control early in the afternoon.
Twenty RFS personnel from Culburra Beach, Callala Bay and Currarong and defence members worked to contain the blaze, while Fire and Rescue NSW Hazmat crew from Shellharbour were also on the scene.
The fire was brought under control through a small back burning operation.
By mid afternoon fire crews and defence personnel were still unable to reach the crash site off Impact Road due to possible unexploded ordnance and were waiting for army engineers to declare the area safe.