Helicopter Pilot Faces Fine For Dropping Pesticide On Homes

Apr 9, 2014

The Oregon Department of Agriculture says a helicopter pilot allowed herbicides to fall onto homes in a rural community in southern Oregon.

That’s one of the conclusions of a nearly six-month investigation the department made public Tuesday. 

The state opened its investigation after 10 families filed complaints that a helicopter spraying timber land had flown over their homes on October 16th.

Beau Hansen says he smelled something that triggered a severe asthma attack that day.

“I thought I started smelling something kind of sweet or tangy. Instantly after that my whole chest tightened up and I couldn’t even breathe," says Hansen.

The state investigation found that a pilot with the company Pacific Air Research provided false records and allowed pesticide to fall on the neighborhood. He’s facing fines but has not lost his pesticide applicator license. The pilot called the investigation a witch hunt. 

Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting