Drone Crash Closes White Sands National Monument

An unmanned military drone similar to this QF-4 crashed Friday in White Sands National Monument shortly after takeoff. NPS photo.

A military drone crashed at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico on Friday, prompting an extended closure of the monument.

White Sands National Monument is surrounded by military bases, notes the Park Service. From time to time, White Sands Missile Range will perform missile tests that require the closure of Dune's Drive in the park for their duration in order to ensure visitor safety. Some of these tests will even close U.S. 70.

The monument was scheduled to be closed until 10 a.m. local time Friday for the drone testing. However, after the crash the closure was extended indefinitely.

The unmanned drone reportedly had taken off from Holloman Air Force Base located off the monument's northeast corner and crashed four or five miles from the runway. Officials said there was no threat to the public.