Nevada Air Ambulance Crash Followed Airframe Structural Failure — Pilatus PC-12 Accident in Stagecoach, Nevada

Attorneys at the law firm of Slack Davis Sanger have been following the Nevada crash of a Pilatus PC-12, which occurred on February 24. Friday’s fatal flight originated in Reno, Nevada, and was en route to Salt Lake City with a patient, a family member, two medical crew members, and a pilot. The National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) is investigating the fatal accident occurring shortly after takeoff from Reno. 


Yesterday the NTSB reported that the aircraft, a single-engine turboprop, experienced what is referred to as a catastrophic airframe structural failure. Michael L. Slack, who heads Slack Davis Sanger’s aviation practice, emphasized that the NTSB did not elaborate on why the airframe elements may have failed. The elements separated from the aircraft prior to the impact. 


According to Slack, who has handled aircraft structural failure cases, “catastrophic failures of aerodynamic elements are typically associated with excess airspeed or acceleration loads that combine to exceed the structural limits of the airframe. We have seen instances where a loss of control in flight introduced excessive loads, which resulted in a structural failure. The NTSB will study the wreckage to determine why and when the structural failure occurred.” 


Slack, a former NASA engineer, is a veteran litigator involved in significant aviation matters across the United States. He was the lead counsel for claimants and negotiated the process that led to the resolution of the Reno Air Disaster at the Reno Air Races in 2011. Over the course of his career, Slack has handled or tried lawsuits in 36 states, including Nevada and Utah. He has represented clients in all aspects of aviation disasters, from major airlines to private aviation accidents. 


As information develops and is released to the public by the NTSB, Slack will continue to offer insights into the investigative process. 


Since 1993, Slack Davis Sanger has served clients nationally and internationally with personal injury claims, wrongful death, and medical malpractice suits. With a combined experience of more than 250 years, Slack Davis Sanger attorneys have extensive experience in litigation involving aviation accidents.

For more information or to speak with Mike Slack, please contact Marketing Manager Stephanie Eitrheim at 512-225-5322 or