Military drone crashes show spread of drone wars

US drone crashed in Iraq, July 2015
US drone crash in Samawa province, Iraq, July 2015

Drone Wars UK has updated the Drone Crash Database with details of a further 19 large drone crashes since our last update in February 2015.  Sixteen of the crashes occurred in 2015 while three previously unknown US drone crashes from 2014 have been revealed through the publication of accident investigation reports.

For the past five years Drone Wars UK has been recording crashes of large military drones (Class 2 & Class 3) as a way of tracking the spread and expansion of the use of drones. Due to the secrecy surrounding their use the database is almost certainly not complete. Read more

What 200 military drone crashes tells us about the drone wars

Over the past five years Drone Wars UK has been recording crashes of large military drones (Class 2 & Class 3) as a way of tracking the spread and expansion of the use of military drones. Due to the secrecy surrounding their use, details of crashes sometimes take months or years to be made public (if at all) and our list is therefore almost certainly not complete. Nevertheless our database now shows 200 such crashes between Jan 2007 and Dec 2014. Read more

Civil drones join military drones falling from the skies

Reaper-crashAs regular readers will know, Drone Wars UK tracks crashes of the larger type II and III military UAVs in our Drone Crash Database (details of UAV classifications here).  We have just updated our list with a further six crashes during 2013, including military drone crashes in the US, Israel, Mali and Afghanistan. Although the crash of a US military target drone in Florida received much media attention again this is of a type we do not record in our database. Read more

A Century of Drone Crashes

This week  the USAF released an accident investigation report into the crash of a US Predator drone in Afghanistan in April 2012.  This crash brings the number of drone crashes in our updated database  to 100 (see full database here) and so we thought it a good time to do some data crunching.

Our database primarily contains details of crashes of  Class 2 and Class 3 UAVs (i.e. medium and large drones – see here for explanation of drone class and size) since January 2007.  However  there are a few occasions when small drone crashes have been included for some notable reasons (i.e. crashed with another aircraft).  We continue to maintain this database  as, although safety and reliability is a key issue in the growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles, nobody appears to be publicly compiling  drone crash information.   We are not claiming that our database is complete.  Given the secretive nature of drone operations and development, it is highly likely that other drone crashes have occurred and not been publicly reported. Read more

Drone crashes continue into 2012

As the industry continues to talk up the future of the drone, there is virtual silence on drone crashes

While the drone industry regularly boasts about the spectacular rise in the use of unmanned drones (see this report of the latest drone lobby gathering as an example) their silence on the number of drones plummeting back to earth with a bang is almost deafening.

Our drone crash database contains some details of over 90 drone crashes since 2007 and we have now added details of five more large military drones that have crashed since the beginning of 2012.  We have also added details of a previously unreported US Predator drone crash in Djibouti in March 2011 which has only now been revealed by USAF military accidents reports (other drone crashes in Djibouti have previously been reported).  Of course many other smaller drones will have crashed,  but the drone crash database concentrates on the larger Class II and Class III drones)  (see here for a general guide to drone sizes) Read more

Iran, Djibouti, Afghanistan, China: Drones Simply Keep Crashing

A wrecked USAF Predator MQ-1B after crashing on a training flight in Nevada in 2009

Our Drone Crash Database has been updated with the details of another thirteen drone crashes that have taken place over the past ten months,  including the crash (or ‘hijacking’ according to the Iranians) of the US stealth drone in Iran last week.  According to our database 25 large drones have crashed so far this year.  Altogether our database records some details of 90 drone crashes since January 2007. Read more