Four people died and six were injured Oct. 30 when a Beechcraft King Air B200 turboprop crashed into a pilot training center on takeoff from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board had begun to gather evidence about the mid-morning crash, and reviewed preliminary information with news media in an evening briefing.
The King Air’s pilot, identified in a local newspaper report as Mark Goldstein, 53, reported a problem with the aircraft’s left engine and declared an emergency shortly before the aircraft descended in a left turn and struck the roof of a FlightSafety International training center on the airport.
The explosion from the crash led to a brief but “horrific” firefight, according to Fire Chief Ron Blackwell, who briefed news organizations.
Goldstein died in the crash, as did three people whose bodies were found in a simulator in the destroyed FlightSafety International Cessna Learning Center North building. Goldstein was described in a news report that cited a family source as a retired air traffic controller working as an independent contract pilot.
Typically there are about 100 persons occupying the building, which is one of five FlightSafety International facilities on the airport, the report said.
Identities of the other victims had not been released early on Oct. 31. One of the injured was reported in serious condition.
Wichita city officials confirmed in a notice posted on the municipal website that three of those who died “are from the Wichita area and one is from another country.” The city established a hotline for witnesses to the accident to call with information, and for anyone who was trying to locate a family member who may have been in the building.
The Wichita Eagle reported that the airplane involved in the crash was a 15-year-old aircraft that had recently been “reacquired” by the manufacturer from Sheetz Inc., a convenience store chain.
A message on the FlightSafety International website thanked those who reached out to the organization following the accident.