Monday, April 23, 2018

Eurocopter EC135-P2+, N913ET: Incident occurred April 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas

The FAA released this statement: 
N913ET REPORTED A DRONE AT 1500 FT AS HE WAS EXITING BRAVO AIRSPACE. N913ET REPORTED THE DRONE AT THE SAME ALTITUDE AND STATED THAT HE ALMOST HIT THE DRONE. TEN MINUTES LATER N786DD WAS ON FINAL FOR RWY 31R ABOUT 5 MILES OUT AND REPORTED SEEING A DRONE AT 1900 FT RED IN COLOR AND SMALL.

Pilot Clint Burleson

Chief flight nurse Michael Lawyer



Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Dallas, Texas

Rotorcraft reported small drone while exiting airspace.

East Texas Air One LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N913ET

Date: 22-APR-18
Time: 23:55:00Z
Regis#: N913ET
Aircraft Make: EUROCOPTER
Aircraft Model: E 135 P2
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 133
City: DALLAS
State: TEXAS


Pilot Clint Burleson speaks to the media during a press conference at UT Health Tyler in Tyler, Texas, on Monday, April 23, 2018. Air 1 had a near miss with a drone after dropping off a patient at Children's Hospital in Dallas. 

Chief flight nurse Michael Lawyer speaks to the media during a press conference at UT Health Tyler in Tyler, Texas, on Monday, April 23, 2018. Air 1 had a near miss with a drone after dropping off a patient at Children's Hospital in Dallas. 


Clint Burleson, UT Health East Texas Air 1 pilot, said he's never seen a drone flying at 1,500 feet until he nearly hit one in his airspace when he was flying back to Tyler from a Dallas hospital. 

Burleson said he took off Sunday evening from the UT Southwestern helipad and flew over the Trinity River and turned toward Mesquite. 

With downtown Dallas on his right he heard the Love Field Air Traffic Control Tower warning him about commercial air traffic in the airspace. Seconds later, Burleson said he was forced to bank hard to the right to avoid hitting a drone that was within 30 feet of his helicopter. 

"It looked like a bird," he said. "But, the rate of closure wasn't the same. It was about 3 feet wide and long. It was red or maroon in color." 

After the near miss with the drone, Burleson radioed the Love Field tower to report the incident.   

A Dallas Police Department spokesman said a Dallas Police Department Helicopter Unit was contacted shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday by Dallas Love Field regarding a drone that flew in close proximity to a helicopter over the Fair Park area at an altitude of about 1,900 feet.

Dallas Police Helicopter Air 1 responded to the area but did not observe or locate any drone activity in the area.

Michael Lawyer, chief flight nurse at UT Health Tyler, said this is the first time the hospital's helicopters have had to bank the aircraft to miss a drone. 

"Drones are not supposed to be flying more than 400 feet high," he said.

The operator was breaking at least five Federal Aviation Administration regulations by doing this in the 5-mile wide area the helicopter was operating in, Lawyer said. 

The pilot and medic were looking and paying attention to their airspace when they encountered the drone while they were flying over 100 mph, according to Lawyer. 

"If the helicopter would have hit the drone, there could have been huge safety issues that could have caused the loss of life and affected people on the ground," Lawyer said. "The pilots go through annual training and they attend morning briefs that inform them of incidents like this."

Burleson, an Army veteran who spent 10 years flying Army helicopters, has been flying the Air 1 helicopter for the past three years. 

The FAA could not be reached for comment. 

Story and video ➤ https://tylerpaper.com


Pilot Clint Burleson 

Chief flight nurse Michael Lawyer


UT Health East Texas helicopter involved in 'near-miss' with drone

Police in Dallas are investigating an incident involving a UT Health East Texas helicopter and a drone.

UT Health East Texas is investigating a report of a near miss between one of its helicopters and a drone that happened Sunday night.

An Air 1 helicopter dropped off a patient at Children's Medical Center in Dallas Sunday night.

While in flight, Dallas Love Field's air traffic tower contacted Clint Burleson, the Air 1 pilot, about an incoming 737 aircraft. Keeping an eye out for the plane, Burleson noticed a small object heading their way. He thought it was a bird.

"As we got a little closer we noticed our rate of wasn't closure wasn't like what we would normally see when we're approaching a bird." Burleson said.

Turns out, it was a drone.

"We turned to avoid it and called Love Tower and told them what happened - that we had a near miss." he said.

The drone was just 20-30 feet away from the helicopter at one point. The helicopter was traveling between 100 and 140 mph.

It's something the former Army pilot has never encountered. It's also something he never expected to encounter at 1500 feet in the air.

"I've never seen one that high," he said.

Chief Flight Nurse, Michael Lawyer with UT Health East Texas says other emergency helicopter pilots have also encountered drones in the past but not like this.

"We've never had one that close where we've had to bank the aircraft to miss it. Normally we're usually warned about those things." Lawyer said.

The Federal Aviation Administration created regulations to prevent encounters like this one.

"They're not even supposed to be in Class B Air Space at all. Period." the Chief Flight Nurse said, "They're not supposed to fly higher that 400 feet without notifying the local tower or local flight services for this particular reason. It's a safety issue."

The FAA released this statement:

N913ET REPORTED A DRONE AT 1500FT AS HE WAS EXITING BRAVO AIRSPACE. N913ET REPORTED THE DRONE AT THE SAME ALTITUDE AND STATED THAT HE ALMOST HIT THE DRONE. TEN MINUTES LATER N786DD WAS ON FINAL FOR RWY 31R ABOUT 5 MILES OUT AND REPORTED SEEING A DRONE AT 1900FT RED IN COLOR AND SMALL.

Lawyer explains what could've happened if the drone made contact with Air 1

"Besides major damage to the aircraft you're talking about possible loss of life. If it was to strike the rotors, if it was to strike the tail rotors, or even go through the wind screen and hit the pilot, it wouldn't just affect the aircraft and crew, it could affect people on the ground, or gone into another building."

No injuries were reported and Dallas Police are investigating the incident.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.cbs19.tv

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