British Columbia

Helicopters at Anmore, B.C., party draw attention of Transport Canada

Transport Canada says it's looking into reports of helicopters landing at a private residence for a party last Saturday that sparked anger in the sleepy suburb.

'To all the people who doubted that I could land a helicopter in my backyard, eat your heart out'

Video from the party shows a helicopter landing just metres away from party-goers. (Public Relations Canada/Youtube)

Transport Canada says it's looking into reports of helicopters landing at a private residence in Anmore, B.C., for a party last Saturday that sparked anger in the sleepy suburb. 

The body that oversees aviation in Canada says it is assessing whether to launch a formal investigation into the matter.

Last Saturday the village of Anmore received multiple complaints about a house party held by an event organizer who boasted upwards of 300 guests at a luxury mansion.

"To all the people who doubted that I could land a helicopter in my backyard, eat your heart out," Justin Plosz posted on Instagram after the party, in an account where he is identified as Mr.Public.Relations.

Neighbours complained of luxury car races and noise. Some guests arrived in one of three helicopters that landed on the property. 

A helicopter pilot who posted Instagram pictures of himself with two women in front of the same helicopter that can be seen landing at the event is Skeeter Russell. Sgt. Brenda Winpenny of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit confirmed he is a convicted drug dealer who has spent time in the U.S. prison system.

Transport Canada wrote to CBC saying that they "take these reported incidents very seriously."

Under Canadian Aviation Regulations, helicopters landing in built-up areas must land at an airport or heliport that meets aviation standards, a Transport Canada official said in an email.

"Helicopters landing in built-up areas must normally land at an airport, heliport or a military aerodrome that meets the appropriate aviation standards. In the case of private property, the operator would require permission from the owner to land," said an email from Annie Joannette, with Transport Canada media relations. 

CBC reached out to the real estate company listed as the contact for the property owner, but the person who answered the phone declined to comment. The mayor of Anmore has said the owner does not live in Canada.

The home has been listed for sale for $5.85 million on Sotheby's International Realty's website. 

Rules about where helicopters can land exist despite the fact that helicopters are designed to be capable of landing on surfaces outside airports.

If Transport Canada moves to investigate they will be determining whether Anmore is considered a "built-up" area and whether there were potential safety hazards.

If Canadian Aviation Regulations were broken then Transport Canada says they can hand out fines or suspend operators.

Plosz was unapologetic for the party and predicted more luxury bashes in the future, just not at the same $8,000-per-month rental property. It's also unclear if he plans to hire helicopters again.

About the Author

Yvette Brend is a CBC Vancouver journalist. Yvette.Brend@CBC.ca @ybrend

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