Unknown Unknown – Accident – 2018-06-08 Collision With Helicopter

Drone Manufacturer: Unknown
Drone Model: Unknown
Country: United States of America
Type: Accident
Date: 2018-06-08
Applies: Daytime
Pilot Qualifications: Unknown Status
Pilot Flight Experience: Unknown Hours
Link to External Information About This submission: https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2018/jun/08/stringers-drone-hits-helicopter-baja-500/
File Uploaded: None


Drone collides with helicopter causing the helicopter to make an emergency landing. A press report of the incident said, “Then the self-proclaimed owner of the helicopter chimed into the Facebook thread, saying, “As a commercial pilot and owner of that helicopter, I can say that most of you don’t know what your talking about. The only altitude rule for helicopters is you can’t endanger people or property. Period! (Unless a minimum altitude has been specified by some official agency.)

“We were at 200 feet agl (above ground level) descending into our fuel pit 1.5 miles away when the drone ran into the right side of our helicopter. It continued back and hit the tail rotor. The vibration from the bent tail rotor blades was so bad I had to set it down immediately. I spent my entire day today removing all the screwed up parts. It’s bad [and it] could have been much worse if it hit the main rotor blades. (Crash!)

“Clearly the drone pilot didn’t know that drones must give way to larger aircraft.

“Most of the time we stay up at 200 feet or so unless we are letting a bike know that a Trophy Truck is on the way, stopping a wrong way vehicle, or looking for booby traps. 500 feet is too high to accomplish these tasks. The only time any helicopters were at 500 feet was due to the high heat in the SF section. (We were at 2,500 feet for most of it).”

Reported Cause

Drone pilot failed to avoid the manned aircraft.