Wed, Dec 12, 2012
Pilot Error, Software Issues, Mechanical Failures All Cited As Causes
Internal Air Force investigation reports indicate that the service is losing drones at an unacceptably high rate at civilian airports similar to an accident which occurred in the Seychelles in April. In that accident, an inexperienced operator flying an MQ-9 Reaper (similar aircraft pictured in USAF photo) launched the aircraft without permission, mishandled the flight controls, and wound up crashing it onto the runway without its landing gear deployed. It skidded into the ocean off the end of the runway.
In an enterprise report in the Washington Post, documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that there have been numerous accidents involving military UAVs at civilian airports over the past two years. The reports consistently cite pilot error, software issues, mechanical failures, and inadequate coordination with civilian air traffic controllers in the accidents.
The paper reports that there have been numerous instances of Predator and Reaper accidents occurring near non-military airports, sometimes with civilian contractors operating the aircraft. Some have been under the auspices of the CIA, which is basing UAVs at a civilian airport in Ethiopia for missions over Somalia.
The accidents have not gone unnoticed by those expressing concerns about the FAA's plan to allow the operation of unmanned aircraft in the National Air Space (NAS). The Air Force says the accident rate is declining as the technology matures, and that the incident rate is now comparable to that of the service's fleet of F-16 fighter jets at a similar stage of development.
Safety Or Retribution? The Supreme Court Will Decide The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on December 9, 2013 in the case Wisconsin Airlines Corporation v Hoeper. The ca>[...]
I Thought This Should Be Seen... And Said Thought/Opinions/Commentary by Jim Campbell, ANN CEO/Editor-In-Chief Nearly two months ago, ANN covered the fact that the Department of De>[...]
"The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on December 9, 2013 in the case Wisconsin Airlines Corporation v Hoeper. The case will have great significance to the flying public>[...]
Will Install Ku-Satellite Technology For International Service The FAA has granted an STC to inflight wireless company Gogo for the installation of its Ku-satellite technology on B>[...]
"(The) successful launch of the NROL-39 mission is a testament to the tremendous government-industry partnership. We greatly appreciate the teamwork with the NRO Office of Space La>[...]