A wrecked USAF Predator MQ-1B after crashing on a training flight in Nevada in 2009
Our Drone Crash Database has been updated with the details of another thirteen drone crashes that have taken place over the past ten months, including the crash (or ‘hijacking’ according to the Iranians) of the US stealth drone in Iran last week. According to our database 25 large drones have crashed so far this year. Altogether our database records some details of 90 drone crashes since January 2007.
USAF accident investigation announcements reveal that three US Predator drones have crashed in Djibouti, one in March 2011 and two in May 2011. While there are only bare details at this stage, more details should become available when the investigation report is published. It has been known for some time that the US is using a base in Djibouti to launch drone attacks in Yemen and Somalia.
Also revealed by the USAF accident investigation announcement is that the drone that crashed in Jalalabad in Afghanistan on 20th August 2011 was a US Global Hawk RQ-4 drone. This is the first time that we have recorded a crash by a Global Hawk.
Other crashes include an Israeli Heron drone that crashed in Turkey and a Chinese Pterodactyl drone apparently on a test flight.
There is growing pressure on aviation authorities around the globe to allow unmanned aircraft to be allowed to fly in civil airspace. The continuing high level of drone crashes must call this into question.