Date & Time: Nov 30, 2019 at 1230 LT
Type of aircraft:
Pilatus PC-12
Operator:
Registration:
N56KJ
Flight Phase:
Flight
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Chamberlain – Idaho Falls
MSN:
1431
YOM:
2013
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
1
Pax on board:
11
Pax fatalities:
8
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
9
Circumstances:
The single engine airplane departed Chamberlain Airport in marginal weather conditions. Few minutes later, while flying in snow falls, the airplane went out of control and crashed in a cornfield located about 30 miles west-southwest of Chamberlain. Three passengers aged 17, 27 and 28 were injured and evacuated to hospitals in Chamberlain, Mitchell and Sioux Falls while nine other occupants were killed. The pilot filed an instrument flight rules plan with the Federal Aviation Administration and received a clearance to fly direct from Chamberlain, a non-towered airport, to Idaho Falls, Idaho, with a planned departure time of 12:20 p.m. CST. The plane departed Chamberlain at 12:26 p.m. CST. When the pilot did not activate the flight plan after departure, the FAA issued an alert for a missing airplane. At 12:35 p.m. CST, an AWOS-3 automated weather observation station at the Chamberlain airport recorded weather as follows: winds from 020 degrees (north/northeast) at 6 knots (7 mph), ½ mile visibility with moderate snow and icing, low-level windshear, and clear air turbulence conditions with overcast skies. The base of the cloud layer was recorded at 500 feet above the ground. The airplane departed on runway 31 and crashed in a field about 1 mile north of the airport. The Pilatus PC-12 airplane is not required to be equipped with a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder. Investigators will be looking for any avionics or engine monitoring equipment with non-volatile memory that could yield information relevant to the investigation. The airplane was equipped with an automated dependent surveillance broadcast system (ADS-B), which records parameters that will help investigators determine the performance of the airplane by evaluating the flight track, altitude and speed from takeoff to the end of the flight.