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.
Also: 'No Drone Zone', Aviation v Media, Women's Air Race Classic, Houston Spaceport, Navy's New A/C Launch System, GA Fly Safe, FAA InFO Trig Avionics tells us they are unveiling >[...]
"Without question, the arrival of the EA-6B Prowler on the carrier deck established airborne electronic attack as an invaluable, 'don't leave home without it' part of every Navy an>[...]
Send Them A Story -- We Don't Mind! Do you need another set of eyes to see that story you can't believe Jim just wrote? Want to spread Hognose's unique wisdom and perspective to th>[...]
Instrument Approach Procedure A series of predetermined maneuvers for the orderly transfer of an aircraft under instrument flight conditions from the beginning of the initial appro>[...]
Aero Linx: The Air Force Historical Foundation The Air Force Historical Foundation is dedicated to promoting the preservation and appreciation of the history and heritage of the Un>[...]