Author Topic: Drone and helicopter collide over Florida  (Read 8776 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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Drone and helicopter collide over Florida
« on: January 04, 2024, 06:04:31 AM »

Now I am a licensed drone pilot, and nothing irks me more than stories like this.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A commercial helicopter pilot safely landed Saturday afternoon moments after colliding with a drone less than 200 feet in the air, according to the Volusia Sheriff's Office (VSO).

The collision happened around 2 p.m. above the Daytona Beach Flea Market off Tomoka Farms Road, VSO said.According to VSO, the drone pilot was flying at an altitude of 180 feet and recording video for a construction company in the area at the time of the crash.

"He was looking down at his tablet when he heard a loud impact, then noticed his drone was no longer in the air," VSO said in a Facebook post. The helicopter pilot – part of Leading Edge Helicopter Tours, a tour company -- told VSO that he spotted the drone hovering through his windshield "but was unable to avoid it." He was able to land safely.

The helicopter's rotor blade was damaged, which was estimated to cost at least $60,000, VSO said. It was not immediately clear if the helicopter company was on an active tour at the time of the collision, nor if anyone else was aboard the aircraft besides the pilot.

FOX 35 has reached out to VSO for clarification.

Both the FAA and NTSB were notified of the collision, VSO said.

The FAA provided the following statement:
"A drone collided with a Robinson R44 helicopter near the Daytona Beach International Airport in Florida around 3 p.m. local time Saturday, December 30. The helicopter then returned to the airport and landed safely. Three people were on board. The FAA notified the Volusia County Sherriff’s Office and will investigate."

It was also not immediately apparent if any possible charges or citations could be filed as a result of the collision.

"Drone/UAS operators, if you aren’t already aware of the Know Before You Fly campaign, please check it out and familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations intended to prevent these types of incidents," VSO said.