It didn’t take long for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to identify the operator of the drone that collided with an Army UH-60 helicopter east of Staten Island, New York on September 21st, 2017.
The Army helicopter sustained damage to its main rotor blade, window frame and transmission deck. (Pictured above: Damaged rotor blades on the Army UH-60 helicopter. Photo: FAA)
A motor and arm from a small drone, identified as a DJI Phantom 4, were recovered from the helicopter.
Just days after the unmanned aerial vehicle and the military aircraft met mid-air in a 7:20 p.m. crash, 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 its own 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.