Lack of Warning Signal Contributed to 2015 Reaper Crash

The MQ-9A Reaper crash north of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, on Nov. 18, 2015, was caused by “a compressor bearing failure that led to engine loss,” according the Accident Investigation Board report, released Tuesday. At the time of the accident, the Reaper was assigned to the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB, N.M. The report found that the operating crew failed to notice the high oil pressure associated with the bearing failure because of the “lack of an audible warning.” While the operators were at the end of their shift at the time of the crash, the report found “no evidence to suggest crew rest or crew duty time were factors in this mishap.” Crews recreating the accident conditions during the investigation also failed to notice the warning signs, according to the report. The aircraft was destroyed at a loss of $14,391,950. No private property was damaged and there were no fatalities.