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The robbers that rode a helicopter to a Montreal bank heist

It could have been the plot of a movie, but it was actually a headline-making heist that a helicopter pilot was forced to take part in.

Headline-making heist also saw robbers fly to the subway to make their getaway

The helicopter-aided bank robbery

43 years ago
1:26
On Feb. 23, 1979, bank robbers commandeered a helicopter for a bank robbery. 1:26

It could have been the plot of a movie, but it was actually a headline-making heist that a helicopter pilot was forced to take part in.

On Feb. 23, 1979, a man and a woman in Montreal booked a helicopter ride, claiming they wanted to take a trip to Quebec City.

False police markings were placed on the helicopter that was commandeered for use in the Feb. 23, 1979 heist. (The National/CBC Archives)

Their pilot soon found out they were bank robbers and they would force him to fly them to their target.

"Out came the guns. They forced the pilot to land in a field, where they decorated the chopper with police markings," the CBC's David Bazay reported on The National that night.

The robbers had the helicopter land at a shopping centre, where the robbers then robbed a bank.

"Some people thought a movie was being made," said Bazay, who noted the robbers took about $12,000 in the robbery. 

The robbers were then on the move again, having the pilot put them down near a metro station, so they could make their getaway via subway.

According to Bazay, the pilot reported being shot at twice during the ordeal, which the reporter described as "the most spectacular bank robbery here in years."

Within days, police arrested two suspects — a man and a woman. Both would end up being handed prison sentences.

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