Fair Attraction Threat

Last weekend KPVI News that Works for You hit the sky to tell you about a new Eastern Idaho State Fair attraction. Just a few days later, that attraction received a threatening phone call.

Anonymous caller: "Hey you tell that guy in that helicopter if he flies over my house that low again I'm going to shoot the son of a b**ch. He does not need to be taking my trees out of my house. You tell him he's flying... no... you tell him he's going to get shot down next time he's that low. Goodbye."

That's the phone call the Tadd Jenkins dealership in Blackfoot received Tuesday.

The dealership's owner is also president of Yellowstone Helicopters which offers aerial tours of the Blackfoot area during the week of the fair.

Jenkins, "It's just one of those unfortunate events that, you know, it would have been a whole lot better if he had just came over and chatted with us, and asked us to avoid his home."

Jenkins reached out to the local police to report the call.

In response, police released a statement saying, "This complaint is being taken seriously. The police department has been in contact with federal authorities and will continue with a joint investigation into the complaint."

After the threatening call, tours were grounded for a time being and everyone involved took the threat seriously.

Yellowstone Helicopters Chief Pilot Kameron Kimball says, "Well, you always have to take into account the safety of the people with you. I mean, as pilots you're not just in control of aircraft, you're in control of their safety as well. So, you have to think about their safety."

Jenkins explains that a threat like this is serious because not only does it threaten the lives of those in the helicopter, but it potentially threatens lives of people on the ground as well.

As local police and the FBI got involved, tours were able to resume.

Friday morning, KPVI talked to a handful of people who heard about the threat and were out to take a ride on the helicopters regardless of the call. They say there's really no reason to be worried.

One of those fearless riders was a Vietnam War veteran.

Don Weikert says, "I don't know why they'd really want to be nervous 'cause you're taking in the sights and you don't even think about your nerves. You just want to see everything you can while you're up there."

Brave flyers like Weikert will still take advantage of the aerial tours during the last few days of the fair.

Jenkins says, "We're just excited to be here, and be part of the community, and do things with the community, and it's just unfortunate that there are those that, we call them fun haters."

Jenkins says that Yellowstone Helicopters will continue to offer aerial tours at future Eastern Idaho State Fairs. The company wants members of the community to be able to check off that bucket-list item and see Blackfoot from above.

The police department has not released the name of the man who made the threat but Jenkins says he lives in Wapello, which is not in the flight path of the fair aerial tours. He also confirms the caller is a local attorney.


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