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Tim McDonald perishes in helicopter crash

By Michael Trzinski, WiPH Staff & Submitted, 07/01/19, 8:30PM CDT


WSFLG coach and nurse die in accident at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport

WSFLG Blizzard coach Tim McDonald died after the helicopter he was piloting crashed in foggy conditions at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport last Friday.

McDonald, along with Deb Schott, a nurse from Biscay, MN, died at the scene. Paramedic Joshua Duda was injured in the crash, but his condition has not been disclosed. 

McDonald, 44, was born in Bloomington, MN and graduated from Bloomington Jefferson High School and Gustavus Adolphus College. He was the president of Zulu Aviation Products in Siren, WI. The company makes lens covers, designed by McDonald, for aviation night-vision goggles, according to the company's website. McDonald also had a master's degree in business from Oklahoma State University, the website says.  

McDonald was a pilot for North Memorial Health and was also a paramedic for Allina Health.

Tim had over 14 years experience flying helicopters in both the civilian and military markets and had accumulated over 700 hours of NVG (night-vision goggles) time. 

The Agusta Westland A109 helicopter went down about 1am inside a fenced area at the airport, said Director Steve Wright. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

McDonald was married and had four children.