A person has been arrested by FBI particular brokers in Los Angeles on expenses of recklessly flying a drone that crashed right into a police helicopter.
The case towards Andrew Rene Hernandez is believed to be the primary felony prosecution ever within the US alleging the unsafe operation of an unmanned plane.
The pilot of the Los Angeles police division helicopter was compelled to make an emergency touchdown after being struck by the drone over Hollywood in September.
Officers had been responding to stories of a housebreaking at a pharmacy within the early hours of the morning once they requested air help.
Because the helicopter approached the scene, the pilot noticed the drone and tried unsuccessfully to take evasive motion. The drone broken the chopper’s nostril, antenna and cowling – the protecting of the engine – within the influence.
“If the drone had struck the helicopter’s essential rotor as an alternative of the fuselage, it might have introduced the helicopter down,” based on the felony grievance filed in the US District Courtroom.
Officers discovered elements of the drone on the bottom, together with a car broken by the particles, and recognized Hernandez by reviewing the drone’s digicam and reminiscence card.
The 22-year-old advised police he simply needed to “see what was occurring”.
If convicted, he faces a statutory most sentence of 1 yr in federal jail.
His arrest got here throughout what’s Nationwide Drone Security Consciousness Week sponsored by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Officers at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport promoted the marketing campaign with the slogan “Airports and drones do not combine”.
The FAA says stories of drone sightings close to airports have elevated dramatically over the past two years with greater than 100 being acquired on common each month.
Pilots of business airliners touchdown at airports have reported various incidents of near-misses with unmanned plane.
Final yr, flights at Gatwick Airport have been grounded after stories of drones within the space, inflicting the cancellation of 1,000 flights over three days.