The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday cited pilot inaction as the probable cause in the October 2014 crash of a Beechcraft King Air B200 at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport that killed four people, including the pilot.
The airplane crashed into a FlightSafety building shortly after pilot Mark Goldstein, 53, took off and reported to controllers that he “lost the left engine.”
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Goldstein was killed along with three people inside the building: FlightSafety employees Jay Ferguson, 78, and Nataliya Menestrina, 48; and Russian pilot Sergey Galitskiy, 54, who was training at FlightSafety.
The Oct. 30 crash also injured six other people, two seriously.
Gilleland Aviation Inc. in Georgetown, Texas, had purchased the airplane two days before the crash, the NTSB said. Goldstein was delivering the airplane to Gilleland.
The NTSB said the plane was airborne for 26 seconds and reached a maximum altitude of 120 feet before slamming into one of FlightSafety’s simulator buildings located at Eisenhower, causing an explosion and fire.
The NTSB said in its probable cause report Tuesday that Goldstein failed “to maintain lateral control of the airplane after a reduction in left engine power and his application of inappropriate rudder input.”
It also said he didn’t “follow the emergency procedures for an engine failure during takeoff.”
NTSB said contributing to the accident was a reduction in left engine power “for reasons that could not be determined because a postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation and thermal damage precluded a complete examination.”
According to a factual report released by the NTSB last week, Goldstein was a licensed airline transport pilot and retired air traffic controller. He had 3,139 flight hours, 2,843 hours of which were in multi-engine airplanes. He was issued a Federal Aviation Administration second-class medical certificate in August 2014, with the only restriction being that he wear corrective lenses when flying.
Goldstein was taking two prescription medications — Buspirone and Citalopram — for anxiety and depression at the time of the crash.
Analysis “of the pilot’s autopsy and medical records found no evidence suggesting that either his medical conditions or the drugs he was taking to treat them contributed to his inability to safely control the airplane in an emergency situation,” NTSB said in the probable cause report.
It also said that in an investigation after the crash, it did not find “any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation” with the airplane, its engines or propellers.