CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) — “It could’ve been a catastrophic event for us,” Sgt. Kenneth Anderson said, who is the aviation unit supervisor with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. 

Sgt. Anderson talked about the severity of what could’ve been after CMPD’s helicopter came within 20 feet of a drone flying illegally Wednesday night over the skies around BB&T Stadium.

“They were about at 600 feet when it occurred and it was very fast when it happened,” Sgt. Anderson said. 

Several violations were broken:

  • They were flying in Class B airspace which is restricted
  • Flying at night
  • Operating above the 400 feet limit for drones

“It’s really typical of this industry as drones have proliferated the use of them and people are really ignorant as to where and how they can operate them safely,” Bretten Smith, owner of Charlotte UAV said. 

Smith said when he sees people breaking FAA restrictions he tries to track down the owner. 

“We will approach them and let them know. We will try to educate them,” he said.  

And as the popularity of drones continues, CMPD knows encountering flying objects will likely continue to be an issue.