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FAA Probes Drone Near-Miss With Reno Firefighting Copter

Cynthia Hotujec-Kantner / AP / File
 

Cynthia Hotujec-Kantner / AP / File

(AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a near-miss between a hobby drone and a sheriff's helicopter in Reno during an aerial attack on a wind-whipped brush fire that was threatening dozens of suburban homes on the edge of the Sierra.

Washoe County's chief helicopter pilot Doug Russell says the drone passed 50 feet below the Huey after the crew made its last water drop on the 300-acre fire about 8 p.m. Wednesday.

He says they tracked the drone to a nearby city park where sheriff's deputies located the two drone operators.

Sheriff's spokesman Bob Harmon says they reported the incident to the FAA and issued warnings about potential dangers but didn't cite anyone.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the agency is reviewing the case and in the process of contacting the people involved.