WICHITA, KS (KSN) – More information is now known on a fatal plane crash at a Kansas airport nearly a year-and-a-half ago. The crash occurred at the Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport on October 30, 2014 when a twin-engine Beechcraft King Air lost power at takeoff and hit the FlightSafety building on the airport grounds.
A report from the National Transportation Safety Board says that shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported he “lost the left engine. Witnesses told the NTSB the plane porpoised several times before entering a shallow left turn, continued turning left and then crashed into the building. The crash and a subsequent fire caused severe damage to the building.
Witnesses at the scene say the landing gear was extended and that they could not clearly hear the sound of the engines before impact.
Airport surveillance video cameras, which captured the last nine seconds of the plane’s flight, showed the plane was turning left and in a “nose-left sideslip” as it overflew a hangar on the west side of the airport.
In the pilot’s last communication with the tower, he reported losing power to the plane’s left engine. However, the report says the left engine’s fuel pump and fuel control housings were destroyed by fire, making it impossible to determine whether the left engine’s fuel supply had been interrupted.
In addition, the memory component of the plane’s flight data recorder was destroyed in the fire that followed the crash making it impossible to retrieve data from the aircraft’s final moments.
Finally, the report says that toxicology tests on the pilot showed he was on an anti-anxiety medication that carried a warning label that said, “May impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g. driving, operating heavy machinery).”
Four people were killed in the crash, including the pilot and three people in the FlightSafety building at the time of the impact.