Drones causing problems for medical, commercial flights

Drones are becoming an increasingly popular hobby for people across the country, but they are also becoming more dangerous to pilots. (WSLS Photo)
Drones are becoming an increasingly popular hobby for people across the country, but they are also becoming more dangerous to pilots. (WSLS Photo)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – Drones are becoming an increasingly popular hobby for people across the country, but they are also becoming more dangerous to pilots.

The FAA released a report saying drone versus commercial plane encounters and accidents have been on the rise over the past year.

There were 15 such incidents in Virginia, including one at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport back in January.

Drones have become such a concerning issue for pilots, especially those who fly medical helicopters, Carilion Clinic held a safety seminar and debriefing on Tuesday.

Drones have gotten in the way of Carilion Life-Guard helicopters several times, causing a situation that could be the difference between life and death.

Life-Guard pilot Tyson LeRoy says drones at the scene of accidents or disasters for the sake of curiosity have prevented him from doing his job

“You’re impeding my capability to take somebody who might be bleeding to death to the hospital,” LeRoy said. “In this business, minutes definitely matter. Capturing a photo is not worth somebody’s life.”

Carilion is working to raise awareness of this issue to help drone users enjoy their hobby while keeping others safe.

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