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WINNIPEG – Police admit their Air1 flight crew had an “inappropriate” conversation while the helicopter’s loudspeaker was on.
“The flight crew’s conversation was publically broadcast; some content of the conversation was inappropriate,” a police news release said. It apologized for the broadcast and said the incident is being reviewed.
“We are extending an apology to all members of the public,” Const. Jason Michalyshen said Tuesday morning.
Social media erupted with reports of the conversation on Monday evening, with people saying they heard the chatter in the West End, North End, St. Boniface, at The Forks and outside the Manitoba Legislative Building.
The words “whoops” and “speakerphone” trended on Twitter in Winnipeg after people tweeted about the off-colour conversation.
Jacob Serebrin said he tweeted about the chopper at about 10:30 p.m., shortly after he heard the conversation with a friend near the Manitoba Legislative Building.
“We were very confused,” said Serebrin, a Montreal freelance journalist in Winnipeg for a wedding. “You could just hear somebody talking really loudly.”
His friend noticed the police helicopter and they realized the sound was coming from the aircraft. Serebrin said he heard snippets of a conversation about money as the police circled the area.
“One of the first things I heard was ‘f***ing $600 a week,’ ” Serebrin said, but by the time the helicopter returned, they’d turned off the loudspeaker.
Global News’ airborne Skyview 1 traffic reporter Casey Gibb said he heard the chatter from inside his St. Boniface home. Mostly he heard chuckling, he said.
As someone who regularly deals with live microphones in a helicopter cockpit, Gibb feels sympathy for the officers in the police helicopter.
“I kind of felt bad for them,” he said, calling it a “pretty easy mistake to make.”
Gibb has had no similar experience when he’s in the air.
“I’m pretty careful,” he said. “Definitely watch what you say.”
Most people seemed amused by the mistake, with some people expressing regret that they’d missed the show.