Investigation into drone crash nearing completion

Apr 8, 2014

The Air Force's investigation into the crash of a drone aircraft into Lake Ontario last fall is nearing completion and should be made public later this spring.

Investigators from the Air Force Investigations Board wrapped up the on-site investigation at Hancock Airfield on March 20, according to 174th Air Guard Attack Wing spokeswoman Maj. Sandy Stoquert.

Investigators did not give the 174th a preliminary report or portions of its finding yet, Stoquert said.

The MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed into Lake Ontario about 12 miles from Oswego while on a training mission out of Fort Drum on Nov. 12, 2013. Search crews found only pieces of the unmanned aircraft in the days following. The recovery efforts have been deemed complete.

Operations at the 174th were halted temporarily following the crash and preliminary investigation. The guard unit has asserted its program is safe.

The 174th has been operating drones for overseas missions out of remote cockpits at Hancock Airfield since 2010. And it flies training missions in military airspace over Lake Ontario and the Adirondack Moutains.