Got this in my in-box this morning…
Drone crashes increase at civilian airports
Published: December 2, 2012 3:00 a.m.
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, operating by remote control in shorts and a T-shirt from a trailer at Seychelles International Airport, committed blunder after blunder during a six-minute span April 4.
The pilot of the unarmed MQ-9 Reaper drone took off without permission from the control tower. One 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 then 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 there in five months — under eerily similar circumstances.
“I will be blunt here,” an Air Force official at the scene told investigators afterward. “I said, ‘I can’t believe this is happening again.’” He added, “You go, ‘How stupid are you?’”
I don’t know stupid enough for the Air Force to pay them good money to crash their drones…so who’s the stupid one now Air Force?
I don’t know how or why the controller’s attire had anything to do with what happened. Plenty of guys wearing flight suits have done just as stupid if not more so things over the years.
The issue is standards. When you expand something new quickly standards tend to drop off rather rapidly. There is no UAV pilot pool to draw experience from so what would you expect to happen?
Here’s the link to the rest of the article: Washington Post Article