Faulty Cable Connection Doomed Predator

Air Force investigators have determined that a faulty cable connection on an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle flying June 12 near Kandahar, Afghanistan, caused the aircraft to make erratic and uncommanded flight movements and be unresponsive to the pilot’s attempts to control it, leading to its crash. According to the recently issued executive summary of the accident investigation board, the Predator began to experience these problems shortly after takeoff from Kandahar Air Base. Its sensor suite also unexpectedly powered down. The remote pilot was unable to regain control of the aircraft and it eventually went down in an unpopulated area south of the base. The crash damaged the Predator beyond economical repair, resulting in a loss of $3.8 million.