UPDATE (7:18 PM): The Amarillo Police Department released the names of the victims killed in Friday’s plane crash. Pilot Robin Shaw and flight nurses Misty Nicholson and Scott Riola were killed when their plane went down shortly after takeoff Friday night.
The National Transportation Safety Board held a press conference at Rick Husband International Airport Sunday afternoon to provide an update on the small plane crash that killed three people in east Amarillo late Friday night.
Joshua Lindberg, the Investigator in Charge for NTSB, said his team made their way to Amarillo Saturday afternoon to start their investigation. He said the NTSB has been charged by Congress to investigate every civil aviation accident.
Emergency officials responded to a patch of land running along a railroad track near Highway 287 in the late hours of April 28th.
A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, Roland Herwig, said the plane, a Piluts PC-12, crashed shortly after take off killing all three people on board.
The aircraft is describers as an air ambulance carrying one pilot and two flight nurses.Linberg would not release the names of those involved. He said victim’s names would come from local authorities.
Lindberg said the NTSB is working with local meteorological teams, the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Control, Pilatus, Rico Aviation and other local authorities.
Lindberg said his team will stay on scene for four days to gather facts and identify all parts of the aircraft. The pieces will then be taken to an undisclosed location for a more detailed examination.
The NTSB will look at the pilot’s background, aircraft maintenance records, radar and more. Lindberg said they don’t want to just figure out what happened, but why and prevent this from happening again in the future.
He said there will be no speculation of what caused the crash at this time and a determination of cause will not happen while they are on scene for the next four days. Lindberg said the NTSB will release a preliminary report in one week.
He said there is not a typical ‘black box’ on board the aircraft, like something we hear about in commercial aviation accidents, but there was some memory recording devices that might help their investigation.
Lindberg said the pilot was in communication with air traffic control, and they will review those records.
Lindberg said as part of their investigation they want to hear from witnesses that might have seen something Friday night. To get in touch with his agency witnesses can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Herwig says there was severe weather in the area at the time of the crash but Herwig was not ready to tie the two incidents together as of Saturday afternoon. He said the weather was a factor they would look into as part of their investigation.
Rico Aviation posted this statement to their Facebook page Saturday morning: “Rico Aviation regrets to confirm the loss of three crew members last night. We are devastated by this tragedy and are mourning the loss of our team members. The families have been notified and they are in our hearts and prayers. We appreciate prayers for our fallen teammates and their families.