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Pilot’s friend in ‘disbelief’ over NTSB report on Wichita plane crash

By Lauren Seabrook, KWCH NEWS

A new video provided by the NTSB shows a small plane crashing into a building at Wichita’s airport. “He only had a matter of seconds to do the right thing and it sounds like maybe he didn’t,” said Ron Ryan, aviation expert and friend of pilot Mark Goldstein.

Such a small amount of time when training must take over, before crisis in the air turns to tragedy on the ground. “I would guess he’s already in a severe left turn, losing airspeed, and running out of ideas all at the same time,” said Ryan.

A new NTSB report shows pilot Mark Goldstein’s engine didn’t go completely out like he reported to air traffic control, but it likely dropped to low power. A problem his friend says is possible to keep flying with and fairly common with King Air 200s. “The instant that he saw he had an engine failure would’ve been to just pull the other engine back and go straight ahead,” said Ryan. “Because if you pull the other engine back, now you have directional control.”

Never more than 120 feet off the ground, Goldstein had to think fast. But the report says he was taking anti-anxiety medication that might’ve impaired his judgement. Ryan says Goldstein was also up all night the night before the crash. “Mark may not have thought he was impaired because I think if he thought he was, he wouldn’t have flown.”

The report reveals Goldstein’s final words: “We’re going in. We’re dead.” Seconds later, his plane crashed into the FlightSafety building. Photos show it skidded from one side of the roof to the other, causing a fireball of damage and killing him and three people inside.

“The thing that I know, by knowing Mark … As bad as it was that he died, he would just be absolutely devastated if he knew that he hurt or killed somebody else,” said Ryan.

Ryan says the aviation community all knew, loved, and respected Goldstein, and will remember what happened on that October day each time they fly. “You lose a brother,” said Ryan. “But the other thing that we all, as pilots, want to do is learn from other people’s mistakes. As tragic as that is.” 

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