Another Leonardo AW109 helicopter has crashed in bad weather in the U.S in almost as many weeks. N11NM, a 2008 model year A109, went down just before 1 a.m. local time on Friday at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (KBRD) in Minnesota, killing the pilot and one nurse on board and leaving another crewmember with unknown injuries.
Visibility at the time of the crash was reported as two-tenths of a mile in fog. The helicopter crashed inside a fenced area at the Brainerd Airport, which is 111 nautical miles northwest of Minneapolis.
The helicopter was owned by North Memorial Air Care of Robbinsdale, Minnesota, and is believed to be one of nine EMS-configured AW109s operated by the company. North Memorial flies approximately 4,500 missions annually and has bases in Brainerd, Bemidji, Eveleth, Faribault, Princeton, and Redwood Falls, Minnesota, as well as Siren, Wisconsin.
North Memorial’s website advertises that its pilots are IFR-rated and its helicopters are IFR-equipped. The NTSB is investigating. The accident follows one of another AW109 in New York City June 10 during fog and rain that killed the sole-occupant, non-instrument-rated pilot when it crashed onto the roof of a 54-story high-rise.