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Painted bright orange and measuring 20 feet long, an unmanned military aircraft drifted about 800 miles through Florida waters before being recovered off Key Largo.

“It’s like a big, remote-control airplane with a jet engine,” said Steve Powers of Sea Tow-Key Largo, the salvor who recovered the target drone owned by the U.S. Air Force.

“I’ve never seen one like it,” Powers said Tuesday. “It’s a first for me.”

Boaters who alerted the U.S. Coast Guard about the possible hazard to navigation on Sunday were warned to stay away from it. But boaters who avoided hitting the aircraft — officially a BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Target — were in no real danger.

“This target is used to be shot at. It doesn’t do the shooting,” said Lt. Col. Lance Wilkins, commander of the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City in the Panhandle.

Read more at The Miami Herald

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