According to media reports, a helicopter crashed near Charleston South Carolina, whilst avoiding a drone. If these reports prove to be accurate, this will be the first drone-related aircraft accident.
It is reported that the helicopter was involved in an instructional flight when, “a white ‘DJI Phantom quad-copter drone’ came close to the helicopter.” The instructor took control of the helicopter and attempted to avoid the drone, but in the process the tail or tail rotor hit a tree, causing the pilot to lose control.
The Robinson R22 helicopter landed heavily on the rear of its landing skids, then turned onto its side. No injuries were recorded and it’s reported that the NTSB are investigating.
In September 2017, a DJI Phantom 4 drone and a Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter collided over New York Harbour – the first confirmed collision between a drone and a passenger aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the cause of the New York Harbour collision was because the drone pilot flew the aircraft beyond sight, coupled with an incomplete knowledge of regulations governing the operating drones.
By Rob Hall