Mar 18, 2013 / 7:27 pm
A young helicopter pilot picked up a pair of passengers for what was supposed to be a routine weekend flight over the north shore of Montreal.
Instead, Sebastien Foray wound up in an international news story.
Plans for a routine Sunday excursion dissipated quickly, as he allegedly found himself staring down the barrel of a .38-calibre handgun.
"They took out a gun and said, 'You're going to St-Jerome prison,' " said Yves Le Roux, the owner of Passport Helico, where Foray works.
And thus began a tale that saw a spectacular jailbreak, a gunfight between police and fugitives, and news media from multiple countries chronicling Foray's unwanted adventure.
The pilot was ordered to land on a tower above the provincial jail. Once there, his passengers pulled some rope out of a backpack and let it tumble out toward the ground level below, Le Roux said.
And up came two inmates, springing out from the prison yard.
Le Roux said they flew another two or three minutes, with the escaped prisoners dangling from the helicopter, and they landed in an open field where they were able to hop aboard.
He said that particular landing was bumpy, at least for one passenger. One of the inmates had become tangled in the rope, upside-down, and may have smashed into the ground.
From there, they flew toward a hotel in the Laurentians where the four passengers exited, but not before someone pulled a T-shirt over the pilot's head, Le Roux said, so he wouldn't witness the getaway.
Foray was soon found by police and brought to a hospital, where he spent a few hours being treated for nervous shock.
A Passport Helico employee said Foray is 23 and has worked there for a couple of years. His interest in helicopters also extends beyond work, with a number of flight videos posted under his name on a social media website.
Foray was back home Monday, resting from the ordeal.
"There was no violence against him, except for the gun pulled on him," Le Roux said. "It was just threats."
Earlier Sunday, authorities said 36-year-old Hudon-Barbeau and 33-year-old Danny Provencal had broken out of the jail by clambering up a rope into a waiting helicopter. They were arrested within hours along with two alleged accomplices, identified as Mathieu Steven Marchisio et Yage Beaudoin.
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