SAN ANGELO, TX -- A Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle appears to have crash landed at San Angelo Regional Airport Mathis Field.
The above photo shows the Predator belly-down on the ground near a runway at San Angelo's Mathis Field Tuesday evening, its landing gear missing.
As we reported back in April, in Washington D.C., Homeland Security spokesmen are adamant that the press not call them “drones.” Although the equipment and concepts of their operation were born in the hot zones of the Middle East where its operators proudly promote the “drone” moniker.
Flying out of Mathis Field is the MQ-9 Predator B, an unmanned single turboprop drone equipped with similar sensors the Department of Defense developed to chase Al Qaeda leaders hiding in the mountains of Tora Bora, Afghanistan.
The Predator B is used here for drug interdiction along the Mexican border.
“An unmanned aircraft system assigned to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations National Air Security Operations Center – Corpus Christi, Texas experienced a landing mishap at about 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 14 in the infield of San Angelo Regional Airport. No injuries were reported. The cause of the accident is under investigation," said a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman via email late Tuesday evening.
“Air and Marine Operations deployed the UAS crew to San Angelo in January 2018 for a third straight year to conduct missions along the Texas–Mexico border and the maritime approaches from the Gulf of Mexico to the United States.
AMO is operating the UAS in San Angelo in accordance with an approved Federal Aviation Administration Certificate of Authorization,” the CBP spokesman said.
For more on the Predator B mission out of San Angelo's Mathis Field, see "How San Angelo Sits in the Catbird Seat for the Drug War on the Mexico Border."