Wednesday, February 4, 2009

US Air Force Releases MQ-1B Predator Accident Report

An MQ-1Predator like this one crashed last year near Ali Base, Iraq. The Predator is a remotely-piloted vehicle that provides real-time surveillance imagery supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Suzanne M. Jenkins.)

Focus on Defense:

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va., Feb 4, 2009 -- An ignition module failure caused the crash of an MQ-1B Predator east of Ali Base, Iraq, May 2, according to an Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report released Feb. 3.

The $3.8 million Predator was assigned to the 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. There were no injuries or damage to other property or equipment.

According to the report, the intermittent failure of the ignition module caused loss of power resulting in loss of thrust. The pilot was unable to recover thrust control. This resulted in the aircraft impacting the ground.

The ignition module assembly, considered the 'heart and soul' of the engine ignition system, ultimately controls the spark to the engine cylinders to run the engine.

(Report from an Air Combat Command Public Affairs news release.)

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