UPDATE: Unmanned drone crashes in Gulf

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 03:14 PM.

An unmanned Air Force QF-4 drone assigned to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group at Tyndall Air Force Base was destroyed over the Gulf of Mexico at 11:28 ET Wednesday, according to a release from Tyndall AFB.  

The drone was carrying a small self-destruct charge and had to be destroyed for safety considerations during its return to base following a routine operation.

The drone burned and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico several miles off of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. It was observed by a number of residents on Cape San Blas. 

The QF-4 is a reusable full-scale target drone modified from the F-4 Phantom.

The QF-4 provides a realistic full-scale target for air-to-air weapons system evaluation, development, and testing at Tyndall.

Routine precautionary safety measures require that a safety corridor in the Gulf of Mexico and portions of U.S. Highway 98 be closed during take-off and landing of these drones.  

Wednesday’s highway closure was part of these routine procedures and not in response to the incident.

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