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Syracuse Peace Council: drone crash should 'poke people awake'

Ryan Delaney
An MQ-9 Reaper drone, like this one seen in a hanger at Hancock Airfield, crashed Tuesday into Lake Ontario under command of the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard.

Anti-drone activists hope the recent crash of an unmanned military drone aircraft will "poke people awake" about their dangers.

No one was injured when the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard lost an MQ-9 Reaper drone into Lake Ontario during a training flight Tuesday, but the 8,000 pound aircraft crashed just 20 miles northeast of Oswego and 12 miles off shore.

"I hope it’s a wakeup call for people in upstate New York," said Ed Kinane, a long time activist with the Syracuse Peace Council.

"Very fortunately it crashed into water and not on land. So I hope people think, ‘hmm, it could have been otherwise,'" he said.

The Peace Council is pushing Syracuse lawmakers to ban drone flights over the city, but such a ban would have no effect on military aircraft. The 174th recently began flying their training flights over parts of the city.

Kinane says if this accident helps their efforts, that’s a silver lining.

According to Bloomberg News, the Air Force’s Reaper and Predator drones are among the most accident-prone of its fleet. There are 9.31 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. That's three-times the average of the rest of the Air Force's fleet.

The Air National Guard says the Reaper is safe and they will thoroughly investigate the accident.