Just when you think you have heard all the crazy news out of the Sunshine State, we get this: It’s raining unmanned fighter jets (drones) in Florida! Seriously, people, maybe we should cut Floridians a break for being so wacky. Can you imagine dealing with falling planes in your neck of the woods?
Imagine you are driving down the Florida Panhandle when you spot an old plane taking off nearby. No biggie, it is just a F-4 Phantom fighter jet, probably flying out of nearby Tyndall Air Force Base. But then that plane doesn’t quite manage to take off and starts heading to U.S. 98. And it crashes! Not sure about the rest of you, but that’s when I would do a U-turn (yes, I would do that in a highway) and get as far away as possible from the fighter jet that is probably full of bombs that just crashed nearby.
In this particular case, this F-4 jet was flying without a pilot, via remote control. When most people hear the word “drone”, we think of these guys being used in Afghanistan and Iraq (and in so many other places) during the war against terrorists:
But now the military is actually using full size airplanes (fighter jets) as drones. So next time you see a jet flying out of a base, you will have to ask yourself: “Is there a pilot in the cockpit of that thing?”
Representatives from Tyndall Air Force Base put out a release, basically saying that the July 17 crash was no biggie. The plane crashed, they activated the self-destroy button and nobody got hurt. Carry on, right? Not so fast. This was the second crash in less than seven days. On Wednesday, July 10, another QF-4 self-destructed over the Gulf of Mexico near Port St. Joe.
Oh, and last year the same based was behind the crash of an F-22 Raptor, also near U.S. 98. Personally, I think I may avoid the area around the flight path of these drones in Florida. At least until Visit Florida start offering Adamantium beach umbrellas!