Failed Control Module Caused August 2017 Predator Crash

An MQ-1 Predator sits on the flight line Feb. 2, 2018, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Air Force photo by SrA. James Thompson.

An MQ-1B Predator lost its connection to flight crew systems and crashed during a combat mission on Aug. 21, 2017, the Air Force announced Wednesday.

The crash was the second Predator mishap within a week.

The MQ-1B, which was deployed to an undisclosed location in the Middle East and flown by a crew from the 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech AFB, Nev., was flying under normal flight operations when the crew lost its ability to monitor and control the aircraft, about 90 minutes into the mission.

A General Atomics analysis of the wreckage found the MQ-1’s primary control module, a critical component of the aircraft’s flight control systems, failed and caused the mishap.

The Air Force’s investigation found no evidence to contradict this finding.

The aircraft was destroyed, at a total loss of about $5.2 million, including environmental cleanup.

The crash was four days after another MQ-1 crash, in which that Predator experienced an electrical failure and fell from the sky in the Middle East.