Runaway MQ 8B Firescout close to being shot down.

The incident report on this one should be really interesting.
From the official military press release.
Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, who oversees the country’s air defenses, said the August 2 incident presented senior officers with an unprecedented dilemma, as a robotic Fire Scout helicopter strayed off course after losing ground communications.

“We were watching this very closely,” said Winnefeld, head of US Northern Command and NORAD, the joint US-Canadian air defense command.

“It’s headed right for the heart of the national capital region,” he told defense reporters. “Do you let it run out of gas and hopefully crash in a farmer’s field or do you actually take action to shoot it down?”

“You certainly don’t want to shoot it down over a populated area if you can avoid it.”

The North American Aerospace Defense Command was on the verge of scrambling F-16 fighter jets to intercept the helicopter when operators regained control of the chopper after 20 minutes.

Views: 225

Comment by Ron Jacobs on September 9, 2010 at 2:22pm
Think we saw this already.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 9, 2010 at 2:31pm
I don't think so, I think we saw the runaway report, the US military only made the press release about possible shoot down four hours ago.
Comment by Ron Jacobs on September 9, 2010 at 2:31pm
I think it was in the Ads by Google that I saw it a while back I guess. Its a millitary non-open source project, we don't care about their problems. I bet somebody flipped a swithc or bumped something...

Comment by Rory Paul on September 9, 2010 at 2:49pm
We should care. The more incidents like this the less likely we are going to get for civilian operations as the bureaucrats at the FAA will figure that if the "pros" can get it wrong what are bunch of "amateurs" going to break.
Comment by Ron Jacobs on September 9, 2010 at 3:36pm
Ah, right but wouldn't that be a given with any aircraft for an irforce anywhere, if it went awol? Something to be expected and not surprising? That they would consider shooting it down, I mean.
Comment by Ron Jacobs on September 9, 2010 at 3:38pm
airforce, not irforce
Comment by Mathew krawczun on September 9, 2010 at 4:19pm
Anything manned is give a lot for slack then if it’s unmanned.

honestly if a manned aircraft did the exact samething instead of this uav this report would never have even reached the news.

It’s the same with all robotics really, people are just more forgiving to other humans then they are to computers. It doesn’t matter if they have a better safety records then their human counterparts or not. There are just people looking for anything to prove UAVs aren’t safe for no other reason then they don’t like the idea of it.

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on September 9, 2010 at 5:14pm
Being a Reliability Engineer, redundancy is everything with a Drone of this type and it sounds like a low cost of ownership might have trumped the redundancy factor.

Just a thought.

Comment by Jack Crossfire on September 9, 2010 at 7:02pm
RTL software doesn't always work. Keep a gun around.
Comment by Greg Fletcher on September 9, 2010 at 7:05pm
Some thing just doesn't seem writ about this story. Why would anyone outside those involved, even know about this.
Must have been the guys watching the DC airspace that rated out the navy? And the computer was functioning because it flew its self and they regained coms and thus control. Its a heli, it always had control of its self or it would of crashed right? You would think they might have a RTL function built in some how. Like a failsafe nav function. Perhaps a" designated operations area", or DOA. Hey I'm pretty good with acronyms, I should have been a MILCON. That's milspeak for "military contractor".


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