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Accident Investigations

Inflight collision of UAS and helicopter

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  • Accident No: DCA17IA202AB
  • Accident Type: Office of Aviation Safety
  • Location: Staten Island, NY
  • Date: 9/21/2017

​On September 21, 2017, about 7:20 pm Eastern daylight time, the pilot of a US Army UH-60 helicopter reported a collision with a small drone just east of Midland Beach, Staten Island, New York.  The helicopter sustained damage to its main rotor blade, window frame, and transmission deck. The US Army recovered a small piece of debris identified as a motor and arm of a common small drone, a DJI Phantom 4. The NTSB has opened an incident investigation (DCA17IA202AB), and the drone manufacturer, DJI, and the FAA are parties to the investigation.  NTSB investigators are coordinating with the US Army and other government agencies. Investigators are currently reviewing air traffic control radar data, flight data from the helicopter, and FAA airspace and temporary flight restriction documents. The drone operator has been interviewed by the investigative team and has provided flight data logs of the incident flight.

Final Reports:


Map of accident. 

Photo of rotor blade damage 
Rotor blade damage
Recovered drone part 
Recovered drone part


Contact: NTSB Media Relations

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