MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — North Memorial Health says the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared its helicopter fleet to resume normal flight operations, but the fleet remains voluntarily grounded.
On Friday, nurse Deb Schott and pilot Tim McDonald died when their North Memorial Health helicopter crashed in foggy weather. Paramedic Josh Duda survived.
The hospital’s helicopter fleet was grounded following the crash. On Tuesday, the hospital announced the FAA cleared its fleet.
“We will, however, voluntarily remain on the ground to allow our Air Care team the opportunity to receive the support they need and out of respect for our fallen crew members,” North Memorial Health said in a statement.
An update will be sent out when the decision is made to begin air care operations. Ground EMS will operate as usual.
North Memorial Health says the helicopter went down around 1 a.m. Friday at the Brainerd Regional Airport, adding that no patients were on board.
In 2016, another North Memorial helicopter crashed near Alexandria airport, injuring the pilot, paramedic and flight nurse.
The NTSB’s investigation found that pilot error during heavier clouds caused that crash.