Armed Predator spy plane crashes in Iraq

A remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator spy plane crashed Monday near Muqdadiya, Iraq, Air Force officials from the U.S. Central Command said in a news release from Balad Air Base.

They provided few details other than to say that the armed Predator went down at 1:30 p.m. Iraq time and that a board will investigate.

The crash was the second in Iraq involving a Predator in a three-week span. An MQ-1 Predator crashed Nov. 29 in an unpopulated area of Iraq.

Airmen from Creech Air Force Base at Indian Springs, 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas, have been deployed to Iraq to conduct Predator operations.

The 407th Air Expeditionary Group started 24-hour operations Nov. 1 to launch and recover armed reconnaissance Predators in the war zone, Air Force officials have said. After launching, many of the flights for combat missions are controlled via satellite link by pilots and sensor operators at ground stations in Nevada.