Kansas: Two Killed in Plane Crash

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Tuesday October 10 9:33 PM ET Two Killed in Kansas Plane Crashes

WICHITA, Kan. (Reuters) - Two people were killed and one was critically injured on Tuesday when a small Bombardier jet crashed onto a road and burst into flames after taking off at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas, officials said.

The accident occurred about 3 p.m., when the 12-seat Canadian-licensed Challenger 604 slid off the side of the runway. It careened onto a side road just west of the airport where it caught fire as it slid to a stop, according to investigators.

Three people were on board at the time. Two were killed and one was in critical condition at an area hospital, police spokesman Lewis Patton said.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators were expected to begin probing the crash on Wednesday morning, Federal Aviation Administration (news - web sites) officials said.

Canada-based Bombardier Aerospace (Toronto:BBDa.TO - news), the world's third-largest civil airframe maker, manufactures its Learjet line of aircraft in Wichita and uses its Wichita facilities as a flight test center for aircraft manufactured by Bombardier Aerospace.

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), October 10, 2000


Oct 11, 2000 - 01:50 AM

Test Plane Crashes at Kansas Airport, Killing Two By Roxana Hegeman Associated Press Writer

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A business jet taking off on a routine test flight skidded across the runway and into a field, where it burst into flames. Two pilots on board, employees of the plane's manufacturer, were killed. The Challenger 604 plane made by Bombardier Inc. came to a stop Tuesday on the west edge of Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport, said Felix Lococo of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The badly burned fuselage was mostly intact, but the plane lost its left engine and tail. Debris was scattered across a nearby road.

A third employee, a flight test engineer, was hospitalized in critical condition.

"There was the explosion. And then a couple of lights shook and it definitely felt like a sonic boom," said meteorologist Chance Hayes, who heard the crash from the National Weather Service office nearby. "It made the building shake and we definitely knew something had happened."

The crash stalled rush hour traffic in the western part of the city. Commercial flights were not interrupted, but part of the airport was closed.

The plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders were still in the aircraft for the National Transportation Safety Board to recover Wednesday.

The plane, manufactured by Montreal-based Canadair, a unit of Bombardier Aerospace, had been in service since 1994 and logged 1,227 hours, company executives said.

Bombardier Aerospace, one of the world's biggest airplane makers, manufactures its Learjet line in Wichita and uses its Wichita facilities as a flight test center.

Tests scheduled Wednesday at the facility were suspended.

The identities of the three crew members were not immediately released.


On the Net:

Bombardier: http://www.bombardier.com

-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), October 11, 2000.

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