New York Air National Guard MQ-9 Lost Over Lake Ontario

Search Efforts Resume Wednesday

OSWEGO – An Air National Guard spokesman said this afternoon that the search for the drone has been suspended due to weather.

At a news conference this evening, Col. Greg Semmel, commander of the 174th Attack Wing, said parts of the drone may be floating while others probably sank.

The drone, which costs an estimated $4 million to $5 million, was reportedly “operating in approved military airspace” at the time of the incident. A student pilot was at the controls, according to Semmel.

Search efforts will resume Wednesday morning.

The crash site is about 20 miles northeast of the city of Oswego.

Semmel said the cause of the crash is unknown and that an official Air Force safety investigation is under way.

Coast Guard Oswego Station’s 47-foot vessel and a helicopter out of Buffalo will aid in the search.


HANCOCK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, NY – At approximately 1 p.m. today (Nov. 12), a MQ-9 Reaper crashed into eastern Lake Ontario during a routine training mission being conducted by the Formal Training Unit of the 174th Attack Wing.

No one was injured.

The aircraft had no weapons on board.

The aircraft took off from Wheeler Sack Army Airfield at Fort Drum and was operating in approved military training airspace over Lake Ontario as part of the 174th’s mission of training MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators for the Air Force.

Base first responders are working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and local officials to respond to the crash.

Air Force officials will investigate the crash.

The 174th Attack Wing planned a press conference at 6 p.m. to provide further information.

The MQ-9 Reaper is a medium-to-high altitude, long endurance remotely piloted aircraft.

The Reaper’s primary mission is to act as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset, employing sensors to provide real-time data to commanders and intelligence specialists at all levels.