Angela Kocherga
February 4, 2014

The federal government has grounded the fleet of Predator drones that patrol the Southwest after one of the unmanned aircraft crash-landed in the ocean 20 miles southwest of San Diego.

“While on patrol off the Southern California coast, the unmanned aircraft — a maritime variant of the Predator B — experienced a mechanical failure,” according to a written statement from Michael Friel, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman.

The Texas-based flight crew landed the malfunctioning drone in the sea rather than try to fly it back to its home base in Arizona.

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