Drone in ‘near-miss’ with air ambulance

Helicopter ambulanceImage copyright Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Image caption The helicopter was returning to its base at Nostell close to Wakefield when the incident occurred

An air ambulance narrowly averted being hit by a drone, a chief pilot has mentioned.

The remote-controlled craft got here inside 10ft (3m) of the helicopter, which was returning to its base at Nostell, Wakefield.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) mentioned the drone was being flown at an unlawful top of 1,300ft (396m).

It mentioned a collision was solely averted due to “the vigilance of our front-seat paramedic” and “the rapid reaction of our pilot”.

YAA Chief Pilot Steve Waudby mentioned the near-miss, at about 18:50 BST on Wednesday, “put the lives of our crew in extreme danger”.

Crew members had been getting back from Bradford once they noticed the drone, the charity mentioned.

It went beneath the helicopter when the ambulance pilot lifted excessive into the air to keep away from it.

“The consequences don’t bear thinking about if a direct strike had occurred,” mentioned Mr Waudby.

“We’d be telling a very different story today if it had.”

He mentioned it was “ironic” that the charity had spent a lot of the day working with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on a drone consciousness movie.

Mr Waudby mentioned the drone was being flown at greater than 3 times the permitted top of 400ft (120m).

He appealed to the operator of the “very, very distinctive” machine to return ahead and mentioned that police had been knowledgeable.

The CAA mentioned it was awaiting a report from the air ambulance operator.

The Drone Code:

  • Don’t fly close to airports or airfields
  • Remember to remain under 400ft (120m)
  • Observe your drone always – keep 150ft (50m) away from folks and property
  • Never fly close to plane
  • Enjoy responsibly

Source: dronesafe

According to figures from the UK Airprox Board (UKAB), which investigates near-misses with plane, there have been 125 involving drones reported in 2018, up from 93 in 2017.

In July, flights into and out of Leeds Bradford Airport had been halted for about 45 minutes after a drone was noticed close by.

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