> our title:

Generator Failure Caused Predator Ditching: Report

> original title:

MQ-9 Reaper Accident Report Released

(Source: US Air Force Air Combat Command; issued Aug 19, 2015)

LANGLEY AFB, Va. --- A starter-generator failure and subsequent loss of electricity led to the intentional crash of an MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft into international waters Feb. 4, 2015, according to an Abbreviated Accident Investigation Board Report released today.

The aircraft, valued at $13.2 million, was assigned to the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing in the AFRICOM AOR and was destroyed on impact. There were no injuries or damage to private property because of the crash.

The crew was flying an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission in the AFRICOM AOR when the mishap occurred. Approximately three hours into the flight, the starter-generator failed and the crew aborted the mission, placing the aircraft into a holding pattern to assess the situation.

Despite attempts to conserve power by shutting down all non-critical functions, the crew was not assured there would be enough battery life left for the aircraft to safely return to base.

Due to this uncertainty, the crew was ordered to fly the aircraft into international waters. The wreckage was not retrieved.