MQ 9 down in training.

MQ-9 Reaper

An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft crashed Friday evening, according to a spokesman for the 49th Wing.

Arlan Ponder with 49th Wing Public Affairs said the Reaper went down on base property at 6:45 p.m. as it approached for landing Friday. He said there was some speculation the aircraft hit a power line and caused power to go out on base, but said he couldn’t confirm that as of press time.

The aircraft is assigned to the 29th Attack Squadron, which is a remotely piloted aircraft flying training unit. The accident occurred at the end of a local training mission.

Ponder said a board is convening to investigate the cause of the accident.

Five previous Holloman-based unmanned aerial vehicles two MQ-1 Predators and three MQ-9 Reapers have crashed since Sept. 11, 2009, when base declared the UAV’s initial operational capability. One crashed the day after Sept. 11, 2009. That accident was determined to be caused by a mechanical failure.

Two UAV crashes happened within a week of each other in October 2010, one happened April 2 and the last crash was a Reaper that crashed Aug. 24.

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Gary Mortimer
Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.