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Early Analysis: In-flight breakup over Stagecoach, NV

N273sM-PILATUS PC-12/45

The NTSB has released its preliminary report (WPR23MA113) regarding the investigation into the PILATUS PC-12/45 (N273sM) in-flight breakup over Stagecoach, NV.

On February 25, 2023, a Pilatus PC-12 crashed near Stagecoach, Nevada, about 14 minutes after departure from Reno, Nevada. Sadly, all five people on board the airplane perished in the accident.

The air ambulance flight had departed the Reno/Tahoe International airport at around 9 p.m. to transport a patient for medical treatment to Salt Lake City, Utah. On board the flight—in addition to the pilot and patient—were the patient’s wife, a flight nurse and a flight paramedic.

The Pilatus reached an altitude of 19,400 feet when ADS-B radar tracking showed the airplane in a descending right turn at a high rate of descent. According to the NTSB, the airplane broke apart in flight.

The National Weather Service in Reno had issued a winter storm warning, with snow, low visibility, and gusting winds.

In Early Analysis: N273SM, the AOPA Air Safety Institute (ASI) makes a preliminary assessment of the accident, addressing notable portions of the tragic flight and highlighting areas the NTSB will likely investigate to determine a probable cause.

Learn more:

Review the Weather Wise: Precipitation and Icing Safety Spotlight.