Members of three generations of a prominent western Kansas family died when their twin-engine Aero Commander aircraft crashed after a missed approach to the airport in Bellevue, Tenn., near Nashville at about 5 p.m. on Monday night.
Glenn Mull, owner of Mid-Kansas Agri Co. and Mull's Farms and Feeding near Pawnee Rock, was the pilot. Also on board were Mull's wife, Elaine, their daughter, Amy Mull Harter, and her daughter, Samantha. All four died in the crash.
The Aero Commander turbo-charged airplane was based at the Great Bend airport and had taken off from there earlier on Monday afternoon.
Impact on the community
"There is probably no family with a bigger sphere of influence in this area than the Mull family," said Roger Brining, a family friend and pilot who has regularly flown with Mull family members. "They farm probably 10,000 acres in addition to the feedlot and the elevator."
Brining described the Mull family as "extremely active" in the community, with connections to church, civic groups and charities as well as their business enterprises.
"This tragedy cuts across three families in our communities. It is a truly tragic loss," Brining said.
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran issued a statement on Tuesday after news of the tragic family deaths spread.
"My heart goes out to the entire Mull family during this difficult time. Glenn was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Both he and his wife, Elaine, were well-known for their generous spirit and commitment to improving Pawnee County. Glenn, Elaine, their daughter, Amy and grand-daughter Samantha will be greatly missed. I ask all Kansans to join me in keeping their family and friends in our thoughts and prayers during the days ahead," Moran said in the statement.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. The flight tracker for the plane on the national tracking website, Flight Aware, shows that the plane had an uneventful flight and made a smooth descent toward the airport in Bellevue.
There was a heavy cloud layer at the airport and temperatures below freezing, according to weather reports from the region at the time of the crash.