Pilot Alexander Lansfield is taking the Yukon government to court after shingles blew off the roof of the Haines Junction airport and damaged his plane. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Pilot sues YG after plane damaged by shingles blown off Haines Junction airport roof

Alexander Lansfield says the damage to his aircraft amounts to $25,000

A pilot is taking the Yukon government to court after shingles blew off the roof of the Haines Junction airport and damaged his plane.

Alexander Lansfield filed a claim to the Yukon small claims court June 12 for $25,000.

That shingles blew off the airport roof on a windy night in mid-March and hit Lansfield’s experimental Piper PA-20 Pacer is not disputed; instead, the issue appears to be whether the Yukon government is liable for the incident.

In documents attached to his claim, Lansfield wrote that the shingles on the south side of the roof have “progressively loosened” over the past three years with no repairs done to the building.

He alleges that the “severity of the winds” on the night of March 17 and into the morning of the 18 were “common to the Haines Junction area,” but, because of the “poorly maintained” nature of the airport, a number of shingles came loose.

Some of them went “right through” the plane, other documents say, causing damage to the left-hand flap, fuselage top and fin as well as leaving a number of “tar stains” on the paint.

Lansfield wrote that “any reasonable discussions with (the Yukon government) regarding this matter have been met with a denial of legal or moral responsibility on their part.”

Attached to the claim is a letter to Lansfield from an adjustor hired by the Yukon government to investigate the incident. It states that the damage was caused by “extraordinary winds,” and that the Yukon government was not liable since the damage was the result of “an unforeseen and exceptional weather event.”

Lansfield’s claim says the Yukon government’s response has left him with “one recourse, which is to make a legal claim against YTG for damages.”

He’s seeking $25,000 to cover the cost of repairing his plane.

The Yukon government has not yet filed a reply, and the case has not yet been tested before the courts.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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