The helicopter impacted terrain at about 2057 Central time and was destroyed. The pilot and two medical crew members sustained fatal injuries. Night visual conditions prevailed.
A witness about one mile south of the accident site observed the helicopter as it approached from the east. He noted that it appeared to slow and then turn to the north. When he looked again, the helicopter appeared to descend straight down. He subsequently went back into his house and called 911. He described the weather conditions as “misty,” with a light wind.
A pilot at the Mason City airport reported seeing the helicopter fly overhead and estimated its altitude as 300 feet agl. He was leaving the airport at that time and noted there was a glaze of ice on his car. He added that the roads were icy as he drove out of the airport. He had arrived about 1830 and encountered some light rime ice at that time.