SAN ANGELO, TX — A business class turboprop aircraft crashed south of Christoval just after 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023. According to our sources, the aircraft is a Pilatus PC-12. The PC-12 can be configured to seat as many as 9 passengers and 2 pilots in some configurations. It is a 9,300-pound airplane with no fuel. The PC-12 has a single turboprop engine mounted on the nose.
Armed 1 attempted to launch in response but bad weather kept the air ambulance grounded. The Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office was first on the scene but was unable to relay back information about injuries due to limited radio and cell phone coverage.
The exact location of the crash is near the windmill farm south of Christoval off Duff Rd. And U.S. 277.
U.S. Border Patrol and Texas DPS are on the scene. A helicopter was able to launch from Mathis for a search and rescue operation. Trooper Justin Baker told us there were no survivors of the crash but did not know how many souls were onboard. We witnessed at least two ambulances depart the scene but neither ambulance was in a rush.
We talked to the pilot of a plane that was following the mishap aircraft into Mathis. He said there were strong winds out of the east, which somewhat explains the fast ground speed when turning final. The plane crashed near approach’s final approach fix, for FAF, where the minimum altitude for any plane to fly is 4,000 feet MSL. The FAF is called "TIMPP" and is situated on the extended runway centerline 6.4 nautical miles south of Mathis Field. There is a step-down fix between the FAF and the runway called "VORYO," situated 3.3 nautical miles south of the runway where the minimum altitude is 2,980 feet MSL. ADSB data showed the aircraft below both altitudes at 2,800. Another datapoint is ADSB showed at the plane’s final point it was descending a 5,058 feet per minute, which is excessive.
The pilot of the aircraft flying behind the mishap Pilatus was asked by San Angelo Approach (ARTCC) to see if he saw a crash site. The pilot told us he could not see the ground and broke out of the weather at 1,400 feet AGL — at approximately 3,000 feet MSL, while flying the same RNAV (GPS) RWY 36 approach.
The Texas DPS is controlling the crash scene until the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials arrive.