WICHITA, Kan. — A pilot who was killed in a west Wichita plane crash Friday was a Colorado man, according to the Wichita Fire Department.
According to Fire Chief Ron Blackwell, the pilot killed in a plane crash in a Wichita neighborhood was identified as 47-year-old Aaron Waters of Parker. His body was removed from the wreckage on Friday night.
KWCH reports Waters was flying from Wichita to Centennial Airport when he radioed in an “unspecified” issue with his Cessna 310 plane on Friday and was told to turn around, according to Blackwell.
But the plane never made it.
“I believe Mr. Waters likely died a hero,” Blackwell said because Waters avoided hitting any homes when he crashed on the bank of the Cowskin Creek, behind the Dell neighborhood in Wichita.
He said Waters’ plane crashed behind a home, within 20 yards of a garage. Waters was the only person in the plane at the time. No one was injured in the crash.
“This could’ve been a much bigger tragedy than it already is,” said Blackwell.
Eyewitnesses tell KWCH that it was horrifying to watch, but they believe the pilot aimed for the creek on purpose.
“He knew he was gonna crash, he knew it was gonna happen,” observed Pat Knudson, a witness of the crash who says he’s been around airplanes all his life. “He aimed that thing right where he hit it. He did a good job, he saved lives.”
Blackwell said the Wichita Fire Department has concluded its investigation. Now, the federal authorities will take over in figuring out what caused to the deadly plane crash.
According to Courtney Liedler with the National Transportation Safety Board, the NTSB will be on site of the crash through the weekend, and the FAA is assisting in the investigation.
“As I understand it, the plane’s engine and propeller will be removed first. Then, over the next 48 to 72 hours, they will be working to get other airplane parts identified, labeled, packaged and sent off for analysis,” said Blackwell.
He said anyone who may have any information or video that may help answer questions about what happened is asked to notify authorities.