At least four people are dead after a small plane crashed at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport this morning, sending up "towering plumes of black smoke that could be seen for miles," in the words of AP. The twin-engine Beechcraft King Air reported losing engine power just after takeoff, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro, who says the plane hit a building on airport property while trying to return to the runway. KSN reports that four are dead and four others are missing.
The pilot, identified as Mark Goldstein, was among those killed. “He was an air traffic controller who retired less than a year ago and became a contract pilot, and he would contract his services to different airplane owners and operators," says an acquaintance at a local aviation company. “He talked to the tower before he crashed. They knew his voice." (Read more plane crash stories.)