Reaper crashes into Lake Ontario during training mission

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By Tim Knauss 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An MQ-9 Reaper drone that was being flown on a training mission crashed into eastern Lake Ontario at about 1 p.m. today, according to officials at the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard.

No one was injured. The unmanned aircraft had no weapons on board. The aircraft took off from Wheeler Sack Army Airfield at Fort Drum and was operating in approved military training airspace over Lake Ontario as part of the 174th’s mission of training MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators for the Air Force, officials said in a news release.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the crash but had not recovered the drone as of 4:30 p.m., officials said. Air Force officials will investigate the crash.

The MQ-9 Reaper is a medium-to-high altitude, long endurance remotely piloted aircraft. The Reaper’s primary mission is to act as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset, employing sensors to provide real-time data to commanders and intelligence specialists.

The 174th Attack Wing will hold a press conference at 6 p.m. to provide further information. We will update this story as more details become available.