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Mechanical failure cited in Predator crash in southern Turkey

A U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator goes out on patrol from Balad Air Base, Iraq, in August 2007.

BETH HOLIKER/U.S. AIR FORCE

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 21, 2015

A U.S. drone that experienced mechanical failure before crashing in Turkey has been recovered, U.S. Air Force officials said Wednesday.

The remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator crashed about 9:36 p.m. Monday in southern Turkey while conducting a mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State militants, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa said in a statement.

The Air Force maintained control of the drone and brought the aircraft down in an unpopulated area, USAFE said. Officials said there were no military or civilian injuries.

U.S. military officials worked with local authorities to find and recover the aircraft, said Master Sgt. Jess Harvey, a USAFE spokesman.

Meanwhile, a Predator that crashed in Iraq on Saturday was recovered, said Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Inherent Resolve, the mission against the Islamic State.

“A Predator crew reported a lost link and subsequent crash while the Predator was flying southeast of Baghdad,” Warren told reporters at the Pentagon via video link. “The drone was recovered by local Iraqi police in the vicinity of al Kut. The local police returned it to coalition control. There were no injuries and an investigation into the cause is underway.”

Turkish media reported that the drone in Turkey crashed about six miles from the Syrian border.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash, officials said.

The U.S. military began conducting its first armed drone missions from Incirlik Air Base in early August, according to the Pentagon, part of expanded U.S.-Turkish cooperation against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Before that, for the last several years the U.S. had been flying unarmed Predators from the air base for surveillance missions.

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