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Test at Pendleton UAS Range starts fire

No one hurt, no damage done, “extensive review” underway

Published on April 1, 2018 5:41PM

Last changed on April 2, 2018 11:52AM

PENDLETON — A “mishap” at the Pendleton UAS Range caused a small fire at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport Saturday morning, although it caused no injuries and damaged no property, Range Manager Darryl Abling said.

In an interview Sunday, Abling said the incident happened at approximately 11 a.m. north of the east-west runway at the airport.

The Pendleton Fire Department was called to the scene and was able to quickly put out the fire. Following the incident, the airport’s control tower notified the city, the Federal Aviation Administration and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the institution that oversees all UAS operations in Oregon.

Abling declined to say what type of UAS was involved with the fire or what happened during the test that led to the incident, adding that test range personnel are currently conducting an investigation and haven’t had a chance to look through the data yet.

He also declined to identify the organization that was testing the drone.

Abling said the organization is a customer with the city, and the range and the FAA authorized the operation.

The organization will not be allowed to fly at the range again until it has undergone an extensive review, he said.


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