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Navy divers search Lake Ontario for lost Air Guard drone

Nov. 26, 2013 - 05:49PM   |  
Navy divers are searching Lake Ontario for a N.Y. Air Guard MQ-9 Reaper that crashed Nov. 12.
Navy divers are searching Lake Ontario for a N.Y. Air Guard MQ-9 Reaper that crashed Nov. 12. (Air Force)
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Navy salvage divers are combing Lake Ontario for the remains of a military drone that crashed Nov. 12 during a New York Air National Guard training mission.

State military officials said Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, of Virginia Beach, Va., has been mapping the debris field, working with a local Coast Guard unit.

A special Air Force Safety Investigation Board also arrived Nov. 18 to investigate the crash of the MQ-9 Reaper.

The Guard’s Syracuse-based 174th Attack Wing was cleared to resume flights this week for the first time since the crash, said Maj. Sandra Stoquert, the unit’s spokeswoman. Weather conditions canceled flights Monday, however.

The 174th’s ground search of the shoreline was also periodically interrupted bysnow and high winds, Stoquert said.

On Nov. 12, the multimillion-dollar aircraft took off from Wheeler Sack Army Airfield at Fort Drum and was operating in approved airspace over the eastern side of the lake when it was lost. The aircraft was reportedly not armed and there were no injuries.

The drone is used by the 174th to train Air Force pilots who use it on surveillance and attack missions globally.

Stoquert said it will take the safety board three to six months for a public report about the cause to be completed and made public. The board will also produce an internal report.

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