NTSB Identification: CEN13FA096
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Monday, December 10, 2012 in Compton, IL
Aircraft: MBB BK 117 A-3, registration: N911BK
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 10, 2012, about 2016 central standard time, a Messerschmitt Bolkow-Blohm model BK 117-A3 helicopter, N911BK, impacted the ground near Compton, Illinois. The pilot, flight nurse, and flight paramedic were fatally injured, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage from impact forces. The emergency medical services (EMS) equipped helicopter was registered to Rockford Memorial Hospital, and operated by Air Methods Corporation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a company visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the Rockford Memorial Hospital Heliport (LL83), Rockford, Illinois, about 1958 and was en route to the Mendota Community Hospital Heliport (14IL), Mendota, Illinois, where it was to pick up a patient for transport back to the Rockford Memorial Hospital.

The purpose of the accident leg of the flight was to position the helicopter for a subsequent air medical inter-facility patient transport flight from the Mendota Community Hospital to the Rockford Memorial Hospital. The request was received by the Rockford Memorial Hospital Dispatch Center and the pilot was notified at 1927. At 1959, the pilot reported to the dispatch center that he was departing from the helicopter’s base at the hospital. He reported that he lifted off with one hour forty-five minutes of fuel and three persons on board and was en route to Mendota, Illinois. At 2010, the pilot radioed that he was 12 minutes from Mendota. at 2016, the pilot contacted the dispatch center notifying that he was aborting the flight due to the weather conditions encountered. No further communications were received from the helicopter.

At 2015, the surface weather observation at the Rochelle Municipal Airport-Koritz Field (KRPJ), Rochelle, Illinois, located about 10 miles north of the accident site, was: wind 290 degrees at 8 knots, 7 miles visibility, light snow, overcast ceiling at 3,300 feet above ground level, temperature -1 degree Celsius, dew point -2 degrees Celsius, altimeter 29.94 inches of Mercury.

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