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Mystery drones now raising safety concerns

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The mystery drones that started as a curiosity are now being viewed as a potential hazard. The unmanned aircraft, flying in groups above Colorado, impacting a professional pilot and raising safety concerns. 

"The drone just went right underneath us," said Kirk Peebles, a Flight for Life pilot out of Lakewood, Colorado. 

Peebles was headed to a call near Fort Morgan when a drone invaded his airspace, threatening the safety of him and his crew.

"They're not telling anybody who they are, where they're going, what they're doing," he said. 

This is the first time one of the mystery drones flying over Colorado has come into dangerous proximity with a manned craft. As a result, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with the Department of Public Safety and other pilots, are taking notice. 

"Drones have become a concern. They are competing for airspace and we're aware of and we're trying to mitigate but it's become a major issue with this big group with the drones that are getting all this notoriety," said Brando Laird. 

Laird owns Colorado Highland Helicopters in Durango. He teaches people how to fly in the mountains and says avoiding other aircraft is easier when there's another pilot involved.

"We are used to operating in an environment when we're looking out for each other and the drone eliminates half of that equation so we are left being responsible to avoid the drone and the drone doesn't try to avoid us and it can definitely be dangerous causes a lof of grief," he said. 

Danna Shumpert from Hillrose, Colorado says she came into contact with a drone about three weeks ago.

"I actually saw one and it threw me off guard and it made my heart sink it was huge," she said. 

Now, she helps run a growing Facebook page, monitoring drones over Colorado and Nebraska. The group has thousands of members and is growing every day as the curious and the conspiratorial come together looking for answers. 

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Kristen Skovira

Kristen is a reporter and an anchor for the weekend evening newscasts. You can learn more about Kristen here.

Comments

5 Comments

  1. “the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with the Department of Public Safety and other pilots, are taking notice.”
    .
    Good! Flight for Life pilots don’t even want to make sudden moves when they have a patient on board, and the potential of hitting a drone is even more unnerving. This probably started as a joke by one or more ignorant people, who never thought through the possible consequences. Time to get them under control and get those drones permanently grounded.

      1. And that would also get you grounded in jail for potentially 20 years, since shooting down a drone is against federal law.

  2. So this is all about making a big deal about nothing. No laws have been broken.

    “They’re not telling anybody who they are, where they’re going, what they’re doing,” he said.

    —-They don’t have to and it’s none of your business—-

    I would not doubt it that when or if we find out who it is that it will be some alphabet soup secret government agency.

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