New Details Released in 2012 Md. Drone Crash - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Details Released in 2012 Md. Drone Crash

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Video still image taken from WBOC Chopper 16 of last year's drone crash. Video still image taken from WBOC Chopper 16 of last year's drone crash.

NANTICOKE, Md.- New details have been released regarding the 2012 crash of a drone into the Nanticoke River.

The online news site "The Daily Beast" says it acquired a copy of the Navy investigation into the crash.  The report says that a combination of mechanical failure and pilot error are to blame for the crash.

Two minutes after takeoff, the civilian pilot who was being trained, noticed that a rudder on the drone was jammed.  The pilot attempted to compensate for the problem, but rose to above 40,000 feet, a violation of emergency protocol.  As a result, the pilot lost contact and control of the drone.

The drone crashed on June 11, 2012, in the wetlands of the Nanticoke River.  It was a Global Hawk drone, with a wingspan of 131 feet, and weighing over 22,000 pounds.  It was also carrying 11,000 pounds of jet fuel.  The aircraft exploded on impact.  No property was damaged, and environmental damage was minimal.

WBOC was unable to contact the author of the "The Daily Beast" article. This reporter did speak with a spokesperson for the company that was operating the drone. The spokesperson confirmed that a mechanical error was involved in the crash. The spokesperson was unable to confirm anything additional, as the exact circumstances of the crash are classified.

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