Pilot wrecks helicopter at isolated mining camp

DOCTORS CONTINUE to take care of a man who damaged a helicopter at a northern BC mining camp after suffering "a severe emotional breakdown."

  • Jul. 19, 2013 10:00 a.m.

DOCTORS CONTINUE to take care of a man who caused extensive damage to a helicopter at a mining camp near Dease Lake after suffering “a severe emotional breakdown” late last week.

Dease Lake RCMP were called after a helicopter pilot allegedly went on a rampage, after he started acting irrationally without any previous signs of distress in the early morning hours of July 12, reported police July 18.

“We are certainly thankful that no one was injured during this incident and thankful that others at the camp had the mindfulness to seize an opportunity and safely disarm the man,” stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk.

The man, armed with a shotgun and safety flares, rode an ATV up and down the camp air strip and witnesses said they observed him shooting the gun several times at the helicopter and attempting to set it on fire, said police.

Given the isolated location of the camp in the Klappan Mountain area, approximately 103 km southeast of Dease Lake, local RCMP had to await daybreak to fly in.

Officers arrested the 37-year-old Ontario man without incident that morning and transported him to the Dease Lake RCMP detachment for a full assessment of any medical needs by a medical practitioner.

The man was released from police custody with a promise to appear, compelling his appearance on August 27 in Dease Lake court with a proposed charge of mischief.

The investigation is ongoing with further consideration of firearm-related charges being contemplated.