Left Tail Break Caused 2015 Predator Crash
A mechanical failure of the left tail clamp on an MQ-1B Predator caused the
remotely piloted aircraft to crash during a mission in an undisclosed area
in the Middle East, the US Air Force announced.
On. Nov. 8, 2015, an MQ-1B assigned to the 432nd Wing at Creech AFB, Nev.,
which was operated by a deployed launch and recovery element from the 46th
Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, crashed as it was approaching to
land. An Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board found that the
failure of the left tail clamp or tail clamp bolts resulted in the airborne
loss of the left tail. This caused an unrecoverable departure from
This happened as the pilot was conducting an arrival checklist. As the pilot
alternated left and right inputs, mechanical and aerodynamic loads broke the
weakened left tail clamp. The pilot, for 27 seconds, tried to regain control
before the Predator crashed.
It was destroyed on impact, at a loss of $5.3 million