January 7, 2019

MQ-1B accident investigation report released

An MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted aircraft crashed Sept. 4, 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, Nev.

According to an Air Combat Command Abbreviated Accident Investigation Board report released today, the cause of the mishap was a lost link event followed by an inability to reestablish link for unknown reasons. A lost link event occurs when the aircraft crew loses satellite link with the aircraft. Evidence indicated the aircrew permanently lost the ability to monitor and control the aircraft while flying medium altitude approximately 16 hours into the mission. The aircraft wreckage was not recovered, so hardware could not be analyzed.

Loss of government property is valued at approximately $4 million. There were no known injuries or damage to private property, and there was insufficient evidence of any substantially contributing factors.

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