The small plane that crashed into a Kansas building Thursday underwent two maintenance flights before takeoff and wasn’t malfunctioning in any way, investigators said Friday. The Beechcraft King Air twin-engine plane hit the top of a two-story FlightSafety International building after taking off from Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita Thursday morning, leaving the pilot and three people inside the building dead. The pilot, Mark Goldstein, who was the only person in the plane, had more than 3,000 hours of logged flying experience, NTSB Investigator Josh Lindberg said Friday.
NTSB investigators could not gain access to the site of the crash Friday because a portion of the building was not structurally sound, but they hoped to get in on Saturday to retrieve the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder. Rescue crews were also hindered from getting into the building Friday to recover the bodies of the four victims, City of Wichita spokeswoman Lauragail Locke told NBC News.
NTSB investigators were able to review the plane’s maintenance log books and interview three people who witnessed the crash, Lindberg said. All three witnesses said the plane drifted to the left before the plane took a “steep” left turn and hit the building shortly after takeoff, Lindberg said.
Four people who were injured inside the building were treated and released from Via Christi Hospital, and one person remained in serious condition Friday afternoon, according to hospital officials.