Unmanned aircraft crashes in dry lake bed

Crash site of an unmanned aerial vehicle that went down Monday morning in the dry lake bed near El Mirage. Residents near the crash site say they heard the engine make a sputtering sound just before seeing it crash.

Aerial vehicle narrowly misses homes

EL MIRAGE — An unmanned aerial vehicle went down Monday morning at El Mirage Dry Lake, said a spokesperson for the Bureau of Land Management.

Residents living at the edge of the dry lake bed reported hearing the engine of the aircraft begin to sputter and saw it crash, narrowly missing a couple of homes.

One of the residents, who asked that his name not be used, said the unmanned aircraft constantly fly over the community along the dry lake. He said that sometimes the drones are very close to the ground and have buzzed his house.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. uses the old El Mirage airport as a testing and research area for the unmanned aircraft. The facility is located about 5 miles northwest of Adelanto.

Predator unmaned aerial vehicles are assembled and tested in the area. Predators can be equipped to conduct both reconnaissance and attack operations. NASA officials at Edwards Air Force Base have also deployed Predators to observe wildfires.

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