A civilian drone damaged a multi-million dollar military helicopter after it crashed into the aircraft over a residential neighborhood in New York.
According to authorities, a UA60 helicopter soaring 500 feet above Midland Beach in Staten Island Thursday evening was struck by an illegally flying drone, causing damage to its rotor blades.
The incident occurred between 7.30pm and 8.15pm, according to The New York Post.
The aircraft, known as a Black Hawk helicopter, was forced to land at nearby Linden Airport in New Jersey. No injuries were reported in the incident.
Army Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino, spokesman for the 82nd Airborne, said the unnamed aerial vehicle ‘struck on the left side of fuselage.’
‘There were no adverse impacts to the flight,’ he continued. ‘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 Post reported that the helicopter was accompanied by another UA60 and had traveled from Fort Bragg, North Carolina for the United Nations General Assembly this week.
The NYPD and military police are seeking to speak with the pilot of the drone, but so far no arrests have been made.
The law prohibits drones from flying within a 5 mile radius of an airport, and restricts unmanned aerial vehicle usage to five model aircraft fields spread throughout the five boroughs.
‘Drones can pose a definite risk to aircrafts, especially helicopters. If they smash into a windshield they could cause copter to crash,’ said a law enforcement source told the Post.
Drones can also distract pilots causing them to lose control.’
‘Last night, an out of control helicopter could have crashed into residential homes causing numerous injuries and even fatalities,’ the source added.
Drone use has been a nuisance for city officials over the past several years, with at least half a dozen reported incidents of UAVs causing damage to buildings and private property.