How an everyday piece of hardware crashed an $11 million drone – Business Insider

An MQ-9A Reaper at Creech Air Force Base during the first flight test of an MQ-9 carrying eight Hellfire missiles, September 10, 2020. 
US Air Force/Senior Airman Haley Stevens

It’s the little things that make all the difference, like when an $11 million MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed out of the night sky because of a small metal washer that you can buy at a hardware store.

The washer was not on the aircraft itself, but inside the ground control station, where it came loose and created an electrical short that sent erroneous commands to the Reaper, throwing it into an uncontrolled final landing in the early morning of April 10, 2019.

The good news is the incident should be the last of its kind: Newer ground control stations have a different configuration to prevent loose metal bits from screwing with its sensitive hardware… More about this in the link below…

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