Electrical Failure Doomed Predator

Air Combat Command announced Oct. 1 that an electrical failure in the primary control module was the culprit in the Feb. 22 crash of an MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted vehicle northeast of Joint Base Balad in Iraq. According to the accident investigation board, the electrical problem caused the RPV to lose all communications capability, rendering it impervious to operator commands. That prompted the Predator to initiate a flight termination routine, shutting down its engine and causing it to enter an unrecoverable spin. The RPV, valued at $4.5 million, was destroyed upon impact.