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Pilot Says Drone Caused Him To Crash His Helicopter

Claims He Was Performing Maneuvers To Avoid Collision With A Quadcopter At Low Altitude

A helicopter went down in the extreme southern portion of Daniel Island near North Charleston, SC Wednesday, and the pilot says he was maneuvering to avoid collision with a drone when the accident occurred.

The Post and Courier newspaper reports that the pilot, a helicopter instructor who was not identified by name, told police that he was flying an R22 helicopter owned by Holy City Helicopters on an instructional flight on the southern tip of the island at about 1400 local time. He said they were flying over "undeveloped land" on the island and the student was practicing a maneuver when they saw "a white DJI Phantom quadcopter drone ... heading into their airspace."

The instructor said he took the controls and initiated maneuvers to avoid the drone, but his tail boom struck some brush or a small tree, which caused him to lose control.

The helicopter landed on its skids and fell over sideways. Neither person on board was injured, but the helo was declared a total loss.

Neither the drone or its operator has been located. The FAA would only confirm that the accident had occurred, but had no further information to provide to the press.

(Image from file)

FMI: Original report

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