By Kyle James  |  02-17-2018   News
Photo credit: Jack Brown |

Drones becoming increasingly common has led to a growing concern that they might one day cause a fatal accident. Authorities are investigating a helicopter crash on Daniel Island that was reportedly caused by a drone.

The accident occurred around 2 p.m. Tuesday when a Robinson R22 helicopter struck a tree and crash-landed near the southern tip of the island, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

A spokeswoman for the FAA named Kathleen Bergen said the investigation is ongoing but would provide no further information. A police report does reveal some facts about the accident.

Officers say they were called at 4:30 p.m. to speak with a private helicopter instructor in North Charleston who had been involved in "a single aircraft mishap." The helicopter crashed near Daniel Island Drive and VIllage Crossing Drive.

The caller told officers he was an employee of Holy City Helicopters and was giving a lesson to a client and the two were practicing a maneuver when "a white DJI Phantom quad-copter drone' headed toward their airspace.

The instructor said he took over control of the helicopter and attempted evasive maneuvers but the tail rudder hit a brush or a small tree causing him to lose control.

"The helicopter landed in undeveloped land and could not be seen by the general public," according to the report. The instructor then contacted the FAA, Charleston International Airport and the helicopter's owner who determined the aircraft was totaled.

No injuries were reported from the crash and the pilot of the drone remains unknown.

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