An Air Force drone washed ashore on a South Florida beach on Friday after it was shot down in target practice, the Air Force Times reported on Saturday.
Beachgoers at Ocean Hammock Park near Boynton Beach found the orange, 20-foot-long drone and reported their discovery to town police Friday morning, The Palm Beach Post reported.
The drone, which costs $570,000, was remotely launched from Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle, and was used as an aerial target for fighter pilots, The Palm Beach Post reported, citing Air Force spokesperson Lt. Savannah Bray. The drone, the Post noted, is used to imitate enemy aircraft.
Officials say this Air Force drone washed up at Hammock Park in Boynton. The beach was closed for a little bit but now its been deemed safe and will sit here until it can be removed from the beach. pic.twitter.com/Jp9QqqFeNy
Miranda Christian (@MirandaWPTV) March 19, 2021
“This is not the first time this has happened,” Bray told the Post. “We are able to retrieve the vast majority of them, but every so often weather or winds pick up and we are unable to recover it, and they later wash up on shore.”
The situation isnt dangerous nor entirely uncommon, she added, according to the Air Force Times.
The drone flew over the militarys testing ranges in the Gulf of Mexico, Bray told the Times, meaning it was likely carried by the Gulf Stream for about 500 miles from where it was first shot down.
The drones journey may have spanned two or three months.
Bray confirmed that the drone was recovered from the beach on Friday afternoon, the Air Force Times noted.
The Hill has reached out to the Air Force for further comment.