Air Force, Contractors & Vendors, General Atomic

Predator crashes in Afghanistan

The Air Force reports, “An Air Force MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan Sept. 4 at approximately 8:45 p.m. Kabul time.  The crash was not due to hostile fire. There were no reports of civilian injuries or damage to civilian property at the site…A board will be convened to investigate the incident. ”

The Air Force has has taken a lot of flack for its handling of UAVs, requiring that combat-rated pilots fly the robotic aircraft — and also having lost more Predators to human error than hostile fire.  Almost a third of all Predators purchased by the Air Force have crashed (more than 70 out of the 195 purchased thus far by the Air Force), most of them resulting in a total loss of a $3.5 million aircraft.

Ironically, the crash came only two days after the findings from an investigation of another Predator crash in April near Creech AFB in Nevada. That crash was caused by a disconnected vacuum line.

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