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Tue, Jan 02, 2024

FL Drone v R44 Meetup Does Not Go Well

Drone Destroyed, R44 Main Rotor Blade Damaged

It was not exactly a Happy Holiday for a few flyers this past weekend in Volusia County, FL.

An in-flight collision between DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone and a Robinson R44, flying sight seeing tours, took place near the Daytona Beach Flea Market,  resulting in a costly bit of damage to the R44 main rotor and obliterating the drone. 

Volusia County deputies reported that the helicopter was flying on behalf of Leading Edge Helicopter Tours when it was impacted by the drone less than 200 feet in the air at approximately 1400ET, Saturday, December 30th.

Thankfully, the helo returned safely, with no injuries to anyone on board. And again, the drone was toast. 

The Volusia County Sherif was the first on scene and reported that, "Around 2 p.m. today, a helicopter with Leading Edge Helicopter Tours struck a drone flying in the area of the Daytona Beach Flea Market (1425 Tomoka Farms Rd). The helicopter was able to land safely, but damage to its rotor blade was estimated at $60,000. The drone was destroyed."

The drone operator was ID'ed fairly quickly, as the Volusia Sherif officers made contact with both pilots in this misadventure. 

"The operator reported his DJI Mavic 2 Pro was recording video at a height of 180 feet. He was looking down at his tablet when he heard a loud impact, then noticed his drone was no longer in the air. The helicopter pilot reported he saw the drone through his windshield before impact but was unable to avoid it."

Both the NTSB & FAA have been notified but neither agency has, as yet, commented on the incident. 

FMI: www.volusiasheriff.gov, https://leadingedgehelicopter.com/

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