Atlas Air flight 5Y3591 crashes near Houston

An Amazon Air (formerly Prime Air) Boeing 767, operated by Atlas Air. Photo: 湯小沅 (Public Domain)

An Atlas Air Boeing 767-300 freighter aircraft, operating for Amazon Air, has crashed into Trinity Bay east of Houston, Texas, on Saturday afternoon.

Flight 5Y3591 was operating from Miami on a scheduled cargo flight to Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport with three crew member on board. Radar and communication contact was lost shortly before 12:45 pm central time over Trinity Bay in Texas, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed in a statement.

Initial images from the crash site indicate that the aircraft was completely destroyed on impact, it is highly unlikely that any of the crew members have survived the accident. Data from flight tracking services shows that the Boeing 767 entered a steep dive just before the crash. The reason for this is not yet known. An investigation has been launched by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Atlas Air has since released a statement on the accident:

This is to confirm that an Atlas Air 767 cargo aircraft Flight No. 3591 operating from Miami to Houston has been involved in an accident this afternoon. We understand the aircraft went down near the city of Anahuac Texas, in the Trinity Bay. We can confirm there were three people on board the aircraft. Those people and their family members are our top priority at this time. Atlas Air is cooperating fully with the FAA and NTSB. We will update as additional information becomes available.Atlas Air

The involved 27-year-old aircraft is registered as N1217A and was converted to a freighter in 2016. Atlas Air operates this Boeing 767 for package delivery airline Amazon Air (formerly Prime Air) in a wet-lease agreement since April 2017.