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Helicopter crew spots drone flying feet above KOMO chopper

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. -- The Federal Aviation Administration has launched an investigation after a helicopter crew spotted a drone flying just a few feet above KOMO's AIR 4.


AIR 4 was covering a fire in Pierce County Monday when the incident happened.


The FAA is now trying to figure out who was behind the controls of the drone, which landed in a grassy field. A man picked it up and walked to a nearby house.


"The worst possible case is it could cause a complete loss of control for the helicopter and be a fatal accident," said aviation expert John Nance.


Drone use has exploded in recent years. The number of collisions involving drones has also gone up, according to the FAA. An average of 25 incidents are reported every month involving drones that are flying too close to commerical aircraft, an FAA spokesperson added.


Federal investigators are now trying to figure out if the drone involved in Monday's incident violated any guidelines. Drones can not be flown above 400 feet and must stay clear of manned aircraft.

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