UPDTAE: Medical helicopter crashes in N. Illinois - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Medical helicopter crashes in N. Illinois; kills three people on board


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WKOW) -- Rockford Memorial Hospital has identified the three people killed in a Monday night helicopter crash as pilot Andy Oleson and nurses Karen Hollis and Jim Dillow. They were traveling to pick up a patient at a Mendota hospital when the helicopter went down in a field near Rochelle, Ill.

Oleson was employed by Colorado-based Air Methods. Rockford Memorial owned the helicopter but contracted with the company for services. The hospital says 65-year-old Oleson had flown its helicopter for about five years. Air Methods has pledged its "full cooperation" to investigators and has its officials on the scene.


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WKOW) -- A medical helicopter crashes in northern Illinois, killing all three people on board.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the chopper crashed Monday night while traveling from Rockford to a hospital about 60 miles south in Mendota.

The helicopter was registered to Rockford Memorial Hospital. A hospital spokesperson says no patients were on board when the helicopter crashed into a field in Rochelle, midway between the two cities. Another health system representative told WKOW's sister station in Rockford, WREX-TV, three crew members were in the helicopter, a pilot and two flight nurses.

The FAA says the helicopter was destroyed and all three people on board were killed.

WREX-TV reports the cause of the crash is still unknown, but it might be weather-related. WREX's Chief Meteorologist Eric Sorensen explained the air was saturated and the temperatures were right around freezing at flight level. "Aircraft icing disrupts the aerodynamics around aircraft fuselage and can add a significant amount of weight which can cause the aircraft to become unstable."

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