It was nearly Black Hawk down over Staten Island — when an Army chopper was struck by an illegally flying drone over a residential neighborhood, authorities said Friday.
The UA60 helicopter was flying 500 feet over Midland Beach alongside another Black Hawk, when the drone struck the chopper at around 8:15 p.m. Thursday, causing damage to its rotor blades.
The uninjured pilot was able to land safely at nearby Linden Airport in New Jersey.
The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based helicopters were in the Big Apple for the United Nations General Assembly this week.
“Our aircraft was not targeted, this was a civilian drone,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino, the spokesman for the 82nd Airborne.
“It struck on the left side of fuselage. There were no adverse impacts to the flight,” he said. “One blade was damaged [and] dented in two spots and requires replacement and there is a dented window.”
Buccino added: “Our paratroopers from the 82nd are the best trained and they were able to act very quickly and very appropriately.”
He described the pilot heading the struck helicopter as an “all-American paratrooper.”
The NYPD and the military are investigating — but no arrests have been made.
The Federal Aviation Administration restricts the flying of drones and model aircrafts within five miles of airports in any direction.
Under FAA guidelines, the drones should not be flown near buildings or bridges or more than 400 feet in the air.
They are also illegal to fly anywhere in the Big Apple except in parks.
“Drones can pose a definite risk to aircrafts, especially helicopters. If they smash into a windshield they could cause copter to crash,” said a law enforcement source.
“Drones can also distract pilots causing them to lose control.
“Last night, an out of control helicopter could have crashed into residential homes causing numerous injuries and even fatalities.”
Drones have been a menace in the Big Apple and elsewhere in recent years:
- In February, a GoPro drone crashed through a Manhattan woman’s 27th floor window and landed just feet away from her as she sat in her living room.
- A drone smashed into a Con Edison power plant near the East River in Brooklyn in March, causing it to break into pieces.
- In July, a 52-year-old man was busted flying a drone 20 feet below a passenger jet as it was landing at JFK Airport.
- In 2016, a New Jersey man, 28, was arrested for accidentally crashing a drone into the 40th floor of…