DRONE STRIKES SAN DIEGO-BASED NAVY SHIP, INJURES 2 SAILORS

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By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2013 (San Diego) – A malfunctioning drone has struck the U.S.S. Chancellorsville on Saturday night off the Southern California coast near Point Magu, the Navy announced.

Two sailors sustained minor burns. The guided missile cruiser ship will return to San Diego for an assessment of damages. The Navy did not reveal what type of drone went awry. However the Los Angeles Times reports it was a 13-foot-long drone with a six foot wingspan that slammed into the port side of the ship.

The accident heightens concerns among East County residents who have voiced alarm over a proposal to test drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over San Diego’s backcountry.

“Another fire hazard, malfunctioning drones,” wrote Claudia Millerbragg in an e-mail sent to ECM.

Comments

No voice! No Vote! Where's the democracy?

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has resolved to push ahead with a plan to expand its drone combat weapons system despite the malfunctioning drone that injured two last Saturday on the USS Chancellorsville off the coast of San Diego.

The $4 million aerial and subsonic target drone, Chukar (BQM-74E), which was manufactured by Aerospace giant Northrop Grumman, capable of speeds up to 604 mph, had veered out of control during an operation test.

Luckily only two sailors out of the 300 crew members aboard the ship were injured after it was struck by the drone. Investigators at the Naval Base were unable to say why the drone lost control.

This is the second drone crash to occur in the past week after another unmanned craft malfunctioned and came down over Lake Ontario on Tuesday, prompting the suspension of all drone flights in Central New York.

A group of concerned citizens on drone testing in San Diego County, ‘Back Country Voices,’ holds the FAA, San Diego Military Advisory Board Council, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., and the San Diego Board of Supervisors, accountable to the taxpaying citizens of our County.

We believe our safety and rights to privacy are being targeted by the military drone culture. Where does it end if we don’t start holding these official "representatives" responsible?

Most sincerely,

Lisa