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Report: Loss of control caused Predator crash

7/6/2005 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- The loss of control of an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle caused it to run out of fuel and crash Jan. 14 at a forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia, Air Force officials said July 6.

The $3.5 million Predator, which belonged to the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., was destroyed upon impact. There were no injuries, fatalities or damages to other people, property or equipment.

The incident occurred when the pilot and sensor operator experienced a malfunction with their computer control system. Both control stations were rebooted, but communication links with the aircraft were lost and never regained. The accident happened about eight and a half hours into the mission, with the aircraft flying uncontrolled and crashing about 21 hours into the flight.

According to the Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report, the primary factors leading to the loss of control of the aircraft and the crash included hardware failure and the aircrew following incorrect rebooting procedures. (Courtesy of ACC News Service)

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