TOPEKA, Kansas – Elected officials across Kansas and agencies expressed their condolences following Thursday morning’s crash of a Beechcraft King Air at Mid-Continent Airport.
The aircraft was returning to Mid-Continent after reporting loss of engine power. The plane crashed into the Flight Safety building at the airport. That facility supports training activities and houses flight safety instructors, simulator operators, staff and clients.
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At this time, there are 4 confirmed dead, none missing, and 5 who received injuries.
“My prayers and thoughts are with everyone affected by today’s crash in Wichita. I extend my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who lost their lives today and I pray for the recovery of the injured.” – Gov. Sam Brownback
“Susan and my thoughts and prayers go to those affected by this tragedy, and we are deeply appreciative of the efforts of the emergency responders. My office is keeping close contact with the authorities and we will do whatever we can to help.” – Mike Pompeo
“Our deepest and most sincere prayers for those who have been physically harmed by this tragedy, who have lost loved ones unexpectedly, and who are still unsure of the condition of their family members. May God’s hand be upon you.” – Kansas State Senate President Susan Wagle
“All of us at FlightSafety International are greatly saddened by the tragic accident that occurred at Wichita Mid Continent Airport impacting our Cessna Learning Center. We are continuing to work with authorities to assist them in their investigation and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our Clients & Teammates. No further details are available at this time.”
“The feeling that we have is that it is certainly saddening. When we heard about it this morning, to see the devastation, to recognize the fact we have several individuals who lost their lives is even more tragic. We have been saddened. The entire community has been affected. I was with ministers this morning and they have certainly issued prayers to families.” – Mayor Carl Brewer
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi offered this statement regarding the incident:
“We are shocked, and deeply saddened by the death of our beloved colleague, friend, and NATCA brother Mark Goldstein in today’s tragic accident in Wichita. We extend our deepest condolences to Mark’s family and friends, and to the families of the other victims of this accident. Our thoughts go out to all of our members and FAA employees at Wichita Tower and TRACON, where Mark served as a very skilled and highly professional air traffic controller for 24 years. This is a terrible loss for them, and for everyone who knew Mark.
“Mark was supremely focused and talented in his service of ensuring aviation safety during his career. He won NATCA’s Central Region Archie League Award in the first two years of the program, 2004 and 2005. Next Tuesday is the 10th anniversary of the first of his two award-winning flight assists.
“In 2005, our current and longtime Wichita Facility Representative, Pat Pelkowski, wrote, ‘Mark is a very conscientious air traffic controller. He is extremely experienced not only as a controller but as a pilot. This dual experience has helped Mark to make numerous suggestions to pilots in distress and help many controllers who needed assistance.’
“Mark started his air traffic control career in the U.S. Navy in 1981. After serving five years, he was hired by the FAA and went to work in Salina, Kan., in 1987. He transferred to Wichita Tower in 1989. He was an instrument, commercial, and multi-engine rated pilot with a degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. His roles with NATCA also included serving on our Central Region Runway Safety Action Team. He will be deeply missed.
“We are saddened by the loss of all the lives in today’s accident.”