An Air Force C-130 cargo plane collided with a drone in Afghanistan, a potentially serious mishap that could give ammunition to critics wary of allowing pilotless aircraft to operate in civilian airspace.
A spokesman for the military in Afghanistan, Capt. Justin Brockhoff, confirmed that a C-130 cargo plane made an emergency landing Monday at a base in eastern Afghanistan after colliding with an RQ-7 Shadow, an unmanned aerial vehicle that is usually operated by the Army and the Marine Corps.
“The C-130 received light damage during the incident and the aircrew was unharmed,” Capt. Brockhoff said. “We have no reports at this time to indicate any injuries or damages were caused when the Shadow impacted the ground,” Capt. Brockhoff said.
Over the past decade, the U.S. military has built a large fleet of remotely piloted aircraft, including armed Predators that can fire antitank missiles and Global Hawks that take detailed pictures from high altitudes. Even so, collisions between manned aircraft and pilotless spy planes have been rare.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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