A collision between an RCMP AS350-B3 helicopter and an RCMP FLIR SkyRanger R60 RPAS (drone) occurred over Wet’suwet’en Nation traditional lands 24 miles southwest of Houston, British Columbia on February 6, 2020 but only revealed to the public via a CADORS report on June 03.
The AS-350 was reportedly in cruise flight at less than 300 feet above ground level when the collision with the 2.4 kg drone occurred while it was ascending from below. The RCMP was monitoring the pipeline protests taking place at the time, and the drone was one of two operating in the area.
The helicopter began to experience abnormal vibrations and made a precautionary landing on a nearby road, where maintenance personnel noted damage to the main rotor, the tail boom and tail rotor. The $150,000 drone was destroyed.
Global News reported that a few days later the AS-350 was airlifted away by a Puma heavy-lift helicopter chartered out of Edmonton, Alberta, some 500 nautical miles to the east.
The total cost of the misadventure to the taxpayer has not yet been revealed.
The CADORS report references TSB report number A20P0019. However, a search on the TSB website with this report number did not turn anything up.
Appended below is a sales brochure of the FLIR SkyRanger R60, describing the drone’s features and capabilities.
Image credit: Global NewsSkyRanger R60