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Officials release Predator accident report

8/26/2005 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- An engine fire on an MQ-l Predator remotely piloted aircraft resulted in a March 27 crash at a forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia, according to an Accident Investigation Board report released by Air Combat Command on Aug. 26.

The $3.7-million Predator, assigned to the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., was destroyed upon impact. There were no injuries, fatalities or damages to other property or equipment.

According to the investigation, there is substantial evidence the cause of the fire was a fuel leak in the left forward part of the engine that found an ignition source, most likely the turbocharger, alternator or cylinder head. The fire grew to encompass the entire engine bay and tail section of the aircraft, weakening the structural integrity. The left tail plane separated from the aircraft, causing a loss of aircraft control. The fire also disabled the ignition module on the left forward bulkhead, resulting in engine failure. (Courtesy of ACC News Service)

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