MQ-9 Reaper accident report released

An Air Force Special Operations Command MQ-9 Reaper taxiing.

An Air Force Special Operations Command MQ-9 Reaper taxiing.

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- An MQ-9A Reaper, assigned to the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. and deployed to Kandahar International Airport, Afghanistan, crashed May 18, 2015, after the aircraft was inadvertently flown into a thunderstorm according to an Air Force Special Operations Command Abbreviated Accident Investigation Board report released June 7.

The board president found the cause of the mishap was a direct or near lightning strike to the aircraft, resulting in multiple aircraft system failures and loss of aircraft controllability.

The aircraft and its payload of four missiles crashed in a remote area and was destroyed. The estimated value of the total loss was $12,911,715.

There were no fatalities and no damage to private property.

For a copy of the report or additional information, please contact AFSOC Public Affairs at 850-884-5515.