Electrical Failure Caused Predator Crash

Complete electrical failure caused by a short circuit brought down an MQ-1B Predator on March 1 in the US Central Command area of responsibility, the Air Force announced this week. The Predator was flying a “combat support” mission in an undisclosed area when it crashed. According to the Air Force investigation, a short circuit in the aircraft’s onboard printed wiring board caused electrical generation to exceed the capacity of both of the Predator’s alternators, draining both batteries. Without power, the aircraft couldn’t fly and crashed, according to an abbreviated accident investigation board report,? released Sept. 9. The aircraft was assigned to the 432nd Wing at Creech AFB, Nev., and was operated by the 196th Reconnaissance Squadron at March ARB, Calif. The Predator was destroyed with losses estimated at $3.9 million. No injuries or damage to private property was reported, states the release. The Air Force did not disclose if the Predator was armed at the time of the crash.