Engine failure blamed for plane crash that killed former Wichitan

A preliminary report says engine failure caused a small plane crash in central Missouri that killed a former Wichitan.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s report does not suggest what might have caused the engine to fail when a plane went down Nov. 30 near a Boonville airport. The pilot, Charles Sojka, of Salina, died. Three passengers in the Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking were injured.

The injured passengers were Sojka’s wife, Brenda Schewe, 56, of Salina, and her children, Kathryn Taylor, 25, of Wichita, and Jacob Taylor, 23, of Kansas City, Mo.

Schewe is a doctor of internal medicine. From 1991 to 2010 she taught as an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita.

She and Sojka recently moved to Salina, where he was chief of flight maintenance for Kansas State University at Salina.

NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway says the final report, with an official cause of the crash, will not be released for 12 to 18 months.

Sojka was flying from Chesterfield, Mo., to Kansas City when he tried to land after hitting dense clouds near Sedalia, Mo. The report says the engine lost power and eventually stalled about 250 feet above the ground.