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Thu, Jan 03, 2019

Drone Flies Close To Helicopter In New Zealand

Helo Pilot Said Drone Came Within 15-30 Feet Of His Aircraft

The pilot of an Eagle helicopter said that he saw a drone flying within 15-30 feet of his aircraft at about midnight on New Year's Day over a highway in Auckland, New Zealand.

Radio New Zealand reports that authorities said that evasive action taken by the helicopter pilot averted loss of life. "If he hadn't have taken that evasive action then who knows what could have happened. It could have been catastrophic," said Acting Auckland region commander Inspector Jim Wilson.

The drone was operating in a "no fly zone" over a highway interchange known locally as Spaghetti Junction. Authorities are trying to locate the person or persons who were operating the drone. Wilson said it was too early to know whether the drone was deliberately being flown near the helicopter, of if it was inadvertent.

Two other unauthorized drones were also spotted operating in the area, according to the report. Wilson said the Auckland Police will work closely with the NZ CAA in its investigation. "The actions of these people in flying a drone dangerously close to the eagle helicopter is totally irresponsible and police will investigate thoroughly," he said.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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