Rogue Navy Drone, With ‘Software Issue’ Reaches DC Airspace

August 26, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Yikes! Earlier this month, an out of control unmanned Fire Scout drone helicopter reached the restricted airspace of Washington, DC, before remote operators regained control of the killer machine. The Navy attributed the problem to a “software issue.”

According to The New York Times, the incident occurred on August 2 and resulted in the grounding of the fleet of drone helicopters, while an investigation was conducted:

“Navy spokesmen could not say Wednesday if anyone on the ground was alarmed by the drone — officially an MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing unmanned aerial vehicle — which looks like a small windowless helicopter and was flying at 2,000 feet.” […]

Before the “software issue” was resolved, the Fire Scout roamed the skies of Washington for about half an hour.

“Navy spokesmen said the Fire Scout, made by Northrop Grumman, was a little more than an hour into a test flight operating out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River on the Chesapeake Bay when operators lost its control link. The drone then flew 23 miles on a north-by-northwest course to enter Washington’s restricted airspace. A half-hour later, Navy spokesmen said, operators re-established control and the drone landed safely back at Patuxent.”

Good to know.

Photo Source:U.S. Navy photo by Kurt Lengfield.


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