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Air Force officials release Predator accident report

9/2/2009 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) -- Air Force officials here Sept. 2 said a disconnected vacuum line caused the April 28 crash of an MQ-1 Predator west of Creech Air Force Base, Nev.

According to an Air Combat Command accident investigation board report, the aircraft executed a hard landing in the rough terrain surrounding the airfield causing most of the damage, with the cost to repair the aircraft valued at $543,178.

The Predator was assigned to the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron from Creech AFB, and there were no injuries or damage to other property or equipment.

According to the report, the cause of the mishap was the failure of the vacuum line that became disconnected at a "T" fitting. The vacuum line controls the flow of air that mixes with fuel to power the aircraft. The loss of this line stalled the aircraft due to excess air in the fuel upon takeoff and resulted in the crash.

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