LEWISTON, Idaho – The FBI is investigating a report that a hunter fired gunshots at a helicopter in north-central Idaho last week, hitting it twice.
Shoshone County officials say the helicopter was flying over a controlled burn Oct. 14 on land owned by forestland management company Potlatch Corp. when it was fired on four times. They say a suspect has been identified, but no one has been arrested and officials are deciding whether he will face state or federal charges.
Vietnam veteran Earl Palmer was flying the helicopter north of Clarkia. He says he didn't recognize the first two shots as gunfire, but the third bullet passed within 2 or 3 feet from his head.
The fourth bullet struck and cracked a control tube. Palmer says that could have caused the helicopter to crash.