Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Drone crashes at civilian airports

with 2 comments

Since drones are going to be used a lot in the US, this article by Craig Whitlock in the Washington Post is of particular interest. Also of interest: that civilians are now allowed to kill people in our wars. Since drone strikes typically kill noncombatants (women and children), we have US civilians killing foreign civilians with no penalties. A strange development, it seems to me.

The U.S. Air Force drone, on a classified spy mission over the Indian Ocean, was destined for disaster from the start.

An inexperienced military contractor in shorts and a T-shirt, flying by remote control from a trailer at Seychelles International Airport, committed blunder after blunder in six minutes on April 4.

He sent the unarmed MQ-9 Reaper drone off without permission from the control tower. A minute later, he yanked the wrong lever at his console, killing the engine without realizing why.

As he tried to make an emergency landing, he forgot to put down the wheels. The $8.9 million aircraft belly-flopped on the runway, bounced and plunged into the tropical waters at the airport’s edge, according to a previously undisclosed Air Force accident investigation report.

The drone crashed at a civilian airport that serves a half-million passengers a year, most of them sun-seeking tourists. No one was hurt, but it was the second Reaper accident in five months — under eerily similar circumstances.

“I will be blunt here. I said, ‘I can’t believe this is happening again,’ ” an Air Force official at the scene told investigators afterward. He added: “You go, ‘How stupid are you?’ ”

The April wreck was the latest in a rash of U.S. military drone crashes at overseas civilian airports in the past two years. The accidents reinforce concerns about . . .

Continue reading. I am wondering when the first US civilian casualties (due to airport mishap with a drone) will occur and what the fallout will be.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 December 2012 at 9:58 am

2 Responses

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  1. What do the shorts and T-Shirt have to do with the incident?

    Who was in military command?

    Civilians killing civilians–UCMJ?

    “Houston we have a problem!”

    Jose luis Trevino

    1 December 2012 at 4:16 pm

  2. I think the shorts and T-shirt line was to make clear that the military contractor was not uniformed military. I’m not sure the UCMJ applies to civilian contractors. Certainly none of the Blackwater contractors who slaughtered 17 Iraqis without cause appeared before any court martial.


    1 December 2012 at 4:33 pm

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