This video showed a helicopter pilot offering a ride out of a flooded Colorado farm for no less than $1,200. It easily went viral. Now the pilot has spoken out, and he's not as 'greedy' as he first appeared.
In an interview with 9News, pilot Dennis Pierce argued that he had no intention of extorting any victims of the flood and that the people who shot the video were not in a serious emergency.
9News reports that Pierce is the co-owner of Colorado Heli Ops, and he was contracted by a local power company to take pictures of flood damage. Pierce stated that the people shooting the video flagged him and his partner down to check on their parents. Pierce said he wasn't there to give anyone flights out, the man behind the camera got understandably upset.
"When I said $1,200, I was trying to figure out a way to shut the guy up," Pierce told 9Wants to Know. "I was trying to get him away from us because he made me nervous."
9News also spoke the man in question, Richard Lake, and found that he was injured, indeed.
"I told him that my hand is swollen, and I need medical attention, and this is an emergency," Lake said. "I need you to bring me across the river, so I can at least get a police officer."
9News reports that Lake made it out of the area safely, but does not describe his means of escape. Pierce reportedly described the situation as unfortunate, and went on to say that his company did check on Lake's parents for free.
So no, the 'greedy' pilot wasn't so greedy after all.
(Hat tip to Ricepuddin and many others!)