Craft had gone down on June 24
An unmanned aerial vehicle that went down in the Neuse River near Cherry Point on June 24 was found and recovered on Tuesday.
The recovery came less than a week after a second UAV had to ditch in the river on Sept. 10. That craft was recovered on the same day.
According to a release from Cherry Point, the Cherry Point Fire Department in conjunction with training in the use of Marine Side Scan Sonar located the craft within about an hour of searching. A dive team with Atlantic Beach Fire Department and the Cherry Point Operations Range Development Vessel Support Division collaborated in recovering the craft.
Five days after the aircraft went down in the river, the search for the RQ-7B Shadow had been suspended. According to the release, a New Bern firefighter participating in a youth camp in the area had found a parachute in the river on June 24. He turned it over to Cherry Point officials on Aug. 12 and provided information about where the parachute was located. That helped base officials narrow their search for the craft.
What caused the aircraft to go down in the river is still under investigation, according to the release. The UAV has been returned to Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2 and will be assessed for further possible use.
The RQ-7B Shadow is a small, propeller-driven aircraft with a 14-foot wingspan and a weight of less than 400 pounds, according to the release. It carries no weapons and assists in weapons targeting and reconnaissance.
Military officials say the Shadow that went down in the Neuse River Sept. 10 “ditched.” According to the release, ditching is “a planned event in which the flight crew knowingly makes a controlled landing in the water.”
That incident is also under investigation.