The NTSB says a Pilatus PC-12 medevac aircraft broke up in flight shortly after taking off from Reno Airport on Friday night. All five people aboard the Care Flight aircraft were killed when the aircraft suddenly disappeared from radar as it was climbing on departure from Reno International Airport to Salt Lake City Friday evening. The wreckage was found near Dayton, Nevada, about 24 miles southeast of Reno. The missing parts were about 1200 yards from the main wreckage.
Flight trackers showed the plane at about 19,000 feet before contact was lost. According to an ATC recording, a controller had just warned the pilot of generalized light to moderate turbulence in the area and the pilot said he was climbing to 25,000 feet. A winter storm was hitting the area at the time.
The NTSB sent a full investigation team of 11 members to the site and held a news conference on Sunday to discuss their initial findings. The investigators said part of the right wing, the horizontal stabilizer and elevator all separated from the plane. Although ATC had notified the pilot about the possibility of turbulence, the NTSB said there had been no reports that would have warranted cancelling the flight. “It was pretty much a normal evening,” NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg told the news conference. The pilot, a nurse, a paramedic, the patient and a relative of the patient were on the aircraft.