An engine turbocharger failure led to the latest crash of an Air Force MQ-1B Predator drone this May, the service announced Monday.
The aircraft was conducting launch and recovery training operations at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, when it crashed, according to an Oct. 19 Air Force statement. The aircraft was substantially damaged to the tune of about $4.5 million. No one was injured in the incident.
Air Combat Command's abbreviated accident investigation board report, released Monday, blamed the incident on a seized turbocharger. This reduced engine performance, which prevented the aircraft from gaining altitude and clearing the terrain along the aircraft's flight path.
The board found the turbocharger seized due to a malfunctioning turbocharger lubrication system.
The aircraft was assigned to the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron, 432nd Wing at Creech.
An Air Force MQ-9A Reaper drone also crashed over international waters in February due to a generator problem and electrical failure.