MQ-9A Accident Investigation Report Released

  • Published
  • By Public Affairs staff
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs

Today, Air Combat Command released an Accident Investigation Board report regarding an MQ-9A Reaper crash that took place on Jan. 18, 2023, at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. The mishap resulted in no fatalities, nor injuries or reported damage to civilian property. The loss of government property was valued at $16.1M. 

The aircraft belonged to the 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, and was being operated by Innovation, Integration Incorporated, a defense contract firm. 

The AIB president determined the cause of the mishap was pilot error, which led to the operator losing connectivity with the aircraft while it was too close to the runway. The lack of pilot control, coupled with the hard landing, caused the aircraft to depart the runway, subsequently destroying the radome, sensor suite, landing gear and engine.

Additionally, the AIB president found three factors substantially contributed to the mishap. First, the pilot failed to recognize that one of the systems was out of limits during a pre-flight systems check. Next, the sensor operator failed to verbalize rotation airspeed during the flight. Finally, the sensor operator also failed to recognize the aircraft was beyond rotation airspeed once the “abort” command had been given.

The AIB report can be viewed at Aircraft Accident Report here.