Mechanical, Human Factors to Blame in Predator Mishap

A combination of operator error and mechanical failure led to the loss of an MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft over Afghanistan on Feb. 14, according to Air Combat Command. The Predator experienced a dual alternator failure during its flight followed by the complete loss of electrical power, states ACC’s Sept. 7 release, which cites the findings of the command’s abbreviated accident investigation board report. Thereupon, the operator in the Predator’s launch and recovery element “failed to adequately assess the nature of the emergency and fully execute proper procedures,” states the release. This included not carrying out appropriate forced landing procedures. As a result, the MQ-1 crashed into a field northeast of the deployed airfield and was destroyed, a loss of an estimated $3.9 million, including property damage, according to the release. (AIB report; caution, large-sized file.)