Professional Helicopter Pilots Association

Drones Interrupt Firefighting Efforts

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This month, efforts to contain a wildfire in Southern California were hampered when firefighting aircraft crews spotted a drone operating nearby. Aerial firefighting efforts were immediately suspended while authorities tried to locate the drone and its operator.

As regulations regarding drone use are ironed out, we are reminded once again that drone operations require a healthy dose of common sense. The operation of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, in the vicinity of manned or piloted aircraft is irresponsible, and can lead to tragic results. The suspension of firefighting efforts on a brush fire could lead to devastating results.

We have created a page on our website with resources for drone operators.

LinkDrones (UAS): General Information

If you are new to drones or are considering purchasing one, you will need to familiarize yourself with the current rules in place for drones.

If you are an existing drone owner or operator, you will need to stay updated on the laws regulating drone operations, as changes are coming.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture states this perfectly in their flyer (link below):

IF YOU FLY, WE CAN’T.

We will pass along updates on drone legislation as they happen.

PHPA Board of Directors

PDFIf You Fly, We Can’t (USDA)
RELATED LINK: Drone Encounter Grounds Firefighting Planes in SoCal Mountains (NBC)