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Florida couple mourns son killed at Wichita airport

Firefighters and other emergency workers stand ready to enter the FlightSafety building Friday after a twin-engine plane crashed into the building after takeoff Thursday. (Oct. 31, 2014)
Firefighters and other emergency workers stand ready to enter the FlightSafety building Friday after a twin-engine plane crashed into the building after takeoff Thursday. (Oct. 31, 2014) The Wichita Eagle

A central Florida couple are on their way to Kansas to mourn their son, a pilot killed in a small plane crash at a flight training facility.

Mark Goldstein died Thursday when his twin-engine plane crashed just after takeoff at the FlightSafety International Learning Center at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The plane struck a building, killing three people inside a flight simulator.

Ingrid and Don Goldstein of Ocala were driving to Kansas this weekend. Ingrid Goldstein told the Ocala Star-Banner (http://bit.ly/1qlCWXu ) that her 53-year-old son was a gifted and decorated pilot and air traffic controller.

“He was the kindest, nicest man,” Ingrid Goldstein said of her son.

The Goldsteins were visiting a friend at Munroe Regional Medical Center on Thursday when their daughter, Debbie, called. She had seen news of the crash broadcast on CNN.

There were few details known at that time. Ingrid Goldstein called her son but got no answer. Before long, the tragic details became apparent.

The crash remains under investigation.

The Goldsteins last saw Mark on Oct. 23. He had flown into Orlando that day and drove to Marion County for a short visit.

On Saturday morning, the Goldsteins were still driving to Kansas. Ingrid Goldstein called the Star-Banner from the road in Louisiana, emotional but able to speak proudly of their son.

The National Transportation Safety Board says Mark Goldstein worked as an air traffic controller for 24 years at the Wichita control tower before retiring this year.

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Information from: Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner, http://www.starbanner.com

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