|Mechanical Failure Causes Predator Crash, Investigators Say |
Mechanical Failure Causes Predator Crash, Investigators Say
Langley Air Force Base, Virginia -- April 12, 2001 (AFPN) -- An RQ-1K Predator unmanned aerial vehicle crashed Oct. 23 in Kosovo as a result of mechanical failure, accident investigators said.
The Predator is an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft used to survey battlefields and return video footage and radar data. The aircraft crashed about 180 miles southeast of Tuzla Air Base, Bosnia, where the aircraft was based. The Predator, assigned to the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., was on a reconnaissance mission over Kosovo as part of Operation Joint Forge.
The investigation report released April 12 said the mechanical failure occurred in the UAV's propeller control system.
Investigators found substantial evidence indicating errors during maintenance Sept. 28 on the propeller control system played a critical role in the accident.
Evidence showed certain components of the propeller assembly were not adequately lubricated, and a key bolt was stripped and had not been tightened properly. These errors likely led to the accident, the lead investigator said in the report.
- RQ-1K Predator