Report reveals cause of Grand Forks Global Hawk crash

An executive summary of the accident investigation report into the loss of a US Air Force RQ-4B Global Hawk in August 2021, while returning to Grand Forks Air Force Base (GFAFB), North Dakota, was released by Air Combat Command Headquarters on April 22 this year.

The report identifies the aircraft involved as RQ-4B Block 40 serial 08-2035 from the 319th Reconnaissance Wing’s 348th Reconnaissance Squadron, which is based at Grand Forks.

As of August 5, 2021, the remotely piloted mishap aircraft’s (MA’s) airframe had clocked up 198 landings and 3,183 flight hours. That day, the MA was scheduled to participate in a Red Flag exercise and then conduct a target location error (TLE) mission while flying in the Tiger military operating area (MOA). At 1625hrs local time, the MA took off as planned.

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