AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - An air traffic controller tried to reach the pilot of an air ambulance leaving Amarillo four times on April 28 before seeing a fireball and reporting a crash.
The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board released today describes that night three crew members of the Rico Aviation plane died in a crash near the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport on their way to fly a patient from Clovis, N.M., to Lubbock.
Pilot Robin Shaw and flight nurses Misty Nicholson and Scott Riola were the people on board.
The report does not cite a cause for the crash, and the investigation continues.
The flight had reached an altitude of at least 6,000 feet where there was wind shear reported, according to the report.
Wind shear is "a change in wind speed and/or direction over a short distance," according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
- 10:48 p.m.: Flight request received from a Clovis medical center to transfer patient to Lubbock, Texas.
- 11:32 p.m.: Pilot Robin Shaw receives IFR clearance
- 11:34 p.m.: Shaw and flight nurses Misty Nicholson and Scott Riola accept patient request
- 11:45 p.m.: Airport tower controller cleared airplane for takeoff
- 11:46 p.m.: Controller instructs Shaw to reset his transponder and transfers communications to the departure controller
- 11:47 p.m.: Shaw reports at 6,000 ft msl, airplane identified by departure controller radar
- 11:48 p.m.: Controller advises Shaw he was no longer receiving the transponder
- 11:48 p.m.: Flight crashes
Clouds were low at between 500 and 900 feet and wind speeds were up to about 37 mph.
The NTSB reports surveillance video from a nearby business showed the airplane descending fast and steeply.
The latest inspection of the plane, a Pilatus PC-12 manufactured in 1994, was on March 2 of this year.
Shaw's flight experience totaled more than 5,800 hours and 80 hours in the last six months, according to a January medical certificate application.
Rico Aviation is holding an open memorial Thursday at Hillside Christian Church at 6100 S. Soncy St. It begins at 2 p.m.
The full report released by the NTSB can be viewed below: