Suicide By King Air

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The young man who jumped from King Air 200 over Canada's Arctic last Wednesday had been held the night before under the country's Mental Health Act in Yellowknife and was being flown home to Cambridge Bay by Adlair Aviation as a favor to the family. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called to a Yellownknife hotel the previous night to quell a disturbance and took 20-year-old Julian Tologanak into custody. "He was visiting friends and possibly causing a disturbance," said RCMP spokesman Sgt. Wayne Norris. "It was determined the best course of action was to seek professional medical help for him." The next day, despite the "best efforts" of the crew, he managed to open the main cabin door and leave the aircraft while it was flying at least 23,000 feet. AVweb has heard from sources in Canada's north about what went on in the aircraft just before the suicide that might explain some of the lingering questions about the incident. A voice message left at Adlair Aviation's administrative offices was not returned by our deadline.

However, company spokesman Paul Laserich told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that Tologonak's mother had called him from Cambridge Bay and asked that he be flown home. The company maintains bases in Yellowknife and Cambridge Bay and has a long-standing reputation for flying humanitarian missions in the far-flung reaches of the North. "It's been very hard for all of us," Laserich told the CBC. Meanwhile, Canadian Forces search and rescue crews are still looking for Tologanak's body. They're also lauding the efforts of the crew. "Due to the diligence and quick reactions of the pilots , the aircraft was brought to a safe landing at the CYCB (Cambridge Bay) airport without injury to the crew or remaining passenger," the RCMP said in a news release.