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Drone narrowly avoids Aero Med helicopter

Posted at 4:35 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 16:35:15-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Pilots for the Aero Med helicopter caught a drone in mid-August.

They grabbed it right on the helipad.

"We landed. The team got out, and the drone continued to get closer, and closer, until it go close enough that one of the team members was able to reach up, grab the drone, and disable it,” Aero Med director Tiffany Obetts said.

It's a dangerous situation for numerous reasons.

"One, it could have done damage that then grounded our helicopter and made it unusable to perform patient transports,” Obetts said.

If it hit one of the blades of the helicopter, it could have disabled those and lead to a crash. Thankfully, nothing like that happened. But Aero Med hopes this is a lesson to all drone owners and operators...to do so safely to avoid potential disaster.

The drone was also not registered, which is required by state law and punishable by a fine.

Find rules and regulations for drone pilots in Michigan here.