While unmanned drones have become a popular weapon of choice during the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a new report reveals that hundreds of them have been involved in major accidents around the world.Following an investigation into more than 50 000 pages of federal and military records, the Washington Post found that more than 400 large American drones have crashed since 2001, with almost half of the accidents each causing millions of dollars in damages.
The news also highlights the potential risks of opening up American airspace to commercial, police, and military drone use, as the Federal Aviation Administration plans to in 2015.
The government has argued its testing sites will allow for the safe use of domestic drones, particularly since war-zone conditions won’t be replicated on American soil, but the recent data shows there are still significant hurdles to overcome.
No one has died as a result of a drone accident, but many times the disaster was avoided simply by chance or a difference of a few feet.
The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have crashed into homes, farms, roads, and even, in one case, an Air Force plane in midair.
Through various Freedom of Information Act requests, it was revealed that the military classifies its drone accidents in two different categories: Class A and B. Class A is made up of 194 drone accidents, each of which either destroyed the aerial vehicle involved or resulted in at least $2 million in damage.
More than half of these accidents took place in Afghanistan and Iraq, but nearly 25 percent were in the US. — Washington Post.
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