Well if you watched the 30th anniversary episode of Casualty broadcast by the BBC at the end of August then you might think it is possible.
But there is a massive gap between fact and fiction.
It is near impossible for a small drone the size of DJI Phantom to bring down a large helicopter the size of the air ambulance shown in Casualty.
It is fact that helicopter tail blades can be subject to a tailstrike by foreign objects and most modern helicopters have a steel skid plate under the blades to protect them from heavy landings.
The modern helicopter tail blades are a honeycomb sandwich construction made for ultra strong composite materials, like Kevlar and carbon fiber. They can also have a stainless steel leading edge to protect them form stone damage.
Blades are precision engineered to withstand temperatures of -40c to +90c and rotate at speeds of up to 200 m/s (480 mph). If a human walked into one of these large tail blades while it was rotating, it would probably kill them.
But the BBC drama team expects us to believe that a plastic bodied drone weighing around 2kgs can do such catastrophic damage to this air ambulance helicopter as it is coming into land at the hospital.
Here is a behind the scenes video made by the BBC of how the crash was filmed.
Unfortunately this ridiculous crash just further fuels the public’s demonisation of drones and their supposed dangers and threats to the public.
This fictional crash is total without foundation in fact. The downdraft of the tail blades would have pushed the drone away if it got anywhere near them. And if the drone did hit the helicopter’s tail blade it would never have broken the helicopter’s tail blades as depicted in the film.
Here are a sequence of four still photos from the film of the moments before the drone hit the tail blades.
What do you think. …. Could it happen ….. very unlikely ….unless you read the Daily Mail.
Roy Horton works for Drone Photography Services in Cornwall