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Air Force drone crashes and explodes in Florida, shutting down highway (VIDEO)

Published time: July 17, 2013 15:28
Edited time: November 26, 2013 14:20

QF-4 Drone (Photo from www.af.mil). Video courtesy: RUPTLY.

A United States military drone presumed to be a QF-4 crashed, exploded and sent up a large black cloud of smoke Wednesday morning at Tyndall Air Force Base.

Local news outlets from the Florida panhandle region reported Wednesday morning that an unmanned aerial vehicle crashed on the drone runway at Tyndall AFB during take-off at 8:20 a.m. EST that morning.

Eyewitnesses told WJHG News that the drone “came in hard and fast” before it crashed.

According to the network, Tyndall officials said the drone was carrying a small self-destruct charge and “had to be destroyed for safety considerations during its return to base following a routine operation.”

Following the accident, the UAV reportedly went up in flames and started a ground fire, prompting authorities to close nearby Highway 98. They’ve reported no injuries.


This closure is being done strictly as a precautionary measure due to fires resulting from the crash and a small self-destruct charge carried on board the drone,” officials from Tyndall said in a statement. “The status of this device is unknown, however it is powered by a short-life battery which will be fully depleted in 24 hours.”

The Air Force described the QF-4 as a supersonic, reusable full-scale target drone modified from the F-4 Phantom and “provides a realistic full-scale target for air-to-air weapons system evaluation, development and testing.” The aircraft measures 63 feet long, 30,328 pounds and has a wingspan of more than 38 feet. Converting each jet to a UAV costs the Air Force an average of $2.6 million. 

Only last week, officials at Tyndall ordered another QF-4 to self-destruct over the Gulf of Mexico. “The drone was carrying a small self-destruct charge and had to be destroyed for safety considerations during its return to base following a routine operation,” Tyndall announced at the time.

Late last year, an F-22 Raptor fighter jet crashed near Tyndall AFB, again prompting officials to close down Highway 98. An Air Force pilot safely ejected from the aircraft before the jet crashed a quarter-mile east of the drone runway.



Comments (118)

 

mergon 29.01.2014 10:38

They are loose a lot more drones , people dont like being spied on by the government and their corporation friends ,there are a lot of people either side of the pond who have had enough of the spy in the sky ,and its they that have started the war of the machines ,but its the people that will finish it ,the insult to injury is that they use public money to fund all of this while crashing the economy to do it ,drones are the toys of the rich and just another means of milking the masses of their money and freedoms !

 

oscar 21.08.2013 13:12

these are use for training, and before they are shot down a pilot fly's the aircraft to make sure all controls respond correctly they fly it 3-4 times with a pilot before they fly it by remote they have been using f-4 as drones since the late 1980's. they done spy on people. the help train pilots agianst the closest thing we have to a mig fighter

Anonymous user 23.07.2013 04:55

Since when do drones have pilots?

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