Fuselage and aircraft debris spread over large area

cockpit of plane_1542652101124.jpg.jpg

The Morton County Sheriff’s Office is releasing more information about the crash north of Mandan.

The Department says the plane crashed into a remote pasture three miles west of ND Highway 25.

All three first responders on board the flight that left the Bismarck airport were killed. Their bodies were transported by the Oliver County Ambulance to the medical examiner’s office.

The flight was traveling from Bismarck to Williston late last night when it crashed around 11 p.m. The Bismarck Airport FAA tower reported the aircraft missing about 30 minutes into the flight.

The plane was confirmed as the Metro Ambulance aircraft after the MCSO found the tail and matching registration number.

The fuselage and other aircraft debris is spread over a large area, the cause is under investigation.

The National Traffic Safety Board and FAA will conduct an investigation.

Mandan Rural Fire Department also assisted in the search. 

North Dakota’s Civil Air Patrol helped play a big role in finding the crash site.

Lt. Colonel Sean Johnson says state radio contacted State Emergency Services who then got in contact with the CAP.
Civil Air Patrol went to work with the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center out of Florida.

They used cellular phone forensics and radar analysis to pin point the location of the crash.
The last known radar track indicated the plane may have broken up in flight, however Johnson says that isn’t yet confirmed, and NTSB will help make that determination.

The cell phones of the three occupants were used to find the site, down to just one meter.
Visibility and safety issues kept CAP planes grounded from an air search.

Johnson says while ground teams, and airplanes are useful in a situation like this, it’s the electronic tracking which helped expedite the process.

Names have not been released.

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