Early this morning at approximately 1013 hours, a US remote-piloted MQ-9 aircraft took off from Seychelles International Airport on a routine patrol. Minutes into the flight, the tower was informed that the aircraft was experiencing engine problems and needed to land as soon as possible.
The drone landed with a failed engine at 1019 hours, but due to its accelerated landing speed, the aircraft was unable to stop before the runways’ end. It exited among rock armoring at the extreme southern end of the runway at which point a fire broke out due to the impact.
The Seychelles International Airport Fire Services immediately intervened and the fire was controlled within minutes.
There were no injuries reported, or material damages to airport facilities, and the runway involved was closed for approximately 10 minutes as a precautionary measure, following which services resumed with no disruption to airport operations.
The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) and the US Embassy would like to thank the airport emergency services and ground crew for their prompt intervention in containing this incident.
The SCAA and other agencies assisted in the recovery of the wreckage.
It has been confirmed that this drone was unarmed and its failure was due to mechanical reasons.
The Seychelles authorities have been working closely with the US embassy in Mauritius and information contained has been coordinated with both parties.