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Friday, June 28, 2013

Navy Report on Maryland Drone Crash: ‘Disastrous Results’ Averted

As U.S. skies have opened up to drones in recent years, concerns about civil liberties have come to the fore, but as the fiery crash of a mammoth unmanned Navy surveillance drone in the Chesapeake Bay a year ago demonstrated, safety is cause for concern as well.

A Navy investigation, reported here for the first time, has concluded that the June 11, 2012, crash was caused by a combination of a mechanical failure and pilot error. A breakdown in the aircraft's rudder mechanism compounded by the failure of a civilian pilot to follow emergency procedures sent the Global Hawk drone, with a wingspan of 131 feet, spiraling into remote wetlands in southern Maryland.

The Global Hawk, a 22,982-pound aircraft, spiraled downward at a 55-degree angle reaching a speed in excess of 2,000 feet per minute. Carrying more than 11,000 pounds of fuel, the drone burst into flames upon impact. The crash destroyed the $176 million vehicle, but caused no property damage or injuries and caused "minimal" environmental damage, the report found.



Anonymous said...

The thing crashed across the river from my home.
The marsh was burning and NO one was allowed to enter the river anywhere near it.
Westside tried to respond but was sent back to there station.

Anonymous said...

The size dimensions sound much bigger than first reported,or maybe I misread the initial report.