While flying a drone near an aircraft is bad enough, one California man has been arrested for crashing his drone into a police helicopter.
Los Angeles resident Andrew Rene Hernandez on Thursday was officially charged in the airborne collision, which occurred in late September as an LAPD chopper was on its way to investigate a burglary, police say.
After the pilot unsuccessfully attempted to avoid the remote-controlled device, the drone smashed into the helicopter's nose, damaging its bottom cowlings and antenna, according to an incident report. "If the drone had struck the helicopter’s main rotor instead of the fuselage, it could have brought the helicopter down," the report reads.
Hernandez is facing a federal charge of unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft, marking the first time the charge has been filed against someone, authorities say.