Aerostat Crashes near Tucson

High winds reportedly caused an Air Force aerostat to slip its mooring at an Army installation near the Mexican border and crash into a residential neighborhood south of Tucson, Ariz. Facing gusts up to 50 miles per hour, the Tethered Aerostat Radar System drifted from Fort Huachuca, and came down, landing in pieces in yards in nearby Serra Vista on Monday, reported Tucson’s KVOA News. Local press reported that there were no injuries and only minor damage to homes, transmission lines, and vehicles. Tucson’s KGUN reported that a team from Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., secured the crash sites later that day, launching an investigation into the incident. The Department of Homeland Security utilizes TARS along the US southern border to help detect low-flying aircraft smuggling narcotics into US airspace. These lighter-than-air craft hover at altitudes up to 15,000 feet.