Federal Aviation Administration

Drone Narrowly Misses Massachusetts State Police Helicopter

A drone narrowly missed crashing into a Massachusetts State Police Air Wing helicopter on Wednesday morning.

State police said one of its helicopters was flying from the Holliston area, headed to Newburyport, on a training flight around 11:20 a.m. when it passed through Lawrence Municipal Airport air space.

While flying at an altitude of 600 feet, the flight crew said they observed a large drone approach from the side, flying toward the area in front of the helicopter.

The drone got as close as 100 feet in front of the helicopter before suddenly dropping to the ground. Considering the flight speed of the helicopter, state police said a collision could have resulted in the drone breaching the flight cabin if it had struck the windshield.

The crew of the helicopter quickly reversed direction and searched for the person who was flying the drone, but didn't find anyone. State police cruisers also responded to the area but did not locate any suspects.

The helicopter landed safely back at the Lawrence base.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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