EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A man fishing about 60 miles offshore from Tampa, Fla., on Sunday spotted something unusual: A BQM-167 drone out of Tyndall Air Force Base.

Instead of calling the Coast Guard in Mobile, Ala. -- which is what the Air Force recommends when people see such objects in the Gulf -- the fisherman towed the drone ashore to Madeira Beach.

The BQM-167 belongs to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, a tenant unit at Tyndall, and was lost March 10 due to an engine flameout during a routine training exercise, the Air Force said in a news release.

MacDill's Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians secured the drone and a team from the 82nd is expected to retrieve it this week, the Air Force said.

Now it makes me wonder how many more are down in the depths, if only I could find some sort of cheap open source based boat with a sonar on it so I could look.

Reading a little more I see they are water recoverable, so I guess the airforce was looking for it.
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  • Used to work on the 147, older than these models, really cool and what got me into RC, drones etc. They were very tough little aircraft and we used air frames that were 15 plus years old. We did MARS recovery. Helicopter would fly by and "catch" the drone with treble hooks troling behind it. Very risky but it worked. Hate water recoveries, a lot of de con.
  • Moderator
    Only the military would spend a half million $ on something and then turn around and shoot at it! Hah, hah.
  • I was driving south on I-75 this morning and saw the drone being pulled on a trailer going north!!!
  • Moderator
    I guess I have to read up on Salvage rights because I had thought it was "finders keepers".

    Apparently the military thinks otherwise (esp the american military)
  • Moderator
    About 15 years ago, the americans routinely overflew my town here in northern Alberta Canada with a B52 with a cruise missle underslung during tests (apparently our topography is very similiar to a planned flyway in some un-named slavic country).

    At the time, my son wistfully commented that it would be cool if the cruise missle fell off so he could salvage it...this article sounds eerily like what my 12 yr old was day-dreaming about.
  • there are a lot of them in the bottom of the sea bacause the navy didn't give the permittion to retreive them!
    take a scuba diver and collectv them!!
  • T3
    I think I have some scud scrap in my kit bag....
  • A satellite part would be something, since that's what Major Marcy does. Wonder if technology is advanced enough to find satellite parts on the bottom of the ocean.
  • Moderator
    I assume the person finding this knew the diff between a drone and a cruise missle, otherwise he was taking quite a chance towing it home.

    I wonder if salvage rights mean he gets to keep it?
  • Take mine...
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