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Border Patrol Drone Crashed by Controllers After Developing Problem

A Customs and Border Patrol flight crew deliberately crashed the $12 million, unmanned Predator B aircraft into the ocean approximately 20 miles southwest of San Diego. The agency's other drones were grounded as a result.

A General Atomics Predator B similar to the one that crashed. Photo courtesy General Atomics.
A General Atomics Predator B similar to the one that crashed. Photo courtesy General Atomics.
A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol drone was purposely crashed into the ocean about 20 miles southwest of San Diego after it developed a mechanical problem, an agency spokesman said. 
 
The CPB Office of Air and Marine flight crew deliberately crashed the unmanned aircraft about 11:15 p.m. Monday, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Michael Friel.   

Friel said the maritime variant of the General Atomics Predator B experienced an unspecified problem while  patrolling the coastline, and its controllers determined it would be unable to return to Sierra Vista, Ariz.   

The CBP handled the recovery of the aircraft, with the U.S. Coast Guard providing a safety buffer, Coast Guard officials said.   

Pending an investigation of what went wrong, the CBP grounded its drones, he said.   

Friel said the National Transportation Safety Board and the FederalAviation Administration was notified about ditching the drone, reportedly valued around $12 million.

– City News Service

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