Michigan State Police seek OK to use aerial drone statewide

DETROIT (AP) -- State police are seeking authorization to use an aerial drone across Michigan to photograph vehicle crash scenes and give a bird's-eye view of other emergency situations.

The agency hopes to get permission next month from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a small, $158,000 remote-controlled helicopter that state police pilots have been training to use for more than a year.

State police say the drone would reduce the time required to survey and reconstruct major crash scenes, such as this month's 193-vehicle pileup that killed one man and closed a stretch of Interstate 94 between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek for two days.

 The FAA has granted licenses to fly unmanned aerial vehicles to a handful of municipal police agencies across the country.

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