Crashed US QF-4 Target Drone Burns Near Tyndall Air Force Base

An unmanned QF-4 drone crashed about 8:25 a.m. Wednesday while taking off from Tyndall Air Force Base Wednesday morning, causing base officials to shut down US 98 through the air force base.

No injuries were reported, but U.S. 98 is expected to be closed for up to 24 hours because of the crash, and because officials were not sure if self-destruct charge on the drone had detonated during the crash. The explosive charge is powered by a battery, which is supposed to deplete in 24 hours.

QF-4 target practice drone offer realistic targets for missile firing, because the drones are former Phantom F-4 aircraft.

Video features a story on the retired F-4 Phantom that is still assisting the military by using them as an unmanned remote drone to shoot experimental live missiles at for training. Courtesy Video | Defense Media Activity – Air Force | Date: 06.25.2008

Tyndall Air Force Base is located 12 miles east of Panama City, Florida. The base operating unit and host wing is the 325th Fighter Wing (325 FW) of the Air Combat Command (ACC) with primary mission to provide air dominance training for F-22A Raptor pilots and maintenance personnel and air battle managers to support the combat Air Force.

7/17/2013 – TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — U.S. Highway 98 from Tyndall Air Force Base to Mexico Beach is expected to remain closed until mid-day Thursday as a result of the unmanned Air Force QF-4 full scale aerial target drone that crashed today.

“This closure is being done strictly as a precautionary measure due to fires resulting from the crash and a small self-destruct charge carried on board the target,” said Col. William Grund, 325th Mission Support Group commander. “We understand that the closure of U.S. Highway 98 is a huge inconvenience to our local community, but we ask for everyone’s patience and understanding as we work to secure the area and maintain safety.”

The status of this device is unknown; however it is powered by a short-life battery which will be fully depleted in 24 hours, at which time the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team can go out and secure the site. The charge is used to destroy the target if it leaves its pre-approved flight plan.

Motorist traveling from Panama City to Mexico Beach should use Hwy. 22 east to Hwy. 71 south, and from Mexico Beach to Panama City Hwy. 71 north to Hwy. 22 west.

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