Just days before city leaders and county officials were slated to discuss Timberview Helicopters tourism flights, a 'lead line' from owner Justin Johnson's other company, Emerald Coast Helicopters, fell on the roof of the Elk's Lodge building on Okaloosa Island.
The incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, according to dispatch records from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office. Although wires landed on the building, no damage was reported. Dusty Austin, who called The Log about the incident, said he was "kind of worried" because it's not uncommon for young children to be playing behind the Elk's Lodge or for there to be some type of an event with a lot of people out back.
As part of Emerald Coast Helicopter's operation, they had been dropping their banners on the property located just east of the Elk's Lodge, which is vacant. The three consecutive parcels between the Elk's Lodge and the military owned property near the National Seashore are owned by Ozean Development LLC.
County officials recently told The Log that Emerald Coast Helicopters was not allowed to operate its banner towing operation out of the Destin Airport, and that operations would have to originate from the Bob Sikes Airport in Crestview.
For his part, Johnson told The Log that it wasn't actually a banner that fell on the roof, but what he described as a "lead line," similar to what guides a kite.
"The banner never touched his property," he said. "It was a string that blew over after the banner was already on the ground."