Unmanned aircraft deliberately set down 20 miles off Point Loma
A fleet of drones that patrols the nation’s borders and coastlines has been grounded following the second crash of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection unmanned aircraft, which took place late Monday about 20 miles off Point Loma.
The drone, a Guardian UAS Maritime Variant Predator B aircraft worth about $12 million, was deliberately downed after a mechanical failure jeopardized its safe return to its home base in Sierra Vista, Ariz., said Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel.
The aircraft broke apart on impact in the Pacific, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Henry Dunphy. His agency sent a cutter to secure the area and make sure no boats would hit the wreckage while debris was retrieved. No person or other object was involved in the incident, officials said.