US military drone crashes near elementary school

US military drone crashes near elementary school
Sat Apr 5, 2014 14:10:14

A nearly 400-pound US military drone has crash-landed near an elementary school in the state of Pennsylvania, angering members of the local community and alarming civil liberties activists with new concerns about the unmanned aerial vehicles flying across America.

It is yet not known why the drone, an RQ-7 Shadow, was flying over Kickdale Elementary School in the state’s Lebanon County on Thursday but a state National Guard official told a local daily that drones operated out of the nearby Army post called Fort Indiantown Gap, RT reported.

According to the report, the 375-pound craft endured what officials described as a “hard landing” before being run over by a civilian vehicle.

No one was hurt in the incident, but the drone, reportedly worth $150,000, was a “total loss” and rendered useless after slamming into the ground.
Local press reports further indicate that the US Army and Marine Corps are known to use such aircraft for reconnaissance and surveillance overseas.

The local National Guards spokesman also maintained that the drone that went down was engaged in “training exercises” but did not elaborate.

Earlier this year, a US Border Patrol drone went down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California, costing the federal agency $12 million. The unmanned aircraft suffered a mechanical failure and was deliberately flown into the sea, whereupon it broke apart on impact.

That incident, the report sayd, came after a more serious one, when a drone undergoing military exercises slammed into a US Navy battleship and injured two sailors last November.

The Navy Times reported at the time that the ship “was heavily damaged by the impact of a test target,” while the 13-foot UAV “crippled a key computer center integral to the ship's cutting edge combat systems.”


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