Monday, July 14, 2014

Helicopter pilot reports near miss with drone over Cleveland, Federal Aviation Administration investigating

CLEVELAND, Ohio - A helicopter pilot reported a near miss with a drone over Cleveland. The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating the incident that happened July 11.

The FAA confirmed the incident to NewsChannel5's Paul Kiska and released this statement.

"On July 11th, the pilot of a Schweizer helicopter reported that an Unmanned Aircraft that looked like a red quadrocopter passed about 50 yards to his left side while he was flying at 1,700 feet.  The pilot stated that this occurred about 5 miles northeast of Cleveland.  The FAA will investigate the incident." 

"That's a concern to pilots and all of us who operate at this low altitudes. It's scary, bird strikes scare us, but this is an unknown. We haven't had any documented hits between an aircraft and a UAV and no one wants to be the first," said helicopter pilot Drew Ferguson with the Northeast Ohio Helicopter and Low Fliers Group.

Ferguson is working closely with drone operators to promote safety.

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