Pilot pleads guilty to dangerous flying in film-shoot death

Parker James Butterfield pleaded guilty Thursday to dangerous operation of an aircraft in the death of man struck by the wing of a low-flying plane at the Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., airport.

Wing of Cessna 207 struck a fellow pilot taking pictures on the tarmac in Fort Good Hope

William Bleach, seen in an undated Facebook photo, died after being struck by the wing of a low-flying Cessna aircraft in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., on May 20, 2010. The Cessna's pilot, Parker James Butterfield, pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of an aircraft Thursday in Regina. (Facebook)

A pilot pleaded guilty in a Regina courtroom Thursday in connection with the death of man who was struck by the wing of plane at the Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., airport in May 2010.

William Bleach, 26, a pilot for North-Wright Airways, was standing on the airport tarmac taking pictures when he was struck in the head by the wing of a low-flying Cessna 207. He was taken to the Fort Good Hope health centre and then medevaced to Edmonton, where he died three days later.

His fellow pilot Parker James Butterfield of Saskatchewan was charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of an aircraft.

He pleaded guilty Thursday to the lesser charge of dangerous operation of an aircraft.

The victim’s mother, Marilyn Bleach, said her family would like to see him spend some time in jail. 

"It's very difficult for us because we don't like to see a young person sent to jail, but we also feel he needs to have time to think about what he's done, and think about his actions and the repercussions of his actions."

Butterfield will be sentenced Dec. 14 in Regina. The maximum penalty he could face is 14 years in prison.