Hazard Above: Drone crash database
Fallen from the skies
By Emily Chow, Alberto Cuadra and Craig Whitlock, Published June 20, 2014.
More than 400 large U.S. military drones crashed in major accidents worldwide between Sept. 11, 2001, and December 2013. By reviewing military investigative reports and other records, The Washington Post was able to identify 194 drone crashes that fell into the most severe category: Class A accidents that destroyed the aircraft or caused (under current standards) at least $2 million in damage.
Not just in war zones
About one-third of the crashes occurred in Afghanistan, but nearly one-quarter happened in the United States during test and training flights. As the Pentagon deploys drones away from traditional combat zones, more accidents are occurring in Africa and other locations.
The 194 "Class A" drone crashes
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Crash numbers climbing
The annual number of crashes has risen over the past decade as the military has expanded the frequency of drone missions. The Pentagon says most drone types have become more reliable over time and that the number of crashes per flight hour has steadily decreased.
Accidents by year
Select a drone crash to see details
Note: The U.S. Navy has a drone that is similar to the Global Hawk, and has been counted as such.
Sources: Air Force, Army, Navy accident-investigation reports; Defense Department records; General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.; Northrop Grumman Corp.