Thursday, July 10, 2014

Maryland Drone Crashes: The Other Shoe Drops

At the inception of the No Drones Maryland website, we raised the alarm about the report of a drone crash in the Chesapeake.

On June 22, 2014, the Washington Post published the results of a far-reaching investigation into crashes that have occurred in the U.S. drone program.

Shockingly, of the 194 major ("Class A") crashes that the Washington Post was able to document, 47  occurred within the United States.

Below is full information on the Maryland crash we originally described, plus a second Maryland crash we've now learned about from the Washington Post report.

(See the full online database of crashes on the Washington Post website for full details of these and other drone crashes.)

Elliott Island Road area and nearby wildlife refuge

Date: June 11, 2012
Location:  near Elliott Island Road, Dorchester County, Md., 22 miles east of Naval Air Station Patuxent River
Estimated damage:  N/A
Details: "A Navy surveillance drone crashed into a wildlife refuge on Maryland's Eastern Shore after a malfunction with the navigation system. The RQ-4A aircraft was a Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator -- the Navy's version of the Air Force Global Hawk. The pilot and crew were civilian contractors from the manufacturer Northrop Grumman. Navy investigators blamed a failure of the right inboard ruddervator actuator but also criticized the pilot for not following emergency guidelines."

Date: October 24, 2013
Location:  Naval Air Station Patuxent
Estimated damage:  N/A
Details: "A [A Fire Scout (MQ-8B)] helicopter drone sustained damage during a hard landing after a test flight. A Navy investigation is pending."

Related posts

Ten (10) drone crashes occurred in the state of California alone between the years 2004 and 2011.

(See California: Is the Sky Falling? )