Police Helicopter vs Quadcopter

It’s not every day that you get to see your drone getting stalked and harassed by a much larger predator like a police helicopter. This is exactly what happened to Brian Needle while flying his DJI Phantom at Great Falls Park in Virginia on June 22 last year. Needle had been flying his Phantom for several minutes, capturing some stunning video footage of the falls, before a park police helicopter appeared and started harassing his drone. At one point, the police appeared to try to push Needle’s Phantom down by using their helicopter’s powerful thrust. This has got to be one of the most lopsided aerial “combat” action you’ll ever see.

As if attempting to crash the Phantom wasn’t enough, the police then started questioning Needle for over an hour before slapping him with a $70 fine for flying his quad in the park. Since June 20 last year, the flying of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been banned at all national parks in the US and Needle had been flying his Phantom just two days after the ban was put in place. Clearly, Needle was unknowingly breaking a new law but the action taken by park police was nothing short of heavy-handed. These laws may have been recently introduced but in Needle’s case, park police were clearly showing everyone whoever has the bigger rotor rules.

Watch Needle’s harrowing experience below (the police helicopter appears at 3:40).


Adrin Sham

Adrin Sham is a designer and photographer turned drone enthusiast. Since buying a drone for aerial photography some years ago, he has since developed a passion for UAVs and all things related.

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