Posts tagged airspace
A newly-released internal investigation by the US Air Force has shown a plague of non-mission-related accidents involving drones in its foreign operations. Meanwhile, Washington is pushing ahead with plans to allow drones into US civil airspace.
The report shows Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) crashing consistently and unpredictably due to a wide array of failures from technical malfunction, to complications in dealing with air traffic controllers, to downright incompetence. The documents, obtained by the Washington Post, number several thousand pages, and show that at least seven drones have crashed near airports in the past two years.
One account from April describes a sub-contracted operator launching an $8.9 million MQ-9 Reaper from the runway at the Seychelles International Airport without getting the go-head from the control tower. The same operator then accidentally switched off the engine without noticing and then tried an emergency landing, but did not release the wheels.
The aircraft was a write-off. It was the second similar accident at the site in just five months.
“I will be blunt here. I said, ‘I can’t believe this is happening again,’ ” the report cites an Air Force official present at the scene as saying. He later adds, “You go, ‘How stupid are you?’”.
Congress has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to find a safe way to expand the use of drones in the U.S.
By Steve Watson
Government, Military To Fly Predator Drones Over North Dakota
Local pilots protest use of blinding lasers in their airspace
In conjunction with The Federal Aviation Administration, the Air National Guard plans to fly unmanned Predator aircraft over North Dakota and have them aim lasers at ground targets in the latest development in the ongoing mass expansion of the use of drones in US skies.
North Dakota news website INFORUM reports that the Air National Guard’s 119th Wing, based at Fargo’s Hector International Airport, will begin operating the drones by early October.
According to the report, the FAA has officially established eight blocks of restricted airspace over National Guard base Camp Grafton South near New Rockford. The airspace will be from 500 to 9,999 feet above sea level and commercial aircraft will be prohibited from using it.
The training will focus around target practice for laser-guided bombs and missiles. Targets will be located on small buildings or on the ground.
“People may hear airplanes flying above, but there will be no lights visible and no explosions,” Col. Rick Gibney commented.
Turkey has scrambled six F-16 fighter jets near its border with Syria after Syrian helicopters came close to the border, the country’s army says.
Six jets were sent to the area in response to three such incidents on Saturday, the statement said, adding that there was no violation of Turkish airspace.
Last month, Syrian forces shot down a Turkish jet in the border area.
The incident further strained already tense relations between former allies.
Turkey’s government has been outspoken in its condemnation of Syria’s response to the 16-month anti-government uprising, which has seen more than 30,000 Syrian refugees enter Turkey.
On Friday, Turkey said it had begun deploying rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns along the border in response to the downing of its F-4 Phantom jet on 22 June.
The move came after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey had changed its rules of military engagement and would now treat any Syrian military approaching the border as a threat.
The Syrian military statement appeared on the state news agency.
The Syrian military has said that it shot down a Turkish warplane “flying in airspace over Syrian waters”.
A spokesman said the plane, an F-4 Phantom, was dealt with “according to the laws that govern such situations”, the state news agency Sana said.
The Turkish prime minister said his country would “take the necessary steps” once all the facts were known.
The Turkish and Syrian navies are meanwhile engaged in a joint search for the two missing crew members.
The F-4 Phantom disappeared over the Mediterranean, south-west of Turkey’s Hatay province, near the Syrian coast.
Cut to the chase, this is all BS, banging the war drums and fear mongering. Stop and think, North Korea has nuclear bombs and the technology to reach the US west cost, but where is the fear and war drums? Then you have the country of Iran that may have the potential to build a nuclear weapon and you have asshats like Santorum that says let’s bomb them for our protection. Should Iran be trying to build a nuclear weapon and not just wanting to join the many nations, such as the US, Japan, and others, in providing nuclear energy, will they deliver the warhead via FedEx or UPS? Maybe the CIA has shmoozed a deal with North Korea to think a strike is contained but the unable strike from Iran is worth the fear and furry? Ah heck, I have the radar screen too tightly focused. What is the regional plan where Iran is involved and what corporate profit can be made, above and beyond the military industrial complex? Bottom line, how will the corporate owners profit from promoting a war with Iran? Maybe we are just wearing the white cowboy hat and protecting the region from those nasty weapons of mass destruction, just like the ones we sold to Iraq that no longer existed?
Fight the good fight, not the owners chosen fight of the moment.If the corporate and banking owners want to shed the blood and expire the lives of our military, it should be to defend the USA, not for corporate gin and control. Makes you wonder how they are selling us down the river to North Korea to not consider them as a nuclear threat when they have the potential to drop payload here?
I am utmost committed to protecting US citizens, but comparing the two threats, I see nothing but corporate interests and mission statements that are not in the best interests of our citizens. Your thoughts always appreciated.