The day started normally for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance – a UK-based charitable organization. They had been aiding the making of a drone-awareness movie. The crew had spent almost the entire day pursuing this noble cause. Just a few minutes after they had been in the air, a drone was spotted near the medical flight. To make things worse, it was only about 3 meters away from the helicopter. Thankfully, it was spotted in the nick of the time by a paramedic in the front seat who immediately alerted the pilot. The pilot, in turn, increased the altitude of the helicopter and steered clear of this life-extinguishing threat. They were returning from Bradford at the time.
The Drone was Flying Illegally and Close to the Medical Flight
Drones are not legally allowed to fly over 120 meters and the other rule is that they must maintain a distance of at least 150 meters from any objects or property. The drone in question had flouted both these rules. It was flying above 396 meters, which was grossly irresponsible on the operator’s part. It is not yet known who the operator of the drone was, although the search is still on and it is hoped that the culprit will soon be booked under the prevailing drone laws.
Drones Often Fly too Close to Comfort
In July of this year, several flights that were bound to and from Leeds Bradford Airport had to be put on hold for about 45 minutes due to the drone menace. One statistic says that in 2017, 93 drones had come in the path of flights, and in 2018, the number had climbed to 125.
While drones have many applications and are seen as devices that have high-potential for life-saving measures, incidents like this one, portray them in bad light.