Tuesday, August 12, 2008

UAV Crashes at USAF Academy?

Editors note: Who needs to scope out Area 51 when they are flying UAVs over the Air Force Academy.

-Steve Douglass

UAV crashes into light pole at academy
By Bruce Rolfsen - Staff writer Air Force Times

Posted : Tuesday Aug 12, 2008 16:12:43 EDT
The crash of unmanned plane at the Air Force Academy is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The 9-foot-long plane, an experimental Raytheon Cobra, flew into a light pole July 28 as Raytheon Co. officials demonstrated the plane to academy staffers, according to the NTSB. No one on the ground was injured.

The propeller-drive Cobra took off from a road near the academy’s athletic fields. It performed all its preprogrammed maneuvers and was making its second landing attempt when it struck the light pole.

When the Cobra crashed around 12:30 p.m., it was under the control of its automated system. The Raytheon team had decided not to take manual control of the Cobra because they reportedly wanted to see if the aircraft would correct its own flight path, the NTSB said.

The impact left the right wing stuck in the light pole and the rest of the plane in pieces on the ground.

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