QF-4 Crashes near Holloman

A remotely controlled QF-4 target drone launched from Holloman AFB, N.M., crashed on the grounds of the White Sands National Monument about five miles west of the base. The incident took place on the morning of Feb. 7, according to a Holloman release. A “substantial cleanup effort” was still underway on Monday and the monument was “indefinitely” closed, Becky Burghart, the monument’s public information officer, told the Daily Report. The QF-4 came down near Dunes Drive in the comparatively small portion of the 224-square-mile monument grounds open to the public, she said. However, there was no threat to public safety since monument staff close those areas in advance of Air Force testing in the airspace above, said Burghart. The QF-4 was assigned to Holloman’s 82nd Aerial Target Squadron, Det. 1. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Holloman is one of two Air Force installations that operate QF-4s, along with Tyndall AFB, Fla. Last year, a QF-4 crashed at Tyndall. The Air Force is replacing its QF-4s with QF-16s, which are modified early model F-16s pulled from retirement for use as the next generation of full-scale aerial targets.