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Preliminary report on medical helicopter crash

A preliminary report has yet to determine the cause of a medical helicopter crash on December 10th in Lee County that killed the pilot and 2 nurses based at Rockford Memorial Hospital.

The National Transportation Safey Board has only released of few details on the incident that killed the pilot Andy Olesen and 2 nurses on board, Jim Dillow and Karen Hollis.

Radio traffic indicated that the medical helicopter was 6 minutes away from Mendota when the pilot decided to turn back to Rockford due to the weather. There was no further communication from the helicopter.

There was some freezing rain at the time the helicopter took off from Rockford. It crashed in a field near Compton, south of Rochelle.

A weather observation station at the Rochelle Municipal Airport indicated light snow and winds and visibility of 7 miles at the time of the crash. Koritz Field is located about 10 miles north of where the helicopter went down.

Another medical helicopter also crashed last Wednesday in Mason City, Iowa. The pilot and 2 flight nurses were killed.


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