Air Force

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A remotely-piloted military aircraft taxied around Hancock Airfield for the first time Tuesday.

Officers of the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard are calling it a small step toward a goal they’ve had for five years: launching their MQ-9 Reaper drones from Syracuse.

"A milestone," albeit not a dramatic one, is what Col. Greg Semmel, the 174th's commander, said of the event. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Besides some clouds on Nov. 12, 2013, Air National Guard crew members recalled to accident investigators that it was a nice day for flying.

But it was a cold, late fall day, just below freezing on the ground at Fort Drum, where the Air National Guard launches its remotely piloted aircraft for training missions over upstate New York. 

Roger Pawlowski

A team of shipwreck explorers recently discovered an Air Force plane deep below the surface of Lake Ontario, more than 60 years after it crashed.

It was late at night on September 11, 1952 when an Air force C-45 was flying from Massachusetts to Grifiss Air Force base in Rome. But before it could reach Grifiss, it lost an engine. The pilot set the plane on autopilot and the five member crew parachuted out.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

An unmanned aircraft expert says a "not uncommon problem" caused an Air National Guard drone to smash into Lake Ontario last November.

The Air Force says multiple communication and navigation failures lead to the crash of an MQ-9 Reaper drone, piloted by the Syracuse-based 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard.

No one was hurt when the multi-ton aircraft plummeted into the lake 12 miles offshore, late last year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

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.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on the Air Force to let Columbia College build a new facility at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse.  If it doesn't, the college that serves many military students, will shut down.