An Army chopper was struck by an illegally flying drone over a residential neighborhood in Staten Island, New York. The UA60 helicopter was 500 feet over Midland Beach with another Black Hawk, when a civilian drone struck the army chopper at about 8:15 p.m. on Thursday. This caused damage to the chopper’s rotor blades. The pilot was able to land safely at nearby Linden Airport in New Jersey.
“Our aircraft was not targeted, this was a civilian drone,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino, the spokesman for the 82nd Airborne.
“It struck on the left side of fuselage. There were no adverse impacts to the flight,” he said. “One blade was damaged [and] dented in two spots and requires replacement and there is a dented window.”
Buccino added: “Our paratroopers from the 82nd are the best trained and they were able to act very quickly and very appropriately.”
The helicopter and its crew were part of a troupe of soldiers from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division that were serving in New York in support of the United Nations General Assembly, which brought world leaders to the city.
Authorities are investigating the collision with an army chopper but no arrests have been made at the time of this story’s publication.
Why was the drone there? Well, it certainly wasn’t supposed to be. The Federal Aviation Administration restricts flying such drones and model crafts within five miles of airports. Incidentally, they’re also illegal to fly in the state of New York with the exception of public parks.
This isn’t the first time that drones have been a nuisance in and around New York or with army and civilian air craft. Clearly, some regulations need to be put into place since citizens aren’t able to self-regulate something so obvious to us here at American Grit. What do you think? Drones do have some amazing uses, but when they’re in the wrong hands, it can become a serious problem. Sound off in the comments below!