Springfield crew ordered to crash drone

Published: Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 6:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 6:00 PM

A Predator aircrew at the Springfield Air National Guard Base had no choice but to fly its unmanned aircraft into the side of a mountain in Afghanistan this spring, according to an Air Force report released this week.

The remotely piloted MQ-1B Predator, armed with an air-to-surface missile, experienced irreversible engine failure on April 14 before its Springfield-based crew was guided to purposefully fly the plane into an unpopulated mountainside, the report states.

The loss was valued at $3.8 million by the Air Force.

The failure of the Predator’s ignition control system was attributed to the failure of the power cable joining the two ignition circuits.

“There was no fault found with the operators,” Col. Gregory Schnulo, commander of Springfield’s 178th Fighter Wing, said Wednesday.

Operated remotely from Springfield via satellite by the 162nd Reconnaissance Squadron, the plane’s crew “applied all critical actions procedures and accomplished the appropriate checklists, but determined the aircraft could not successfully return to the air base,” according to the report by Air Combat Command.

It was the base’s first mishap involving a Predator, Schnulo said, since local aircrews began remotely flying the already-iconic drones in February.

Even after the crash, the relatively intact Predator and its guided missile had to be destroyed by an Army recovery team, which also recovered sensitive parts.

The loss of a Predator isn’t uncommon, according to Joseph Trevithick, a military analyst for GlobalSecurity.org.

The Air Force lost 65 Q-1 series aircraft between fiscal-years 2000 and 2011, according to Trevithick. Of those, 12 were lost in fiscal-year 2011 alone.

The sensitive parts of a Predator would include its electro-optical equipment and even its engine, Trevithick wrote in an email.

The local Guard base, located at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, is in its first year of flying Predators around the clock on armed reconnaissance missions.

Previously, the base flew the F-16C/D fighter jet — each valued at $18.8 million. Pilots here began learning how to fly the Predator in August 2010.

“We had an older, more mature group of instructor pilots,” Schnulo told the News-Sun in June. “Rather than go try to pursue an F-16 elsewhere, they chose to stay in Springfield and fly the new mission, which has been an outstanding benefit for us.”

Roof reportedly collapses at Greene Count

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 1:12 AM

The roof of a Greene County house has reportedly collapsed as fire crews battle a house fire Sunday morning.

Crews were dispatched to the 3800 block of Wilberforce-Clifton Road outside of Clifton around 12:55 a.m. 

The fire was originally reported in a garage shortly before flames were reported coming from the roof of a house. 

Initial reports indicate the roof of the house has collapsed and crews encountered heavy flames upon arrival. 

We will continue to follow this developing story.

Harrison Twp. fires crews battling fully engulfed house fire

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 12:33 AM

Harrison Twp. fire crews are battling a fully engulfed house fire Sunday morning. 

Firefighters were sent to the 600 block of Syracuse Avenue around 12:22 a.m. 

Initial reports indicate crews arrived to find a house in the area fully engulfed in flames.

A portion of Syracuse Avenue remains closed as crews work the scene, according to scanner traffic.

We will continue to monitor this developing story and post updates to this page.

2 West Carrollton women killed in Miamisburg crash

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 5:22 PM
Updated: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 11:10 PM

UPDATE @ 11:10 p.m.

Two West Carrollton women were pronounced dead at the scene of a crash early today in Miamisburg.

It was dark when police say a woman driving lost control on King Richard Parkway and drove up onto the curb and crashed into a tree in the yard of a Merry John Drive home. 

"Can you send an ambulance and police?" a caller tells a 911 dispatcher. "Uh, somebody just ran into our house with their car. The people in the car, I can't tell if they are moving or not." 

On Saturday evening, friends huddled around the crash site to remember 27-year-old Carol Pressell and 23-year-old Courtney Morgan Cole. Friends said the women were coming back home from a night out. 

The house was not damaged, but police said alcohol and speed were believed to be factors. 

Residents say speeding is a common problem in the 25 mph zone, where the road signs also say "Thank you for not speeding." 

"I see (motorists) speeding up and down the street all the time and I'll holler because the kids play up and down on the sidewalks," Aaron Collins said. 

Funeral services are still being planned for the two West Carrollton friends, and the crash also is still under investigation.

FIRST REPORT

Two West Carrollton women were pronounced dead at the scene of a crash early today in Miamisburg.

Crews were called around 2:15 a.m. to the intersection of King Richard Parkway and Merry John Drive.

Officers found a 2009 Ford sedan, occupied by Carol Pressel, 27, and Courtney Morgan Cole, 23, had apparently lost control, left the roadway and struck a tree, according to the Miamisburg Police Department.

According to 911 calls, the car struck a house in the 800 block of Merry John Drive.

Speed and alcohol are suspected to be factors in the crash, which remains under investigation, police said.

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Demonstrators march for science on Earth Day in downtown Dayton

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 7:42 PM

Demontrators took to the streets of Dayton today in the name of science.

These marches happened across the world as people defended science on Earth Day.

Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton was packed with 1,200 to 1,500 people of all ages. They chanted "save our planet," "know all the facts" and "science not silence" as they marched. 

"It's kind of upsetting to see how our government has been treating science," said Jessica Spanger, a local organizer. 

Some wanted to promote the fun side of science. 

"People don’t realize how interesting it is," said Ned Rasor, a physicist. 

Others said it's a politically charged event following recent changes in Washington. 

Organizers said the March for Science is bipartisan, and that they hope to get attention from both sides of the aisle. 

"We start influencing our policymakers to make evidence-based decisions rather than making decisions off of opinions or based off of what their lobbyists tell them to do," Spangler said.

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