A Close Call Above Daytona Beach
In a startling incident over Daytona Beach, Florida, a commercial helicopter collided with a drone, narrowly averting a potential disaster.
Details of the Mid-Air Drone Collision
The Volusia Sheriff's Office (VSO) reported that the collision happened when the drone, operated by an individual recording video for a construction company, struck the helicopter at an altitude of 180 feet.
The drone pilot, who was monitoring the flight through a tablet, heard a loud impact and realized that his drone had been knocked out of the air.
Pilot's Skilled Response Prevents Tragedy
The pilot of the helicopter, affiliated with Leading Edge Helicopter Tours, noticed the drone through his windshield but couldn't evade it in time.
Despite the collision and significant damage to the helicopter's rotor blade, estimated at $60,000, the pilot managed to land the aircraft safely.
It remains unclear whether the helicopter was conducting a tour at the time and if there were passengers besides the pilot.
Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were promptly notified of the incident.
The FAA confirmed that the Robinson R44 helicopter returned safely to the Daytona Beach International Airport with three people onboard.
The authorities are currently investigating the collision, and it is yet to be determined if any charges or citations will be issued.
A Call for Awareness and Regulation Compliance
This campaign emphasizes the importance of understanding rules and regulations to prevent similar incidents.
The collision underscores the critical need for drone pilots to be vigilant about their surroundings, especially when flying near airports and other areas with potential helicopter and aircraft traffic.
Safety First in the Sky
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and the need for strict adherence to safety protocols.
As drones become increasingly commonplace, both recreational and commercial drone pilots must prioritize safety to ensure the skies remain safe for all.
Photos courtesy of Volusia Sheriff's Office.
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