Pilot’s disorientation likely caused fatal air ambulance crash in Brainerd – Twin Cities

2020-11-21 10:03:49 –

Brainerd, Minnesota — A pilot’s spatial disorientation on a dark, foggy night could be the cause of a fatal crash of a 2019 North Memorial Health helicopter at the Lake Brenard Regional Airport.

Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board released its final report on the June 2019 crash. The accident killed pilots and flight nurses and seriously injured paramedics. No mechanical failures have been reported.

Pilot Tim McDonald started the instrument landing system of the Agusta medical helicopter after 12:30 am on June 28th. According to the report, the three crew members were returning from delivering the patient to Robinsdale’s North Memorial Medical Center, with visibility reduced to about 0.5 miles and worsened to 1/4 mile as they approached the airport. .. Visibility of 1/4 mile was the minimum distance approved by the North Memorial Health for the approach at the time.

After the accident, Josh Duda of Pillager, Minnesota recalled that an ambulance member sitting in the left front seat was seen under a runway light and a thin fog layer during the approach. As the helicopter approached the runway, he noticed clouds beside him and remembered that McDonald’s said the weather conditions were foggy and a go-around was needed, the report said.

Shortly before the helicopter lost control, McDonald’s declared a missed approach, probably due to the loss of visual contact with the runway. However, a combination of factors increased torque and the helicopter accelerated and spun before it crashed near the runway.

“The dark night conditions at the regional airport provided little or no visual reference between the pilot’s transition to landing and the missed approach attempted,” the report said. “It is possible that the pilot was spatially disorientated, had excessive pitch attitude, slowed airspeed, was unable to recognize and stop the right yaw, and then lost control.”

After the crash, the North Memorial Health raised the minimum weather conditions required for pilots to make an instrument approach to the cloud ceiling 400 feet above ground and 1 mile of visibility, the NTSB reported.

Investigators said the helicopter was upright and almost intact after the crash, but some of the helicopter, including the body and tail, “showed crushing consistent with high-speed vertical descent.”

There was no evidence of a fire after the collision, but part of the ground was submerged in fuel.

On the left side of the helicopter’s fuselage, a scar on the arc-shaped ground was found that matched the strike on the main rotor blades. The outside of one tail rotor blade was found about 200 feet southwest of the helicopter. A 7-inch deep ground scratch was beneath the tail rotor, showing evidence of multiple tail rotor blade collisions.

McDonald’s and flight nurse debra shots died at the crash site on June 28th. Duda was taken to Essentia Health-St. After the crash, at Joseph’s Medical Center in Brenard and at Robinsdale’s North Memorial.

Bloomington resident McDonald’s, 44, is based at the North Memorial Aircare facility in Siren, Wisconsin, with his wife Crystal and four, according to the GoFundMe page set in honor of him. Children are surviving. His obituary states that he realized his dream of becoming a medical evacuation pilot after graduating from Gustav Adolfus University, serving as a helicopter pilot in the Army, and completing two combat tours in Iraq. I am. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma State University.

Shot of Leicester Prairie, Minnesota, 58, graduated from Nursing School at Ridgewater University in Wilmer, Minnesota, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Crow University. She was first licensed as an associate nurse at the age of 19 in 1980 and was licensed to work as a registered nurse in 1994. At the time of her death, she worked with North as a registered nurse in the Ridgeview Emergency Department. Memorial air care.

Shot is survived by her husband Gary and two children, two grandchildren, two stepchildren, and seven grandchildren.

North Memorial Aircare is based in Brenard, Bemidji, Princeton, Redwood Falls and Lakeville.

Pilot’s disorientation likely caused fatal air ambulance crash in Brainerd – Twin Cities Source link Pilot’s disorientation likely caused fatal air ambulance crash in Brainerd – Twin Cities

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