December 8, 2008
FARGO, N.D. (AP) – After two failed tries, an unmanned aircraft expected to be the first to patrol the northern U.S. border completed a flight from Arizona to North Dakota.
U.S Customs and Border Protection officials said the Predator B drone touched down Saturday at the Grand Forks Air Force Base after a six-hour flight from Libby Army Airfield in Sierra Vista, Ariz.
“The aviators all brag about the perfect landing,” said Michael Corcoran, deputy director for air operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine office in Grand Forks. “I guess we’ll brag about this one, as well,” he said.
The drone is scheduled to begin patrolling the northern U.S. border in January. Its flights will originate from the Grand Forks base.
Officials were waiting for clearance on air space before deciding on a schedule, Corcoran said.
An earlier flight on Thursday was canceled because of maintenance problems, and a flight Friday was aborted because of poor weather.
This article was posted: Monday, December 8, 2008 at 2:25 pm