Medical helicopter has close encounter with drone

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A medical team transporting a patient on board a Sanford AirMed helicopter says it recently had a close encounter with a drone flying well above the 400-foot (121.92-meter) ceiling required by federal rules.

AirMed Safety Officer Josh Weiland says the `near miss' was reported to Air Traffic Control in Sioux Falls. Weiland tells the Argus Leader a pilot, nurse and medic were transporting a patient Sunday over central Sioux Falls at about 700 feet (213.36 meters) when a team member saw the drone about 50 feet (15.24 meters) away.

Weiland says there are rules for a reason and drone operators need to be aware of what's going on 400 feet (121.92 meters) and up. The Federal Aviation Administration says the number of `near misses' with aircraft is on the rise as is the number of drones.