Funeral for helicopter pilot who died in Brainerd crash held in Lakeville

Flags are at half-staff across Minnesota in honor of the pilot that was killed in a medical helicopter crash in Brainerd June 28.

The life of pilot Tim McDonald was celebrated at a funeral in Lakeville Tuesday.

Hundreds gathered to honor the North Memorial medical helicopter pilot at Celebration Church in Lakeville.

As a tribute, a large American flag was suspended between two fire truck ladders just outside the church.

Among those in attendance were family, friends and men and women from more than two dozen first responder departments from across the state.

His family says McDonald’s love for others led him into emergency medicine.

The 44-year-old Bloomington native worked as a pilot for North Memorial since 2015.

Before that, he was a United States Army Veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq.

McDonald leaves behind a wife, four children and his parents. He will be buried at Fort Snelling.

Deb Schott, a registered nurse, was also killed. A third crew member on board sustained serious injuries.

The crash is still under investigation.