BRAINERD, Minn. (KARE) — A pilot and a nurse are dead and a third crew member is hospitalized after a North Memorial Air Care helicopter crashed near the Brainerd Airport early Friday.
The chopper went down around 1 a.m. A North Memorial spokesperson confirms the two casualties, and says no patients were aboard at the time of the crash. The pilot and a nurse died at the scene, while a third crew member was rushed to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. The spokesperson says they are not releasing information on his condition at this time.
An airport employee confirms conditions were extremely foggy at the time of the incident. KARE 11 meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says ground fog was dense in the area, with visibility at two tenths of a mile or less.
FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro says investigators from the agency are en route to Brainerd, and that the NTSB will lead the probe.
“We will fully cooperate with both agencies during their investigation of the incident. North Memorial Health is grateful for the expertise and efforts of the first responders who came to the accident scene including the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, Brainerd Police and Fire Departments and Baxter Police Department,” reads a statement from North Memorial.
This is not the first recent crash involving a North Memorial helicopter. In September of 2016 a chopper went down in Alexandria, leaving three crew members in critical condition.