Military drone crashes in Lebanon County

An unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone, crashed outside a Lebanon County school and a hotel this afternoon.

Fort Indiantown Gap spokesman Maj. Ed Shank said the UAV was involved in training operations when it experienced an uncontrolled hard landing on Fischer Avenue in Union Township.

The drone came down between Lickdale Elementary School and a Comfort Inn.

“Here at Fort Indiantown Gap, that's the first time something like this has happened,” Shank said. “When it does happen we investigate it very thoroughly to figure out what happened and then let the public know and let our own aviators know so that it doesn't happen again.”

Residents say they hear drones overhead often.

“I have listened to it for the past couple of years and I was a little unsteady with it going over my house because look what happens,” said Lisa Cooper, who lives right down the street from the scene of the crash.

Shank said a car then ran over and broke the wing of the unmanned aircraft, an RQ-7 Shadow.

He said the UAV, worth $125,000, will be a total loss. The car had minor damage and no one was injured.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The RQ-7 Shadow weighs approximately 375 pounds. It is approximately 11 feet long and has a wingspan of 14 feet.

It is used by the United States Army and Marine Corps for reconnaissance and surveillance.

The Pennsylvania Army National Guard conducts training operations with the RQ-7 Shadow and RQ-11 Raven unmanned aerial vehicles out of Fort Indiantown Gap over the installation's approved airspace.


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