File photo of a QF-4 Phantom at the 2007 McGuire Air Force Base Air Show, with an A-10 flying in the background. Photo courtesy Jon Hurd
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Florida (WKRG) - An unmanned Air Force QF-4 drone, assigned here to the 53rd
Weapons Evaluation Group, crashed on the runway during take-off
at 8:25 a.m. Wednesday. No personnel were injured during the incident.
Base and local police and safety officials have closed Highway 98 and
are anticipating that it will remain closed for up to 24 hours.
closure is being done strictly as a precautionary measure, due to fires
resulting from the crash and a small self-destruct charge carried on
board the drone. The status of this device is unknown. However, it is
powered by a short-life battery which will be fully depleted in 24
The charge is used to destroy the drone if it leaves its
pre-approved flight plan. Motorists traveling from Panama City to Mexico
Beach, should use Hwy. 22 east to Hwy. 71 south, and from Mexico Beach
to Panama City Hwy. 71 north to Hwy. 22 west.
The QF-4 is also known as the Vietnam-era Phantom fighter jet. The Air Force currently uses these jets as unmanned remote-controlled drones for training purposes.