A civilian drone flying well over the regulated height above Staten Island crashed into a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter last week, causing an alarming amount of damage, according to Army officials with the 82nd Airborne Division via The New York Post.
Officials believe the unintentional collision is the first time a civilian drone has hit a military aircraft in flight, raising serious concerns about the growing commercial drone market, and strengthening the need for enforcement of existing drone flight regulations.
According to officials, the U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter was flying at 500 feet over the residential area of Staten Island in New York at around 8 p.m. on Thursday when it crashed with the drone. Regulations clearly dictate that civilian drones should not be flown above 400 feet. It is also illegal to fly a drone in NYC beyond the city’s parks.
The crash caused some serious damage, denting the aircraft’s fuselage and a window, as well as causing blade damage. The helicopter was able to return and land safely, but the incident could have easily escalated into a serious crash.
There was no mention of the drone operator, but an investigation by the NYPD and military is under way.