Engine Failure Doomed Predator

The Air Force lost an MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted aircraft in a crash last year near Kandahar AB, Afghanistan, due to engine failure, announced Air Combat Command on Monday. The Predator was on an information-gathering mission on July 14, 2014, when the engine failed, rendering the aircraft incapable of producing sufficient thrust to remain airborne, according to ACC’s release, which summarizes the finding’s of the command’s abbreviated accident investigation board report. The airplane was destroyed on impact at a loss of approximately $4.6 million, states the release. Since no portion of the wreckage was recovered, investigators could not determine why the engine failed. The Predator was assigned to the 432nd Wing at Creech AFB, Nev. Airmen assigned to the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 178th Reconnaissance Squadron in Fargo were controlling the aircraft at the time of the mishap.? (AAIB report; caution, large-sized file.)