Highway Closed After Drone Crashes at Tyndall Air Force Base

For the second time within a week, a drone has crashed near Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

Base officials say the QF-4 drone crashed on takeoff early Wednesday. No one was injured as a result.

Witnesses described seeing the drone as it “exploded and sent up a large black cloud,” as reported by WJHG-TV.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/WJHG_TV/status/357507214900080640″]

QF-4 drones are full-scale target drones that, according to an Air Force fact sheet, are designed with”an explosive device […] to destroy the aircraft if it inadvertently becomes uncontrollable.”

Officials say the drone has a limited, 24-hour battery life on its self-destruct charge and it will be inactive after the battery is depleted.

QF-4 Drone
A QF-4 Drone in flight as it is tracked by a missile at Tyndall AFB, Fla. The drones are used as moving targets to test weapons. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

It is unclear what exactly lead to the crash and if the self-destruct mechanism was involved.

The Air Force closed Highway 98 west of Panama City and east of Mexico Beach because of fires from the crash. Officials say the stretch of highway could remain closed for up to 24 hours.

Watch WEAR’s report about the incident:

The prior drone crash occurred last Wednesday over the Gulf of Mexico near Cape San Blas and was witnessed by vacationers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story has been updated to include a video.