'Helping a distraught mother'

CamBay mourns youth who jumped from aircraft


Cambridge Bay is trying to come to terms with the death of Julien Tologanak, 20, who jumped out of an airplane flying at 7,000 metres.

RCMP said Tologanak became unruly during the April 15 flight, somehow managed to open the plane's door, about 185 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay, and throw himself out. RCMP in the hamlet met the plane when it landed at the airport, said Staff Sgt. Harold Trupish, a spokesman for RCMP V Division.

"When the plane landed … that's when we found out about the individual having jumped out of the aircraft," Trupish said.

Police said the pilots "made every possible effort to prevent the male from jumping but were unsuccessful."

RCMP said an aerial search was called off over the weekend, and a ground search was due to begin this past Monday, said Cpl. Bruce Collins.

Initial reports suggested the plane was on a medical travel flight.

But Paul Laserich, co-owner of Adlair, which owns the King Air 200 involved in the incident says the man was being brought back from ­Yellowknife as a favour to Tologanak's mother, who's a family friend.

"We were helping a distraught mother bring her son home," Laserich said. He declined to discuss the incident.

Laserich, who lived in Cambridge Bay for more than three decades said she asked him to bring Tologanak back from Yellowknife after the young man was released from hospital following a beating.

"We've been flying out of Cambridge Bay for approximately 35 years and nothing has ever happened like this, ever," Laserich said.

"Our condolences and thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this tragic time," he added.

Some well wishers also left comments on Adlair's online guestbook.

"I hope your crew and passengers are okay after that terrible incident on the King Air," wrote one person. "The crew did exceptionally well in landing safely."

Laserich said the same pilots who were flying during the incident brought the plane back to Yellowknife from Cambridge Bay April 17.

The Transportation Safety Board won't investigate the incident but will provide technical help to the RCMP if asked, said John Cottreau, a spokesman for the agency.

"This is not an accident," he said. "The plane was operated well and there were no mechanical issues."

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