Fort Drum Drone Down – New York Suspends All Reaper Flights

Following the FAA’s warning that over 7,500 unmanned drones will be in US Airspace in the next five years, we thought news of yet another domestic drone down was noteworthy. Just a couple fo months ago we reported the crash (and self-destruction) of 2 drones in Florida, and now officials at the 174th Attack Wing suspended all Reaper drone flights in Central New York Tuesday after one of the unmanned aircraft crashed into Lake Ontario about 12 miles from the eastern shore during a routine training flight. As WNYF TV reports, the drone – one of four based at Fort Drum – was operated remotely from near Syracuse. Officials are investigating the crash but added, in some hope of reassurance, “the mission was going as advertised, up to the point where we did lose control of the airplane.”


WNYF TV reports:



The airforce explains itself:


The site of the crash – (via,

A Coast Guard helicopter and search vessel were unable to recover the $4 million drone, which crashed about 1 p.m. Tuesday, and were forced to call off the search late in the afternoon because of bad weather, said Col. Greg Semmel, commander of the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard.


Semmel said he did not know what caused the accident.


No decision has been made yet on when Reaper training flights will resume, Semmel said. He emphasized that the unmanned combat aircraft, which was introduced by manufacturer General Atomics in 2007, has a good safety record.


The drone crashed into the lake about 20 miles northeast of the Port of Oswego, and about 12 miles from the eastern shore, Semmel said.


The Reaper that crashed Tuesday was unarmed and had been in the air about three hours when it went down in the lake, Semmel said.


Semmel estimated the cost of the lost Reaper at $4 million to $5 million.


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

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