FedEx has confirmed that an ATR 42 operated by Idaho-based Empire Airlines and flying for FedEx as a cargo feeder flight was involved in a runway excursion at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport in Texas early this morning. The twin-engine turboprop was enroute from the Fort Worth-Alliance Airport, also in Texas.

According to reports from the scene, the aircraft landed in a freezing mist around 0430 and departed the side of the runway, catching fire. The airport was initially closed as first responders extinguished the fire, but has since been reopened.


A FedEx spokesman says the pilots walked away from the crash.

Empire flies freight under contract to FedEx using 10 ATR 42s, including the incident aircraft, and three ATR 72s, according to the company.