NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A drone hit a U.S. Army helicopter flying over New York City on Thursday evening.

Two Blackhawks with the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina were in the city on duty for the United Nations General Assembly, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

The Army said the choppers were flying low along the east shore of Staten Island when a drone slammed into the side of one of them. 

They were able to continue on and land at Linden Airport, where WCBS 880’s Tom Kaminski took a look at the damage.

“As that drone came apart, a piece of it was actually found upon landing up on the transmission deck, right at the bottom of the main rotor system,” he said. “Which is very distressing that something would be able to get in there. And that has always been the thing that we worry about constantly.”

The Army paratroopers were not hurt.

It’s unclear if the drone was operating illegally.

The FAA guidance keeps private drones below 400 feet. This incident was reported just above that altitude.

Comments (24)
  1. Someone explain to me please WHY a civilian was gathering and handling evidence after an alleged collision between a consumer “drone” and a U.S. Army helicopter? Also, someone explain to me WHY the first display of this so-called incident was via Facebook by three different commercial helicopter pilots?

  2. If the story is correct (which in all likelihood it’s not – with CBS being Fake News™ and all), the chopper pilots are in the wrong for flying under allowable altitude, and owe the drone operator a new drone. It is illegal for helicopters to fly that low over populated areas. And if these choppers were flying over NY, they were well out of legal bounds operationally speaking. This drone scare bullsh!t needs to go the way of Global Warming. It’s a huge farce and a non-story; Nothing more than scare mongering on the part of The Media™.

    1. Something to keep in mind: If a little, itty bitty plastic drone is enough to take out 4th & 5th generation military combat helicopters, those helicopters are completely useless in a war zone. 😉

  3. tadiorio says:

    So we are expected to believe that a 1.62lb plastic toy can withstand the rotor and or engine jet wash from an Apache helicopter and leave plastic residue and they recovered parts? Well perhaps if it were above the Apache and drawn into the rotor. But to damage a rotor and they recover parts from the toy that had to fall at least 500ft after being directed out from teh rotor after impact.

    Sounds like a made up issue to begin restricting ‘drones’.

    1. With respect it’s pretty obviously you don’t know much about aircraft.

      And of course the drone was operating illegally. But that doesn’t matter now does it? People do illegal stuff all of the time. In peace time on a flight that the helicopters were flying it was controlled airspace and no one aboard was expecting a small drone to fly up to them.

      1. With all *due* respect, Dave (although based on your comment, little, if any, is actually due), you know little to nothing about FAA rules and regulations, and probably even less about aircraft. Without clearance, drones are allowed to fly up to 400′ AGL, and up to 400′ above any building or object. Helicopters, on the other hand, are not allowed to legally operate under 501′ over populated areas. But that doesn’t matter to you, because of course drones and their operators are the ultimate evil, and the military can do whatever it wants because FAA regs were always intended for drone operators and no one else, right? Dumbazz.

  4. Al Carnali says:

    Seems to me if a six million dollar military helicopter is at risk from a collision with a thousand dollar drone, we haven’t invested our money wisely.

    1. Karl Schmidt says:

      Birds can take down 100 million dollar civilian jets and their passengers with them. So can drones. How do you suggest we spend our money more wisely?

    2. It seems to me that any person with a basic public school education would comprehend that complex things like helicopters could be damaged by something like this. But I guess that we both could be mistaken. 🙂

      1. Of course it would seem that way to you, Dave. And that might just be because you’re lacking that basic public school education. 😉 If helicopters, as complex as they are, were that fragile, they wouldn’t design and build them for war. Are you really that dumb or are you feigning it for the attention?

  5. What really distressing is that US Army Helicopters are flying (low) over Staten Island. For what purpose??????

    1. I doubt it was a tour. More probably a training mission so that if the occasion arises they can protect people like you.

  6. This was probably a dry run. Next time the islamists will put a plastic explosive in the drone.

  7. Mark Granger says:

    Did the drone slam into the helicopter or did the helicopter slam into the drone? How much damage was done to the helicopter? How much damage was done to the drone? Why was the helicopter flying below 1000 feet? How could a drone pilot even with a spotter flying over a river dodge a helicopter? What is the true risk to a steel helicopter weighing thousands of pounds of a plastic drone weighing three pounds? How does this risk compare to hitting a goose weighing up to fourteen pounds? How many people have been killed by flying into drones since they were released? How many people have been killed in helicopter crashes? Let’s get real if we want to discuss safety.

    1. You ask a litany of questions that no one but the military can answer. Perhaps you should politely ask them or do some of your own research. i can answer the last one though, the answer is ‘lots’. I am thinking they were on a scheduled training mission and the drone, most likely illegally operated, hit the chopper. On peace time missions in places like that no one is really expecting that some bozo is going to fly his drone into controlled restricted airspace and yes, if the chopper was there most like it was flying there legally and the drone operator committed the infraction.

  8. “It’s unclear if the drone was operating illegally.”

    A drone which flies into a U.S. military vehicle may be doing so legally?

    Journalism is dead.

  9. BeanerECMO says:

    Irresponsible ‘fun’ by the drone operator.

  10. Whether deliberate or accidental, this incident dramatically underscores the danger posed to civilian and military aircraft by these devices. Each drone must have a serial number and all drone sales must be recorded on a registration available to authorities when necessary.

    1. No not really. FAA only regulates commercial drone usage. Article said that the helicopter was flying low, likely under the 400 ft elevation which is allocated for drone flying. An alternative to the draconian rule of government on everything we do how about the government just follow the rules that it establishes.

      1. BeanerECMO says:

        Better check again. I had to register and received a number that must be put on my RC flying craft.

        1. Better check again – that requirement no longer exists. As of today you do not need to register non-commercial craft.

          1. ‘As of today’ Congress passed a law today changing the law? I did not know that. Not that I don’t trust you but I will give you the benefit of doubt, would you kindly supply us your source information so that it can be verified? A lot of us would really like to know.

      2. From the article: The FAA guidance keeps private drones below 400 feet. This incident was reported just above that altitude.
        Please read the entire article before posting. I agree with registration. There’s no 2nd amendment for drones. A little C4 cargo and you have a big mess.

  11. Doc Mac says:

    ANTIFA, they’re done with statues, already proclaimed that they are arming-up.

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