NTSB probes crash between drone, Army Black Hawk

NEW YORK (AP) - Federal transportation officials are investigating a crash last month between a civilian-operated drone and an Army helicopter that was in New York to provide security for the United Nations General Assembly.

The drone collided with the Black Hawk helicopter east of Staten Island on Sept. 21.

The helicopter sustained damage to its main rotor blade and a window but landed safely at Linden Airport in New Jersey. No Army personnel were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday that it is investigating the crash and has interviewed the drone operator. The Federal Aviation Administration is participating in the investigation.

The helicopter was based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Officials there said after the crash that the Army would rethink its procedures for domestic missions over populated areas.


The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the Sept. 21 collision between a civilian drone and an Army UH-60 helicopter east of Staten Island, New York.

At approximately 7:20 p.m. Sept. 21, the drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle, and the helicopter collided.  The Army helicopter sustained damage to its main rotor blade, window frame and transmission deck.  A motor and arm from a small drone, identified as a DJI Phantom 4, were recovered from the helicopter. The NTSB was notified of the incident Sept. 22 and began its investigation that day. In the following days investigators were able to identify and subsequently interview the drone operator. The drone operator also provided flight data logs for the incident flight.

The NTSB is investigating the incident because the drone was a civilian aircraft. DJI and the Federal Aviation Administration are participating in the investigation. The Army is conducting a mishap investigation.

The NTSB's investigation is ongoing and investigators are reviewing air traffic control radar data, flight data from the helicopter, the flight data logs provided by the drone operator and FAA airspace and temporary flight restriction documents.

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