The drone had been lost March 10 due to an engine flame-out during a routine training exercise.
It was found in the Tampa area and turned over to MacDill Air Force Base. The drone belongs to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, a tenant unit at Tyndall. That squadron falls under the 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.
Glenn E. Davis was fishing about 60 miles off shore when he spotted the drone Sunday afternoon. He towed it into Madeira Beach the next day.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies described it as being about 20 feet long, 15 feet wide and having a jet engine, according to a news release.
They contacted MacDill, which sent an Exposive Ordnance Disposal Team to the scene.
Sam King, spokesman for Eglin, said that 20 drones ended up in the Gulf last year and all but one was recovered. In 2008, two were lost, he said.
The drones are not dangerous, but civilians should not try to recover them if they spot them, King said. Instead, they should call the U.S. Coast Guard in Mobile, which will contact the Air Force to tow them into shore.
“It’s more cost efficient for the Air Force,” King said.
The BQM-167 drone was developed and designed by Composite Engineering Inc. at Eglin under a contract with the Air Armament Center Systems Program.
Source: Wendy Victora for Thedestinlog.com.