Throughout an interview with CBS’ “The Takeout” podcast on Thursday, White Home Nationwide Safety Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said that the Russian jet that hit a U.S. drone engaged in a “deliberate” transfer and tried to dump gas on the drone, however it’s unclear “whether the pilot intended to strike the drone or just it was poor flying.” However that their intention is irrelevant.
Kirby mentioned, [relevant remarks begin around 1:45] “There are three things, when you look at that video, that are clear and unmistakable, Major: One, that this was a deliberate, aggressive — overly aggressive move by this pilot. Number two, that they were attempting to dump fuel on that MQ9, because you can see it pouring out of the back of that jet. And three, that they did, in fact, strike the MQ9. Because, as you saw in the aftermath of the hit, the collision video, you can see clearly that one of the propellor blades is completely bent and unusable. And it was because of that, because it was not — we weren’t able to continue to fly the drone, that we had to go ahead and down it. So, three things are unmistakable. What’s not clear in the video is whether the pilot intended to strike the drone or just it was poor flying. Either way, it doesn’t matter, completely inappropriate, unsafe, and unprofessional.”
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