Mosquito control helicopters grounded for a dayby Curtis Gilbert, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District's helicopters will not operate on Thursday after a fatal accident.
The helicopters are grounded for a day out of respect for the family of pilot Michael Kramer, who was killed Wednesday when his helicopter crashed into a residential garage in Maplewood, said Jim Stark, executive director for the district.
Work will resume on Friday and the delay will not cause a noticeable increase in mosquitoes, Stark said.
"We were toward the end of mosquito development in that current brood. So I wouldn't expect much of an impact," Stark said. "It certainly was a very sad day for us yesterday. But we're going to move forward."
After a significant rainfall, the mosquito control district treats lakes and other bodies of water for five days. The helicopters drop bacteria that kill mosquito larvae in the water.
The mosquito control district has used Scott's Helicopter Services in LeSueur for 25 years, and Stark said there have been no serious safety problems in the past. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.