June 28, 2017 12:18 pm

Pilot schooled on proper chopper use after touching down next to a P.E.I. Tim Hortons

FILE: Cups of coffee sit on a counter in a Tim Hortons outlet in Oakville, Ont.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

A coast guard helicopter pilot has been schooled on the appropriate use of the aircraft after touching down in a field near a Tim Hortons in P.E.I. for a coffee fix.

The chopper landed in a barren field in the small Island community on March 16, prompting surprised onlookers to take to social media with comments about the unusual sighting and photos of the red aircraft whipping up poofs of snow as it set down.

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It also caught the attention of the commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, who asked for an internal probe to determine if any unusual circumstances required the aircraft to land there.

Fisheries spokeswoman Sarah Gilbert says the fact-finding exercise found the aircraft did not have to land there for operational reasons.

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She says coast guard helicopters are flown by Transport Canada pilots who follow protocols that state government aircraft are to be “used safely, efficiently and with the utmost respect for taxpayer dollars.”

Gilbert says officials have instructed the pilot on aircraft usage – specifically, that crews not land at similar locations in the future.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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