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: Aerosim Scholarship, Santa Monica Nonsense, Marine One, UAV Developer Kit, FAA Penalty, F-35 Weapons Test, Coastal Helicopters The Cessna Citation Longitude moves closer to i>[...]
Accidents in Oregon and China Take Lives It's been a lousy weekend to be an aviation journalist as we document the tragic loss of two well-known pilots in two separate airshows acc>[...]
"This is the perfect natural laboratory to study aerosol-cloud interactions, which are some of the largest uncertainties in the prediction of future climate." Source: Jens Redemann>[...]
Two Research Aircraft Head To Namibia Because Of Its Unique Climate NASA scientists and two research aircraft are on their way to a unique natural laboratory off the Atlantic coast>[...]
Aero Linx: Aviators Model Code Of Conduct Innovative tools advancing aviation safety and offering a vision of excellence for aviators, the AMCC is for use by aviation practitioners>[...]