Prison Sentence Awaits Hollywood Drone Pilot Involved in Last Year’s Collision with a LAPD Helicopter

This might serve as lesson for reckless drone flyers and a reminder to be more mindful of the safety rules laid down by the FAA.

A Hollywood man faces up to a year in prison after accidentally slamming his drone slammed into an LAPD helicopter, forcing it to make an emergency landing last year. Andrew Rene Hernandez, 22, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft and his conviction is believed to be the first in the nation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. – Read more.

One article reporting on the incident last year said Los Angeles police operate the largest fleet of municipal law enforcement helicopters in the country, and the flight safety officer of the LAPD Air Support Division told the FBI that, “based on his observations of the LAPD helicopter after it was hit by the drone, he believed that, if the drone had struck the helicopter’s main rotor instead of the fuselage, it could have brought the helicopter down.” – Read more.

Commenters reacted by some saying the guilty drone flyer should be charged and locked up for breaking the law. Besides, it could have ended more tragically. Others think drone companies share in the responsibility of avoiding incidents like this by making drones with sensors that would prevent them from reaching beyond the allowed maximum height.

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