Small Mexican drone crashes in Texas, no injuries

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said agents recovered the drone after receiving a call from a "concerned citizen."

Small Mexican drone crashes in Texas, no injuries

A small unmanned Mexican drone has crashed near El Paso triggering an investigation by U.S. federal authorities, officials said on Friday.

The unmanned aircraft came down near the Texas city on Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board said. There were no injuries.

NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said the drone was an Orbiter Mini UAV, operated by Aeronautics Defense Systems and owned by the Mexican government.

"We are collecting data on the incident, really at the moment we don't have a lot of information," Holloway told Reuters.

"It was Mexican-government owned ... though we don't know what mission it was on," he added.

The NTSB investigates aircraft crashes in the United States.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said Border Patrol agents recovered the drone after receiving a call from a "concerned citizen."

CBP spokesman Roger Maier said the agents worked with Mexican authorities and other U.S. federal agencies to return the vehicle to the Mexican government. He declined further comment on the incident.

The lightweight drone is designed for use in military and homeland security missions, as well as low intensity conflicts and urban warfare operations, according to the manufacturer's website.

It is launched from a rail, and can stay aloft for 3-4 hours, carrying a payload of up to 3.3 pounds.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security uses several Predator B drones equipped with day and night vision cameras and radar to searcher for smugglers and other intruders along U.S. land and sea borders.

The Predator is a much larger aircraft than the Orbiter, has a greater payload capacity, and can stay aloft for more than 20 hours.

Reuters
 

Last Mod: 18 Aralık 2010, 12:55
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