Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tyndall target drone crashes

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- An unmanned Air Force QF-4 target drone assigned to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group crashed on the drone runway during take-off at 8:25 a.m. Wednesday. No personnel were injured. U.S. 98 was closed and will remain so up to 24 hours. Target drones are equipped with a self-destruct charge powered by a short-life battery that will be fully depleted in 24 hours. The crash occurred while a second drone was in the air. That drone, as planned, was destroyed by a missile over the Gulf of Mexico. The drones assigned to the 53rd WEG run about 100 missions each year. A QF-4, which will ultimately be replaced by QF-16s, is 63 feet long 16 feet high and weighs 30,328 pounds. With fuel it's about 35,000 pounds. Just a week ago another QF-4 was destroyed near Port St. Joe after it veered from its planned flight path. (Source: Panama City News Herald, Northwest Florida Daily News, 07/17/13) Previous