The FBI has announced the start of an investigation into a strange near-miss incident that occurred on February 9, 2021 in the skies over Tucson. At around 10:30 p.m. on that date, a helicopter operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, was reportedly buzzed by a “high powered” drone that followed it up to a high altitude.
Multiple law enforcement agencies also attempted to follow the drone to the point that they could identify its operator, but were unsuccessful.
Dan Marries of KOLD News, a local CBS affiliate out of Tucson, Arizona, reported the story, as seen in the video in the tweet below. Marries said law enforcement personnel tracked the drone for over an hour at altitudes as high as 14,000 feet. Marries even refers to the drone as “heavily modified,” though it’s unclear exactly how or where that claim originated. If this drone was indeed flying as high as 14,000 feet, that would rule out much of the off-the-shelf drone technology available on the commercial market and place it into a more advanced category. We are pursuing more information about what exactly was meant by “heavily modified.”
While the FBI is involved, it’s not clear if the US military was involved in any way in the initial incident or in this ongoing investigation given that Davis-Monthan Air Force Base sits on the outskirts of Tucson, some five miles southeast of the city. The base is home to the 355th Fighter Group, which operates 83 A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support aircraft, as well as hosting rescue, mission support, maintenance, and medical groups.
The massive AMARG boneyard also sits adjacent to the base. If the reports of the drone’s launch site are accurate, that would mean the drone could have taken off close to the base. Tucson International Airport also lies to the south of the city, however. Regardless, this is highly controlled airspace where an unmanned aircraft of this nature should not be freely operating.
Source: The Drive
UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf https://www.uasvision.com/2021/05/26/border-patrol-helicopter-had-bizarre-encounter-with-mysterious-highly-modified-drone/, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache. Für die Inhalte ist der UAV DACH e.V. nicht verantwortlich.