Helicopter pilot warns about drone dangers

Experts said drone pilots should immediately land their device if they see a helicopter

drone-safety-copter

(CNN) – Devin Dell is a pilot for Carilion Lifeguard. During his time as a pilot at other hospitals, he said he’s had a close encounter with a drone.

“We both saw it, observed it and it made erratic movements and that’s when we realized, it’s not a bird,” Dell said.

Luckily, the drone landed and he was able to land the helicopter. However, Dell said it slowed their response by a few minutes.

“If it was somebody that’s injured that was a personal family member of mine then I would want that person to get the immediate care they needed and in that particular situation, 5 to 10 minutes can be just precious,” Dell said.

A Lifeguard said they’ve had at least three close encounters with drones in the past year. Experts said drone pilots should immediately land their device if they see a helicopter.

Susan Smith said, “The pilot will not move until the drone is safely out of the area or on the ground.”

Susan smith is the director of Carilion Lifeguard. She said it’s important because they fly at low altitudes and sometimes into remote areas.

Susan Smith said, “We’re flying into area such as fields or roads, or hospitals or things like that where they’re not protected like an airport, so they do pose a specific risk to us.”

Dell wants people to enjoy flying, but to also be alert.

Devin Dell, “Have fun with it and enjoy your profession, but at the same time be aware that we all share the sky and we all have rules and regulations to follow.”

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