Doomed Medical Transport Flight Broke Apart in the Air

Care Flight plane crashed Friday in Nevada, killing all 5 on board
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2023 7:45 AM CST
Updated Feb 28, 2023 1:30 AM CST
Medical Flight Crashes in Nevada, Killing 5
NTSB investigators on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, at the crash site in Dayton, Nev., documenting the wreckage of a Pilatus PC-12 airplane a medical air transport flight operated by Guardian Flight that crashed on Friday, Feb. 24, while en route from Reno, Nevada, to Salt Lake City.   (NTSB via AP)
UPDATE Feb 28, 2023 1:30 AM CST

The medical transport flight that crashed Friday in Nevada, killing everyone on board, appears to have broken apart in the air before it hit the ground in a mountainous area. "How do we know if the airplane broke up in flight? We found parts of the airplane one-half to three-quarters of a mile away," a National Transportation Safety Board official tells the AP. The NTSB is investigating at the site of the crash, which took place during a winter storm involving snow, wind, and low visibility. A local says she heard the plane sputtering and knew it was going to crash before it came down behind her home.

Feb 25, 2023 7:45 AM CST

Five are dead after a medical services plane crashed in Nevada. KOLO reports that around 9pm local time on Friday, calls began coming in to the Lyon County Sheriff's Office on the fallen aircraft, which went down in the town of Stagecoach. Multiple agencies rushed to the scene in addition to sheriff's deputies, including the Central Lyon County Fire Protection District and search and rescue teams from two counties. Two hours later, first responders found the Care Flight plane, a PC 12 fixed-wing aircraft.

Reno-based REMSA Health, which runs the Care Flight service, confirmed that a plane with the same tail number had fallen off the radar in that area earlier in the evening, per ABC News. In a statement, Care Flight said it was "heartbroken" to report that none of the five on board the plane had survived, including the pilot, a flight nurse, a flight paramedic, a patient, and a patient's family member.

The fire department and sheriff's office are now coordinating with the National Transportation Safety Board in the ongoing investigation into the accident, Care Flight added. The company announced all of its planes, as well as Guardian planes based out of Utah, were in "passive stand down" mode, and that they'll work with internal operations to figure out when flights may resume, per CNN. "Our immediate focus is helping our team members and families, as well as the responding agencies," Care Flight notes. (Read more plane crash stories.)

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