In a tragic and rather ironic accident, an experienced pilot crashed his plane into a building that advocated safety for the aviation industry.
A plane crashed into a FlightSafety building at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas, killing at least four people inside and leaving five hurt. Airport Police and Fire Chief Roger Xanders confirmed that the Wichita Airport Authority received reports of a crash at 9:46 a.m. Central Time on Thursday.
The plane, which broke into several pieces upon impact, had its debris on the roof and ground of the building. The Beechcraft King Air twin-turboprop plane was reportedly flown by 53-year-old Mark Goldstein, a former air traffic controller, has been credited with a great deal of flying experience. Goldstein didn’t survive the crash, and three other people in the building perished, reported CNN.
The unfortunate crash happened when there were over a 100 people in the building. Fortunately, only five people have been reported hurt and have been confirmed to be out of danger.
Classifying the crash as an accident and ruling out any terrorist attack, Police Chief John Speer added that police will not release the names of the others killed until their families have been notified by police and chaplains. However, he did add that three of the victims are local and one is from out of the country.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a statement, proving that the incident was indeed an unfortunate accident. It confirmed that the pilot reported losing engine power shortly after takeoff and crashed when trying to return to the runway. The plane was headed to Mena, Arkansas.
The FlightSafety International building houses a business that provides flight training. It has numerous flight simulators that mimic actual flight conditions, and pilots new and experienced are offered hands-on training using the multi-axial three-dimensional virtual flight simulators that create dangers the pilots are supposed to avert while planing the plane. In a twisted fate of irony, three of the victims were found inside a flight simulator.
Though firefighters responded immediately, they were asked to pull out of the building for fear of a collapse, reported Eye Witness News. Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell added that firefighters must wait for NTSB officials to arrive this evening and secure the building. Fortunately, the FAA is already on the scene, and all the flames appear to have been doused.
[Image Credit | Brian Corn/Wichita Eagle/MCT, Nati Harnik/AP]