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Drone in helicopter's path prompts warning

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/05/2017

<div>A drone.</div> © REX Features

A drone.
A drone spotted flying in flight paths at one of the county's busiest heliports has prompted a warning by the police.

Police say a man flew a recreational drone into the flight path of a chopper at Franz Josef's Glacier Country Heliport at about noon on Sunday, prompting an "extremely concerned" manager to report the matter.

"The drone user had no knowledge of the controlled airspace or rules surrounding the operation of drones, and had not sought authorisation from the property owner to use the drone in this area," Constable Brent Whittington said.

The drone was stopped before any serious problems were caused and the man had been given a formal warning, Constable Whittington said.

It had been the second such incident in a week.

"On top of that another four sightings have been noted by members of the public in the two weeks leading up to [Sunday's] occurrence," he said.

Police have urged those flying drones in the area to make sure they're familiar with the Civil Aviation Act and warn breaches could lead to fines as big as $35,000.

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