NTSB releases preliminary report on Care Flight crash

This photo provided by The National Transportation Safety Board shows NTSB investigators on...
This photo provided by The National Transportation Safety Board shows 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 enroute from Reno, Nevada, to Salt Lake City. (NTSB via AP)(AP)
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 1:53 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The National Transportation Safety Board is releasing its preliminary report on the crash of a Care Flight that killed five people near Stagecoach, Nevada in February.

Their report found the pilot contacted the Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center, who issued a caution for light to moderate turbulence that was acknowledged by the pilot.

The plane departed from the Reno Tahoe International Airport in a manner consistent with procedure. It continued to head south until just after 9:00 p.m. when it made a left turn to the southeast and was observed at an altitude of 12,000 feet.

The plane continued to ascend in a southeast direction for another three minutes before it turned to the northeast and was observed at an altitude of 15,700.

The NTSB’s report further states the plane continued to ascend to around 18,300 feet and made a right turn to a southeasterly heading at 9:11 p.m. Data shows the plane continued on this trajectory for about 47 seconds and ascended to 18,900 feet before turning left.

The plane continued to the northeast and ascended to a height of 19,100 feet before making a descending right turn at 9:13 p.m.

The Associated Press reported the plane began to fall — dropping about 8,000 feet in 30 seconds — before the aircraft’s navigation tracking system went dark, according to the report.

An examination of the crash site showed the plane impacted flat, sagebrush-covered, high desert terrain, and had a debris field about 0.9 miles southwest of the main wreckage.

Dan Rose, an aviation attorney retained by relatives of the Rands, told The Associated Press that they hope NTSB will investigate Guardian Flight’s decision to fly instead of waiting for the winter storm to pass. Rose also said Mark Rand’s condition wasn’t life-threatening at the time.

“I know the family would want the NTSB to look carefully at the two issues,” Rose said Wednesday. “They’re really intertwined.”

Guardian Flight said in a statement Wednesday it was reviewing the report and assessing ways to strengthen its safety protocols, The Associated Press reported.

“The safety and well-being of our patients and crew is our utmost priority and we will continue to make significant investments to bolster our commitment,” the company said.

A link to the full report can be found here: