There were no injuries but the drone was heavily damaged.
The crash occurred after the drone lost its data link with the operators at Volk Field, a National Guard training base in Juneau County, Wisconsin.
After losing the link, the aircraft descended into trees between an interstate and highway in the surrounding towns. The crash occurred at roughly 2:30 p.m.
The drone was being operated by a platoon from Company D, 173rd Brigade Engineer Battalion in the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
The platoon flies the RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial system from its facility at Volk field and was conducting training when the accident occurred.
No injuries or property damage were reported after the accident, according to the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs. The aircraft itself “sustained significant damage in the crash,” the department’s release said.
The aircraft lost its link approximately three kilometers northwest of Volk Field and then flew south as it descended into the trees.
Local law enforcement and helicopters from the Nebraska Army National Guard operating out of Volk Field for an exercise searched for the downed aircraft.
Volk Field security forces ultimately located the aircraft and secured the scene.
The RQ-7 drone is unarmed and was only equipped with a camera. RQ-7 Shadows are launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult, and provide tactical reconnaissance for ground maneuver forces.
The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs said its personnel will release more information as it becomes available. The accident remains under investigation.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.