> our title:

Engine Failure Caused Predator Crash: USAF

> original title:

Officials Release MQ-1B Predator Accident Report

(Source: US Air Force; issued Sep. 4, 2012)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. --- Irreversible engine failure caused the crash of an MQ-1B Predator April 14, 2012, into an unpopulated mountainside in Afghanistan, according to an Air Combat Command Abbreviated Accident Investigation Board report released today.

The mishap crew was assigned to the 162nd Reconnaissance Squadron, Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio. When the accident occurred, the mishap crew was flying a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

According to the report, the mishap remotely piloted aircraft experienced a single-point failure that simultaneously caused both ignition circuits to lose the ability to control engine ignitions. Based on mission data logs, the AAIB Board President believes a substantially contributing factor to the failure of the ignition control system was a failure of the power cable that was the only point on this particular MQ-1B that joined the two ignition circuits.

Following engine failure, the mishap crew applied all critical actions procedures and accomplished the appropriate checklists, but determined the aircraft could not successfully return to the air base. Following the guidance received from the 432nd Wing Operations Center director, the crew purposely flew the aircraft into the ground.

The mishap remotely piloted aircraft was still relatively intact after the crash; however, after recovering those parts deemed sensitive, the U.S. Army Recovery Team destroyed the MRPA and its air-to-surface guided missile. The loss is valued at approximately $3.8 million. There were no injuries or damage to government or private property.