One year ago today, three Bismarck-Mandan area residents were killed when the air medical plane they were flying in apparently broke up in flight and crashed shortly after takeoff from Bismarck.
Headed from Williston, the Bismarck Air Medical 1982 Cessna 441 turboprop went down near Harmon, killing Bismarck Air Medical pilot Todd Lasky, CHI St. Alexius Health Neonatal Intensive Care Unit RN Bonnie Cook and Metro Area Ambulance flight paramedic Chris Iverson.
The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the crash site and, on November 29, released a preliminary report into the accident.
According to the report, “Preliminary information indicated the crew was en route to ISN [Williston Airport] to pick up a neonatal infant for transport back to BIS. Radar data indicated the airplane climbed on a direct course until reaching 14,000 feet above sea level. Ground speed was at 240 knots [270 miles per hour]. The airplane then entered a steep right bank and radar contact was lost. No distress calls were received. Wreckage was scattered for about 1 mile long and 600 feet wide on snow-covered terrain.”
The report didn’t offer a possible cause of the accident — that would come later after a detailed investigation.
The final report has yet to be released. In general, most air accident reports take anywhere from 6 to 18 months to complete, depending on a number of factors. Priority investigations can often delay the timing of a final report in a non-priority investigation.
Today at 11:30 a.m., CHI St. Alexius Health, Bismarck Air Medical and Metro Area Ambulance will remember the three on the ill-fated flight during a blessing ceremony at a newly established memorial space near CHI St. Alexius Health’s South Broadway Entrance at 900 E Broadway Ave, Bismarck.