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California man charged with crashing drone into LAPD helicopter

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A Hollywood man who operated a drone that crashed right into a police helicopter, forcing an emergency touchdown, is dealing with a federal cost.

Andrew Rene Hernandez, 22, was arrested by FBI brokers Thursday and charged with one rely of unsafe operation of an unmanned plane, the Justice Division mentioned.

The prison case is believed to be the primary within the nation stemming from a drone collision.

The incident occurred Sept. 18, when LAPD officers responded to a housebreaking at a Hollywood pharmacy and wanted air help. The pilot wasn’t capable of keep away from the drone and needed to land after the collision.

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Federal authorities declare that the accident may have been lethal.

“If the drone had struck the helicopter’s most important rotor as an alternative of the fuselage, it may have introduced the helicopter down,” in accordance with the criticism.

Hernandez admitted to flying the drone, controlling it by way of a tool connected to his smartphone. He reportedly was utilizing the drone to “see what was occurring.”

“This case resulted from a severe incident that might have ended very badly on account of the reckless actions of the drone operator,” Thom Mrozek, a U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace spokesman, mentioned.

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LAPD officers situated components of the drone close to the pharmacy, in addition to a broken car that the drone additionally struck because it fell.

Investigators recognized Hernandez primarily based on digicam footage taken by the drone. The misdemeanor offense is punishable by as much as a 12 months in jail.

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Authorities don’t imagine Hernandez deliberately prompted the drone to ram the copter. 

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