U.S. surevillance drone crashes on Eastern Shore, Navy says

A 44-foot U.S. Navy surveillance drone crashed Monday afternoon in a marshy area near Bloodsworth Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Navy said.

No one on the ground was injured, and no significant damage was done by the more than 10-ton aircraft, the Navy said.

Naval officials said the drone was on a test flight, but they could not immediately say whether drones are routinely tested over the Chesapeake Bay or Eastern Shore. They were also not certain from what ground-based facility the aircraft was being piloted. It crashed just after midday about 22 miles east of the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River.

The drone was built by Northrop Grumman, and initial models were deployed three years ago. With a 116-foot wingspan, the aircraft is designed to fly at altitudes as high as 11 miles for distances in excess of 11,000 miles to gather intelligence information.

The Navy said the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator, or BAMS-D, drones have flown more than 5,500 hours in support of combat operations.

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.
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