Investigation launched after military helicopter touches down for burgers
KENORA -- A spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Saturday an investigation has been launched after a Canadian Forces helicopter pilot landed in Kenora recently -- apparently to pick up some cheeseburgers.
“The matter is under investigation to determine what happened. As such, I can’t say much more until all the facts are gathered,” wrote Dan Dugas, the minister’s director of communications in an e-mail.
On Thursday, employees at an A&W fast-food restaurant were surprised to see a military pilot walk in and make a takeout order — while his helicopter was parked outside.
Michelle Patterson, who has worked at the restaurant for 16 years, said Friday she was shocked to see flying dust when the helicopter landed on a baseball diamond across from the eatery.
The pilot joked about wanting to go through the drive-thru but apparently said he wasn’t able to fit.
He ordered enough food for six people, and told her he was on his way to refuel at the airport before flying to Thunder Bay, Ont., and eventually back to Quebec, Patterson said.
The minister’s spokesman said there were no public safety concerns surrounding the landing.
“First of all, at no time during the landing or takeoff was there a danger to the public,” he said in the e-mail. “The Forces thank the local police for securing the sports field for the helicopter’s landing.”
He could not comment on how often military pilots touch down in public spaces to get dinner or what protocols need to be in place.
Kenora is 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.
To be fair, everybody knows that A&W doesn't offer home delivery.