A news helicopter in California was struck by an unknown object, believed to be a drone, while in flight yesterday December 4th.
Air7 HD, the helicopter for Los Angeles news station KABC-TV, was flying over downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday night when it was hit by a suspected drone, leading the pilot to make an early landing.
The helicopter's pilot, reporter Chris Cristi, heard "a loud bang" when an object struck the helicopter's tail, according to ABC7. Cristi and his fellow passengers initially thought the helicopter had struck a bird.
Although the helicopter's flying ability had not been compromised by the collision, Cristi made a precautionary landing. Back on the ground, they realized a drone had most likely hit them. It reportedly damaged the helicopter's horizontal stabilizer and tail rotor, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday.
The collision took place approximately 1,100 feet above the ground, the statement said.
Model aircraft, including drones, are not permitted to fly more than 400 feet above the ground, according to a Los Angeles ordinance passed in 2015.