Pilot accused of shooting up helicopter at remote B.C. mining camp

DEAS LAKE, B.C. – The RCMP say a 37-year-old pilot is expected to appear in a B.C. court in August for allegedly shooting up a helicopter at a remote mining camp.

The incident took place early July 12 in the Klappan Mountain area, which is about 103 kilometres southeast of the community of Deas Lake, B.C.

Police say the Ontario resident was armed with a shotgun and safety flares and rode an ATV up and down the camp airstrip.

They say witnesses reported he fired the weapon several times at the helicopter and tried to light it on fire.

Police say the man had no previous signs of distress and are describing the incident as a “severe emotional breakdown.”

They say he was disarmed by people at the camp before his arrest and is expected to appear in a Deas Lake court Aug. 27 on a proposed charge of mischief.

“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,” said RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk in a media release.