LANGLEY AFB, Va. --- An MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted aircraft crashed August 17, 2017, in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility while forward-deployed and participating in a combat support mission.
At the time of the mishap, the aircraft was being operated by an aircrew from the 432d Air Expeditionary Wing, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. After normal transfer of aircraft control from the Launch and Recovery Element, commonly known as a Gaining Handover, the pilot observed the aircraft execute an unrecoverable flight maneuver without pilot flight control inputs.
Evidence indicates that the cause of the mishap was an internal electrical failure that caused the un-commanded movement of the left tail surface, which resulted in the aircraft’s inability to continue flight.
The majority of the aircraft was destroyed from a fire at the impact site according to an Air Combat Command Abbreviated Accident Investigation Board report released today.
Loss of government property and environmental clean-up is valued at a cost of approximately $5.3 million. The mishap did not cause injuries or fatalities.