An Amazon Prime Air Boeing 767 cargo jet with three aboard crashed in a shallow muddy cove in a Trinity Bay river estuary near Houston, Texas Saturday afternoon.
Chambers County Sheriff Brian C. Hawthorne told local media there are no survivors.
On Sunday it was reported that all three on board were killed. Capt. Rick Blakely of Indiana is the presumed pilot of the flight.
And First Officer Conrad Jules Aska of Antigua was identified.
Capt. Sean Archuleta is a pilot with Mesa Airlines, based in Houston, and he’d just hopped a ride from Miami riding in the jet’s jumpseat.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Federal Aviation Administration Said Radio Contact From the Twin-Engine Jet Was Lost & the Jet Went Down 30 Miles Southwest of Houston
The FAA said it issued an alert after losing radar and radio contact with Atlas Air flight 3591 around 30 miles southeast of Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The aircraft was flying from Miami to Houston. Three people were onboard the aircraft, the FAA said.
A Houston news site reported that the Chambers County Sheriff said there were no survivors.
KHOU also reported there are no survivors, per the sheriff’s office.
“The Chambers County Sheriff says the depth of the water at the 767 crash site in Trinity Bay is zero to 5 feet. That’s one reason for the devastation. ‘And the zero is mud.’ He says the area is mainly known for duck hunting.”
Indeed, the boats seen operating at the recovery site are mainly air-boats and flat-bottom duck boats.
“It looks like total devastation from the aircraft part,” Sheriff told local media. “Knowing what I saw, there can’t be any survivors.”
Hawthorne told Click2Houston.com that, “witnesses told authorities the plane went into a nose dive, then went into the water nose-first. He said witnesses said they heard what sounded like lightning before the plane went down.”
The Cargo Jet Was an Amazon Prime Air Freight Aircraft With 3 Onboard. The Plane Crashed in Less Than 5 Feet of Water
The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation. Its Go-Team is on the way to the site. In aviation accidents, the NTSB investigators try to locate the Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder, the so-called black boxes, and then take them to NTSB headquarters for a readout.
The FBI tweeted that it was entering the investigation saying it would be working with local and federal authorities already on the scene and investigation.
“Please be patient while this investigation continues. Updates will be shared through this Twitter account.”
Early on it was reported that the freight jet is an Amazon ‘Prime Air’-branded jet operated by Atlas Air.
That was confirmed by several reports and officials including FAA-TV which reported that the jet is one of 30 Amazon Prime Air 767’s, it was reported by FAA-TV. “The 767 was 26 yrs old, according to info on its tail number.”
The local sheriff said the area of the bay where the jet crash-landed is at its deepest, five feet and at its most shallow, just mud.
Flight 3591 Was Due in Houston at 12:53. It Crashed in Trinity Bay at 12:45
According to KHOU TV news from Houston, “767 Cargo jetliner crashes near Anahuac, Chambers County. @FAANews spokesperson says Atlas Air. Inc. aircraft lost radio contact 30 miles SE of Bush Airport and went down in Trinity Bay. Initial reports indicate 3 people on board.”
FlightAware tracks flights and this is its information on the Atlas Air flight from Miami to Houston.
The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office & Myriad Other Rescue & Recovery Teams From Around Texas Responded
The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office initially reported it was “responding to eye witness and Federal Aviation Administration confirmation that a large commercial airplane has been reported to have crashed near the city of Anahuac, Texas, in the Trinity River.”
Later, the sheriff’s office reported the plane was “located in Jack’s Pocket at the north end of Trinity Bay.”
Images of the debris field don’t inspire confidence that there are survivors.
First repsonders and recuse and recovery crews from across Texas are sending help.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office “is sending personnel to assist our partners in Chambers County with rescue efforts related to a plane crash. Teammates headed to Trinity Bay near Anahuac, Texas.
Flightradar Had Been Following the Aircraft After Communication Was Lost. Weather May Not Have Been a Factor
Some are reporting that weather may not have been a factor in the crash.
“Obs map at 1 PM, about 15 mins after the reported 767 crash in Trinity Bay. Winds were gusty and the front was off to the east. There were convective showers in the area at the time (radar image as of 12:42 PM). Not speculating, but just offering up some data.”
But Airlive reported that “The crew was informed of an area with heavy rain in their path to Houston.”
It’s the First Fatal Crash of Its Kind in 6 Years
“If I’m not mistaken, the Amazon/Atlas 767 crash would be the first fatal jet freighter crash on U.S. soil since August 2013 when two crew were killed when UPS Airbus A300 crashed while on approach to Birmingham, Alabama.”