UAS & Robotics

Search continues for Reaper drone lost over Lake Ontario

Air National Guard investigators continue to search for an MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft after it crashed Nov. 12 into Lake Ontario in New York during a training mission.

The unarmed drone took off from Wheeler Sack Army Airfield at Fort Drum, N.Y., and was operating in approved airspace over the eastern side of Lake Ontario when it went down around 1 p.m. local time.

“The aircraft was a routine student training mission in support of an official Air Force training unit mission,” said Col. Greg Semmel, commander of the 174th Attack Wing based in Hancock Field Air National Guard Base near Syracuse, N.Y.  The drone was unarmed and was carrying no hazardous materials, he added.

The Air National Guard is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard in investigating the crash, Semmel said.

The web site Syracuse.com reported on Nov. 13 that officials from the 174th Attack Wing had requested Air Force help in finding the missing drone.

The Air Force awarded a $125.5 million contract in November 2012 to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems to supply it with 10 modified Block 1 MQ-9 Reapers. The turboprop-powered aircraft is used by the Air Force for surveillance and attack missions.

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