A UH-60 Black Hawk and a civilian drone collided over State Island Thursday which marked the first confirmed crash of its kind. " Lt. Col. Joe Buccino said, "It‘s certainly the first of a military aircraft … [but] the FAA reported it as the first confirmed collision with an aircraft of any kind. Buccino is the spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division and he went on to say, "There have been reports of these kinds of collisions, but this is the first one confirmed."
Four soldiers were aboard the 82nd Airborne Division Black Hawk at the time of the collision according to Buccio. No serious injuries were sustained from the mid-air collision but there was some minor damage on the windshield and rotor blade, presumably where the small drone struck. Thankfully nothing worse happened, the helicopter was able to safely return to an airfield in New Jersey for a visual inspection according to Buccino. "Everyone was calm throughout," he said, "and they recovered what pieces of the drone they could and turned that over to the FAA."
Reports from local media outlets put the drone above the 400 foot limit required by the FAA. The drone was said to have been as high as 500 putting it in the path of commercial and military aircraft with actual human lives aboard. It is unknown if the drone was registered or who it belonged to but the Army is conducting an investigation into the collision.
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