Michigan State Police get FAA OK to use aerial drone

A Michigan State Police drone.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has given Michigan State Police permission to use an aerial drone.

State police announced the approval Monday. The state says it plans to use a drone to photograph vehicle crash scenes and get a better view of other emergency situations across Michigan.

State police say they bought the $158,000 remote-controlled helicopter in September 2013 and have been training pilots since then.

In a statement, the state agency says it got final FAA approval for use of the drone on Feb. 25 and put it to use last Wednesday to investigate a fire in western Michigan.

State police says the federal approval lets the state “support requests for service from any law enforcement agency within the state.” It must stay below 400 feet.

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