CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (KELO) — A plane carrying 12 people crashed one mile from a South Dakota airport on Saturday. Less than 10 minutes after take-off, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert for the missing plane, according to a factual report filed by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Nine people died and three were brought to a Sioux Falls hospital with serious injuries. All of the victims in the plane crash were from Idaho and returning home from a hunting trip when their small plane went down.
Three NTSB investigators are at the crash site and are expected to be there through the week.
Over the next few days, the federal agency will review the airplane and wreckage pattern, examining its systems, flight controls, and engine. They will also be interviewing witnesses and possibly, the three surviving passengers.
According to the NTSB, the plane arrived in Chamberlain on Friday morning for the hunting trip. They purchased 150 gallons of fuel and the plane remained parked at the airport until Saturday.
Timeline for Saturday
12:20 p.m. – Plane was scheduled to depart, according to filed flight plan.
12:26 p.m. – Plane departed Chamberlain Municipal Airport on runway 31 (there is no air traffic control tower at the airport).
After the plane took off, the pilot at this point should have activated the flight plan. That didn’t happen according to the NTSB.
12:35 p.m. – Automated weather station recorded conditions at the airport, which was under a Winter Storm Warning at the time. Winds were north/northeast at 7 MPH, there was half-mile visibility with moderate snow and icing. According to the report, there was a low-level wind shear and clear air turbulence conditions.
The wreckage of the single-engine turboprop passenger aircraft was found in a field one mile north of the airport.
Travis Garza, president of the wellness company Kyani, said in a Facebook post that the crash near Chamberlain on Saturday afternoon killed founders Jim and Kirk Hansen. Garza says the wreck also killed Jim Hansen’s father, Jim Hansen Sr.; Kirk Hansen’s children, Stockton and Logan; his sons-in-law, Kyle Taylor and Tyson Dennert; and Jim Hansen’s son, Jake, and grandson, Houston.
The passengers ranged in age from 7 to 81. Two people in their 20s and a teenager survived the crash.
The investigation process
The cause has not been determined. The final report can take 12 to 18 months to be released. In the last year, the NTSB investigated 11 plane crashes in South Dakota and only four have final reports. None of the crash reports released were fatal investigations.
The NTSB is still investigating the deadly 2018 Christmas Day plane crash in Sioux Falls and deadly 2019 crashes in Salem, Lakeview and Aberdeen.
If the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorders or “black boxes,” they will be flown to the Board’s headquarters in Washington D.C., according to the NTSB.
It’s not clear if either device was on the plane. According to an NTSB investigation of another plane crash, the manufacturer of the PC-12/47E aircraft began installing crash-resistant data recorders in 2011. This plane, according to Federal Aviation Administration records, was manufactured in 2013. However, the NTSB said data recorders are not required.
The plane was equipped with an automated dependent surveillance broadcast system (ADS-B), which records information that will help investigators determine the performance of the airplane by evaluating the flight track, altitude and speed from takeoff to the end of the flight.
The next report is expected to be released in about two weeks.
This is a developing story.