An MQ-9A crashed May 6, 2017, in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility after the ground control station lost downlink from the aircraft on final approach, according to an Air Combat Command Abbreviated Accident Investigation Board report released May 7, 2018.
The MQ-9A from the 432nd Wing at Creech AFB, Nev., was being operated by a launch and recovery element in the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, and was returning from a combat support mission in the U.S. Central Command AOR at the time of incident.
Evidence indicates that the causes of the mishap were the unintentional downlink interference from a ground-based MQ-9A transmitting on high power and the unsuccessful attempt by the launch and recovery element to recover link to the aircraft. As a result, the aircraft crashed after running out of fuel.
No wreckage was recovered.
Loss of Government property is valued at $10.3 million. The mishap did not cause injuries, deaths, or damage to private property.