Plane in crash considered extremely reliable aircraft

Updated: May. 1, 2017 at 8:46 PM CDT
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Source: SkyTechInc
Source: SkyTechInc
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Pilatus PC-12, which crashed earlier this week, was developed and certified as an all weather air craft by the FAA.

This is one of the reasons Rico Aviation switched to this type of plane in August of 2016. Since making the switch officials, Rico Air told NewsChannel10 they have never experienced an issue with the craft.

Despite being certified as an all weather air craft, there are limitations to this plane.

"All air-craft have what is called a cross wind limitation," said Tom Aniello, the Vice President of Pilatus. "There is nothing unusual about the cross wind limitation on the PC-12, it is not lower than what you would find on a bigger business jet or an airliner."

During takeoff, the cross wind limitation provided by the manufacturers of the PC-12 is 30 knots, or just over 34 miles per hour.

On the night of the accident, wind speeds did exceed 50 miles per hour near the airport. However the direction of the wind relative to the plane is what makes it dangerous.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has not released a cause for the accident, and officials with Rico Air believe weather was not an issue.

Pilatus sent two investigators from Colorado Saturday morning to assist with the investigation. They will help identify the specifics of the plane and will stay as long as the NTSB needs them.

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