Pilot makes hard landing near N.W.T. mine, walks away with injured thumb
'You can always get another plane; you can't get another person,' says relieved company
A pilot who made a hard landing shortly after takeoff near the N.W.T.'s Ekati diamond mine on Saturday walked away from the incident with an injured thumb.
The Great Slave Helicopters pilot was lifting off in his Bell 206 LongRanger from a field about eight kilometres northeast of the main Ekati mine site.
"He encountered some difficulties and essentially landed much harder than what would be considered a normal landing," said Corey Taylor, the company's vice-president of global operations, citing early, internal reports of the incident.
The pilot walked to the nearest road, where a vehicle from the main mine site picked him up.
He was then flown to Yellowknife (in another helicopter) late Saturday evening.
"He went to the hospital, got checked out and he's fine," said Taylor. "He has an injured thumb."
As for the chopper: "We think right now that it's repairable."
But Taylor added: "The aircraft is really way down the list. You can always get another one; you can't get another person."
Taylor said the company would be speaking to the pilot on Sunday to get more details about what happened.