An MQ-1B Predator crashed shortly after takeoff in 2017 when an electrical failure caused its left tail to get stuck and sent it into an uncontrollable dive, according to an accident investigation board report released Wednesday.
The Predator crashed in a field after taking off from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Aug. 17, 2017, the Air Force said at the time.
The launch and recovery crew that controlled the Predator during takeoff handed off control to the mishap crew without any signs that anything was wrong, the report said. But 27 seconds after the handover, the Predator pitched down on its own, and the mishap crew lost their video feed.
The launch and recovery crew still had a video link, and saw the Predator enter a rolling dive until it hit the ground. That crew tried to regain control, but was unable to make a connection.