US Navy Investigates Unmanned Helicopter Mishaps

US Navy Investigates Unmanned Helicopter Mishaps

The Navy recently experienced two unrelated operational mishaps with the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.

There were no injuries to personnel and no damage to other aircraft.

An MQ-8B Fire Scout operating off USS Simpson (FFG-56) March 30 was ditched at sea upon returning from a maritime surveillance mission in support of Africa Partnership Station. The air vehicle was unable to achieve UAS Common Automated Recovery System (UCARS) lock on, a requirement for landing aboard a ship at sea. After multiple approaches and exhaustive troubleshooting by operators, the aircraft was positioned a safe distance from Simpson and the flight was terminated. Subsequently, Simpson crew performed a nighttime recovery of the aircraft.

The second incident occurred April 6 when an MQ-8B operating in northern Afghanistan crashed while conducting a routine surveillance mission in support of Regional Command North. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.

The Navy is conducting a thorough investigation of both incidents.

Since 2006, the MQ-8B Fire Scout has accumulated over 5,000 flight hours with more than 3,000 flight hours tallied during operational deployments. Fire Scout has played a significant role in multiple operations including three counter-piracy actions, a search-and-seizure operation, support of successful transits of the Strait of Hormuz; completion of a special operations proof of concept; and use as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset for Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya. In Afghanistan alone, Fire Scout has provided significant support to ground commanders by enhanced situational awareness to joint forces closely engaged against enemy combatants.

In light of the recent mishaps, the Navy has temporarily suspended Fire Scout flight operations for 14 air vehicles in inventory while system performance and operational procedures are reviewed.

Naval Today Staff , April 11, 2012; Image: navy

Share this article

Follow Naval Today

One thought on “US Navy Investigates Unmanned Helicopter Mishaps”

Comments are closed.


<< Nov 2015 >>
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6

ASNE Day 2016 – American Society of Naval Engineers

The ASNE Day 2016 program will cover a broad range of topics delivered by high-ranking authorities within the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard…

read more >

Unmanned Maritime Systems 2015

The conference aims to deliver an innovative and creative environment, leading to the free exchange of ideas and requirements, putting…

read more >

African Security: The African Maritime Security Summit

Key Benefits of Attending AFSEC 2015:
Help shape the future of maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden
Engage in open…

read more >

The Army Navy Military Expo

The Army Navy Military Expo is a B2B tradeshow that offers goods from the army-navy, tactical & law enforcement, camping & outdoors industries…

read more >