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Report: More than 400 military drones have crashed since 2001

There have been more than 400 military drone crashes since 2001, according to a report written by the Washington Post

| Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Jun 20, 2014 7:48 pm

The U.S. military uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for training, reconnaissance and coordinated strikes, but there is something that is often overlooked: when these large aircraft spiral out of control and slam into the ground. There have been at least 400 military drone crashes since 2001, according to a Washington Post report.


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Acquiring data through the Freedom of Information Act, drones typically crash due to mechanical issues, human mistake, or rough weather, among other reasons. The published report comes at a critical time, when the federal government wants to allow drones to fly in the same airspace as commercial aircraft.


"Flying is inherently a dangerous activity," said Dyke Weatherington, Pentagon director of unmanned warfare, in a statement. "You don't have to look very far, unfortunately, to see examples of that. I can look you square in the eye and say, absolutely, the [Defense Department] has got an exceptional safety record on this and we're getting better every day."


Oddly, there have been a few military drones that simply vanished and U.S. investigators weren't able to find or recover the UAVs.


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