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Drone operator crashed in NY collision with helicopter

WASHINGTON – A recreational drone operator was the fault of the first confirmed midair collision in the U.S. between a drone and a manned aircraft, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday

The operator was not aware of the Federal Aviation Administration had temporarily banned drone flights in New York as its small drone collided with an Army Blackhawk helicopter on Sept. 21 the council said in a report on the incident. The U. N. General Assembly is meeting in New York.

The helicopter suffered minor damage, while the DJI Phantom 4 drone was destroyed, the report said.

The operator flew the drone at 2.5 km away, in spite of a long-term FAA ban on drone flights over the face of an operator, the report said. The pilot saw the drone and tried to maneuver, but it was too late to avoid the collision, the report said.

The collision occurred in the area of Hoffman Island, just off Staten Island.

In his interview with the researchers, the drone-pilot “indicated that he is not busy with the fly beyond the visual line of sight, and he expressed only a general fleeting of the awareness of rules and good practices,” the report said.

The first confirmed drone colliding with a commercial aircraft in North America took place in Quebec City, Canada, in October. The small drone crashed in a twin-propeller Beech 100 King Air with six passengers and two crew members on board the plane was descending to land. No one was injured, and the aircraft landed safely with only minor damage.

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