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MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS crashed after hitting USS Charleston

MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS crashed after hitting USS Charleston
Archive image: PACIFIC OCEAN (March 27, 2021) Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jesse Watson from Boynton Beach, Fla., stands as the flight deck officer for the flight operations of an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle aboard Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), March 27.
USS Charleston is currently operating in U.S. Third Fleet.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Butler.

Western Pacific, U.S. Navy — An unmanned helicopter MQ-8B Fire Scout crashed into the side of USS Charleston (LCS 18) after taking off from the ship around 3:40 p.m., April 26.

No one was injured, and the Littoral Combat Ship continued to safely operate after the incident involving the MQ-8B Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (VTUAV).

The Fire Scout –31.7 feet long and nearly 10 feet tall– fell into the sea and was not recovered. The mishap damaged a safety net on the ship and struck the hull. Damage to the ship is being assessed, but appears limited to an area above the waterline. The USS Charleston continues operations in the Western Pacific.

The crashed of MQ-8B Fire Scout after takeoff from USS Charleston cause of the mishap is under investigation.

MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS crashed after hitting USS Charleston
Archive image: Two MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadrong (HSC) 22, the «Sea Knights», and one MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle conduct hover checks prior to departing on an Airborne Use of Force (AUF) training flight at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (MARS UAS) Airfield located at NASA Goddard’s Wallops Flight Facility.
The MARS UAS Runway provided the proper infrastructure, briefing, and maintenance facilities for HSC-22’s two MH-60S helicopters and MQ-8B.
U.S. Navy photo by Chris Perry.

The Fire Scout was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 based out of Naval Air Station North Island and was assigned to Charleston as part of its current mission.

U.S. 3rd Fleet Commander.


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