Airplane crash into flight simulator company at Wichita airport disrupts Cessna pilot training

The fatal crash of a small plane into a flight safety training center at the Wichita Airport has disrupted pilot training on some Cessna models, but efforts are being made to provide alternatives, company officials said.

A twin-engine Beechcraft King Air crashed into the FlightSafety Cessna Pilot Learning Center on Thursday, killing the pilot and three people inside flight simulators. The cause of the crash, which also seriously damaged the building, is still being investigated.

The FlightSafety building at the airport was the company's only location to offer simulation training on Cessna's new Citation M2, the CJ4, Citation VII and the three Caravan models. Training on other Cessna models at different simulation centers will continue on schedule, The Wichita Eagle reported ( ).

FlightSafey will "definitely have to scramble" but has a large network to help and is good at managing situations, said Rolland Vincent, an aviation consultant.

"This is very disruptive," Vincent said. "These flight simulators are very busy and are booked well in advance."

Cessna and FlightSafety are working together to find alternatives, according to Textron Aviation spokeswoman Nicole Alexander.

"We are working closely with FlightSafety to identify alternative solutions for customers whose training schedules are affected," Alexander said in an email.

The company operates five centers in Wichita and training on Cessna's Citation Sovereign, Sovereign-Plus, Citation X, Citation X-Plus, Encore, Encore-Plus, and CJ3 will continue on schedule, according to FlightSafety's website. The company operates training facilities across the country and in England, though training options vary at each site.

"The primary thing that we're doing is looking at our teammates and our customers to make sure they get what they need to get through this," FlightSafety spokesman Steve Phillips said.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,