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Navy drone makes emergency landing in Taiwan’s Taitung

Unmanned aerial vehicle makes safe landing off coast after flight malfunction

Albatross UAV in flight

Albatross UAV in flight (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Naval Fleet Command said that an Albatross unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was forced to make an emergency landing on Friday (May 21).

Naval Fleet Command said the Albatross drone, from the Maritime Tactical Reconnaissance Group, took off from Taimali training base in Taitung County at 7:27 a.m. to carry out a routine maritime reconnaissance mission, according to a Navy press release. At 7:31 a.m., the UAV started flying abnormally, and the operator decided there was a risk of it falling to the ground.

To safeguard nearby residents, the operator guided the drone back toward Taimali and safely landed it in nearby waters at 7:35 a.m. Navy Fleet Command said that although Albatross UAVs are expendable, National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology technicians have identified the problem to ensure its fleet of Albatrosses is in working order.

Each drone has a 5.3-meter fuselage and 8.6-m wingspan. It can carry a payload of 55 kilograms and fly at an altitude of up to 4,000 m for a maximum of 12 hours.