CMPD pilots concerned about drones getting too close

CMPD pilots are concerned that drone pilots are getting too close to police helicopters.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There are growing concerns for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police pilots about drones flying too close to their helicopters.

NBC Charlotte has learned about two concerning incidents in just the past two weeks.

Now, CMPD pilots are warning of the worst-case scenario if the trend continues.

CMPD helicopter pilot Cody Brown says if he collided with a drone, it could be catastrophic, not only in the air but also on the ground.

“The scary part is we know there’s more out there,” said Brown.

Brown is afraid the skies could turn deadly if nothing is done about the recent trend with drones.

“It (a drone) could damage one of the blades and knock us out of balance where that becomes a catastrophic event,” says Brown. “Worst case is crashing over a highly populated area.”

Brown says they’re now dealing with a huge increase in drones being misused, which is happening every week.

“The past two weeks we have had one each week that has been in close proximity to the aircraft, but we have been able to see and avoid,” says Brown.

In March, an airplane pilot dealt with a similar issue on landing. Then in another incident, a man was charged for nearly crashing a drone into a CMPD helicopter.

“There’s going to have to be an unfortunate incident before something does happen,” says Brown.

Drones have also been a concern over uptown with many apartment buildings issuing warnings about privacy. 

The FAA is spending money and resources to inform the public about the rules for flying drones, but many people still aren’t getting the message.

Brown recommends using an app on your phone called, Before You Fly. He says that will help you know where you’re allowed to fly a drone.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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