MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A medical helicopter dropped off a patient and then crashed shortly after it took off on its return flight to Madison, killing the surgeon, nurse and pilot on board, officials said Sunday.

The University of Wisconsin Hospital Med Flight crew went down about three miles from the La Crosse airport, from which they departed late Saturday, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said in a statement.

The wreckage was found early Sunday, and preliminary reports indicate the helicopter may have struck a hill or some trees, said Margaret Van Bree, the hospital's chief operating officer.