USAF MQ-9 Reaper UAV, December 5, 2012


A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper, assigned to the 57th Wing at Nellis AFB, crashed on the Nevada Test and Training Range December 5, 2012 at approximately 7:14 p.m. It was participating in a combat training mission as part of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School Mission Employment phase. No one was injured in the incident.

The crash site is in a remote area on public land near Mount Irish. When we located the site on February 16, 2013 a strong odor of aviation fuel was still present near the impact point. There is a small area of burned trees and lots of small pieces of burned skin of the Reaper UAV in a small wash. There are also a few pieces of molten aluminum and remains of electronics components. A larger burned section of the aircraft's skin, apparently the corner of an access panel, was stuck in a tree above the point of impact.

It looks like the unmanned aircraft came straight down. The only broken tree limbs around the site are directly above the point of impact and the debris field is very small. We will post a link to the official accident investigation report when it becomes available.

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Burn marks at the crash site in a small wash
 
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Various pieces of debris found at the crash site
 
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Piece of burned skin
 
Skin fragments of the Reaper UAV with scrape marks
 
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The clean-up crew missed a spot. Can you spot it in the tree?... Looks like the corner of an access panel
 


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