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Monday, December 3, 2012

Terminator: Rise of the Drones: They crash, they kill but we must have them!

Editor's Note: It appears that drones are the wave of the future, rather the wave of the present since thousands of them are flying around all over the world even today.  But as the following report makes note, drones operated by humans are liable to failure, not that of the machine, but rather that of the humans. How long before SKYNET takes over and machines will fly machines? It is amazing how quickly the world of Science-Fiction becomes the world of Science Fact.

Image from
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A newly-released internal investigation by the US Air Force has shown a plague of non-mission-related accidents involving drones in its foreign operations. Meanwhile, Washington is pushing ahead with plans to allow drones into US civil airspace.
The report shows Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) crashing consistently and unpredictably due to a wide array of failures from technical malfunction, to complications in dealing with air traffic controllers, to downright incompetence. The documents, obtained by the Washington Post, number several thousand pages, and show that at least seven drones have crashed near airports in the past two years.
One account from April describes a sub-contracted operator launching an $8.9 million MQ-9 Reaper from the runway at the Seychelles International Airport without getting the go-head from the control tower. The same operator then accidentally switched off the engine without noticing and then tried an emergency landing, but did not release the wheels.
The aircraft was a write-off. It was the second similar accident at the site in just five months.
“I will be blunt here. I said, ‘I can’t believe this is happening again,’ ” the report cites an Air Force official present at the scene as saying. He later adds, “You go, ‘How stupid are you?’”
Read More: Flying into trouble? Drones to use US airspace as safety record questioned — RT

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