A Phantom 4 drone hit a helicopter over New York and the drone came out worse

DJI Phantom 4 Pro+
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
We’ve heard a lot over the last few years about aircraft coming uncomfortable close to consumer drones, but an actual collision took place recently close to New York City.

The incident occurred toward the end of last month and involved an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and a Phantom 4 drone. The drone came off worse.

DJI’s camera-equipped Phantom 4 launched last year and has proved hugely popular with consumers looking for a sophisticated quadcopter at a decent price.

The helicopter, which was carrying security officials to the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, landed safely at Linden airport in New Jersey, but an inspection revealed damage to its main rotor blade, window frame, and transmission deck, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials told USA Today.

drone helicopter new york collision phantom 4 part
NTSB
NTSB

How do they know it was a Phantom 4 that struck the helicopter? Because they recovered parts of the quadcopter (pictured) from the helicopter after it landed.

Those examining the incident managed to track down the operator of the drone, who’s been cooperating with the investigation. The operator’s flight logs are also being examined.

Specific details linked to the incident are yet to be revealed, but the helicopter’s pilot and passengers will be thanking their lucky stars that the aircraft stayed flying after coming into contact with the quadcopter in midair.

Incidents involving drones and manned aircraft are on the increase in U.S. airspace, though this is believed to be the first report of a direct hit between the two.

Data compiled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) between February and September 2016 reveals 1,274 possible drone sightings by U.S. air traffic facilities, compared to 874 for the same period a year earlier. One near-miss incident in 2016 involved a Lufthansa passenger jet coming in to land at Los Angeles international airport.

The authorities are considering a myriad of solutions to try to prevent drones from coming close to airports. Current options include everything from net-firing bazookas to flying drone-hunter bots and even eagles that are trained to pluck rogue flying machines straight out of the sky.

DJI spokesperson Adam Lisberg told USA Today his company is working with investigators in a bid to find out exactly what happened in the recent incident. Aware of the growing concern among FAA officials regarding dangerous drone flights by irresponsible pilots, Lisberg said, “We have always instructed drone operators to obey the laws and regulations applicable to drones in their jurisdiction, and we urge our customers to fully educate themselves about how to fly safely.”

Lisberg added, “Millions of people safely use drones for personal and professional uses, and we hope they will join us in our commitment to ensuring drones remain a benefit to society.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Meet the 4K selfie drone that folds like a book, follows you like a paparrazzo

Having a drone that could follow you everywhere while taking high-quality images without crashing has been a flight of fantasy. With ZeroZero's Hover 2, not only can you have a fully autonomous 4K selfie drone, you can have it for $400.
Cars

Car parts maker ZF is using drones to deliver components to its factories

ZF recently became the first entity in Germany to receive approval to use drones to deliver spare parts, and the company now uses them to deliver parts from its central warehouses to its workshops.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Emerging Tech

Watch this lab-grown heart tissue beat just like the real thing

A team of researchers in Germany have used stem cells to create a lab-grown human heart tissue which actually beats, as well as responding to drugs in the same way as the real thing.
Emerging Tech

Michigan’s former transportation chief has some advice for wannabe smart cities

After 31 years as Michigan’s transportation director, Kirk Steudle has seen it all, particularly with smart city projects. He spoke with Digital Trends recently about what makes smart cities work, and offers advice along the way.
Emerging Tech

Shipping crate filled with 3D-printing robots may be the future of construction

Autodesk has created a robot-filled shipping container which may represent the future of construction work. The crate contains two robots able to 3D print custom components for building sites.
Emerging Tech

Sticking these tiny needles in your eye may help fight blindness

An eye patch covered in tiny needles sounds like a torture device. In fact, it's a potential new medical treatment for eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Bottle-flipping robots may be the most millennial thing we’ve ever seen

Until drones start vaping, you're unlikely to see anything more millennial than a recent contest in Japan in which robots competed to pull off some seriously impressive bottle-flipping feats.
Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.