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Mercy Flight chopper has close call with drone

Posted at 11:43 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 23:47:23-05

Did you get a drone for the holidays? Did you break it, yet? Well, if you didn't and you're flying it like a pro, you've probably heard plenty about where you're not supposed to fly it.

Flying near airports is a big no-no. Thats been a problem for air-traffic controllers across the country. It's also been a problem for the lifesaving helicopter service, Mercy Flight.

While transporting a patient in 2016, a crew came across a drone in their flight path.

We had a chopper that was on a call that ended up flying underneath what they suspected to be a drone, said Marc Boies, the director of flight operations.

A close call that Boies does not want to encounter again. He says a larger drone, flying in the wrong airspace at the wrong time, could spell disaster, especially for a plane with less sophisticated equipment.

A general aviation aircraft without that capability, they're going to have a harder time picking up a small drone flying around, too. And that's where you could see the potential for a mid-air collision, added Boies.

If you're lucky enough to be a new drone pilot, enjoy your new flying machine. But, from a pilot who uses his flying machine to save lives, be careful. 

The FAA is investigating the incident. 

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