Here's What It Looks Like When a Drone Crashes into a C-130

Illustration for article titled Heres What It Looks Like When a Drone Crashes into a C-130

This must have been incredibly terrifying! Imagine rumbling along in your massive C-130 over Afghanistan, when KABOOM, a UAV slams into your wing and tears a big chunk out if it. Now imagine having to land like that.

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sUAS News relays the following dispatch from the scene:

On closer inspection I could see a part of the one blade had been broken off the No 2 Engine which seemed to not have feathered fully, the massive hole in the left wing had broken the fuel tank, and was told that they believe the wing, main spar and wing box was also bent.

I'm still wondering if she will ever get airborne again but if not, she had done one hell of a last flight and the crew must have done an amazing job getting the wounded bird down on what is one of the more challenging runways I've ever seen. Not often that you get to hear of survivors of a mid-air collision.

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No word on how the RQ-7 drone fared after the smash—probably not well!—but it must have been one hell of a battering ram. Each RQ-7 weighs up to 375 pounds with a full payload, and travels at speeds up to 135 MPH. Now imagine that hitting you while you're tens of thousands of feet in the air—probably worse than a lot of anti-aircraft fire. Major congratulations to the crew for bringing the air truck down safely, and for not peeing their pants in the process. The best and the brightest, for real. [sUAS News via DefenseTech]

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DISCUSSION

Hell, these guys landed their A300 freighter, having been hit by a surface-to-air missile, which destroyed the rear wing spar, with no controls after all the hydraulic fluids leaked out. They landed it with only engine controls to return to Baghdad. Not to mean any disrespect to the pilots of the C-130, but the civie pilots flying for DHL landing that A300 had some real flying skills, not to mention the massive cajones.

[en.wikipedia.org]