North Memorial grounding helicopter fleet out of respect for crash victims

North Memorial Health says the Federal Aviation Administration has cleared its helicopter fleet to resume normal operations following a fatal crash last week that killed two employees, but it is grounding its aircraft for the time being out of respect for the victims. 

At 1 a.m. Friday, a North Memorial Health helicopter crashed at the airport in Brainerd, Minnesota, killing the pilot and a nurse. A paramedic was injured. No patients were onboard at the time. 

In a statement issued Tuesday, North Memorial Health said its helicopter fleet will “voluntarily remain on the ground to allow our Air Care team the opportunity they need and out of respect for our fallen crew members.” 

The healthcare company has not decided when it will resume air care operations.  

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are continuing to investigate the crash.