Military drone crash lands in Taitung City park

A military unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) crash landed in Taitung Forest Park this evening, and the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) says the cause of the crash was an error in the flight control system.

The UCAV took off from the Chih-hang Air Force Base this afternoon on a test flight, and landed in a forested section of Taitung Forest Park at 6:33 pm, according to reports. There were no casualties, but contact with trees caused the drone to fragment on landing.

NCSIST says that due to an abnormality in the flight control system, the drone executed a forced landing in accordance with standard operating procedures. However, while attempting to land on the grassy areas of the park, the vehicle made contact with trees, turning the forced landing into a crash landing.

The Teng Yun reconnaissance and strike UCAV has been under intense testing since October 2020 and is on schedule to enter combat testing this year.

The turboprop-powered Teng Yun UCAV resembles the American MQ-9 Reaper drone, and is designed with compatibility for the air to ground 114 Hellfire missile. The Teng Yun has a range of 1,000 kilometers and can stay in the air for up to 24 hours with a maximum altitude of 7,620 meters.

A four year plan to develop the drones from 2018 to 2021 was slated to cost NT$3.45 billion (US$123.499 million).

Location of drone crash showing distance from residential around of around 1 kilometer. Picture: Liberty Times.
Three Teng Yun UCAVs at Taitung’s Chih-hang Air Base in January 2021.
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