Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Incidents occurred March 12, 2016 near Charlotte Douglas International Airport (KCLT), Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and the FAA are looking for the owner of a drone who flew dangerously close to two airliners.

Both incidents happened Saturday night between 6:15 and 6:45 and was captured on tower communications.

Pilot: "I just passed some little hovercraft thing."

Tower: You think it might be a drone?

Pilot: "Yes sir."

The tower sent Snoopy, CMPD'S police helicopter to look for the person flying the drone; it was traced to an area near the 3400 block of Brookshire Boulevard.

The second pilot also talked to the tower.

Pilot: "It was at 2300 feet, just as we passed over the top of him."

Close calls like this worry passengers like Laura Bailey, who flew in from Boston.

"I think they should work on putting the genie back in the bottle-- especially on this one," she said.

Ben Smith disagrees; he's been a helicopter pilot for 30 years.

"The fact there is a drone up there it's just one more thing in the sky. I'm not in the least way concerned about that," he said.

If police catch up with the drone owner, he could face stiff federal penalties including jail and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Story and video:  http://www.wcnc.com

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