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Pieces of crashed drone found on lake shore

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The search for a downed MQ-9 Reaper drone that crashed Tuesday afternoon into Lake Ontario will now focus on locating pieces of the craft.

Maj. Sandra D. Stoquert, spokeswoman for the 174th Attack Wing, Syracuse, which operated the drone, said in an email to media that debris was found along the shoreline. She did not specify where along the shoreline the debris was found.

The spokeswoman also said a pair of investigations will take place simultaneously to determine what led to the crash.

A Safety Investigation Board will work on an internal report to determine the cause of the crash and to recommend measures necessary to prevent a recurrence. Additionally, an Accident Investigation Board will produce a publicly releasable report about the crash.

Maj. Stoquert said that the accident board’s public report may take three to six months to complete but that each case has its own timetable. She said the inventory of uncovered parts was being passed along to the two boards.

The aircraft was traveling in approved airspace during a routine training exercise at the time.

While Col. Greg A. Semmel, the New York Air National Guard unit’s commander, estimated the Reaper’s cost at $4 million to $5 million, General Atomics, which makes the Reaper, told the Associated Press the aircraft’s cost starts at $10 million.

Times staff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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